pillow complete edit cropChristmas decor is in full effect at my house. My tree is up, the mantle is in progress and I even made a front door wreath. I’ve never actually decorated this early. I usually end up decorating the week before Christmas and keeping the decorations up way into January. Recently, I purchased pillow inserts from Joann fabrics in anticipation of creating pillow covers to add a more comfy lounging situation for the winter. Since I’ve pumped up my Christmas decor, I wanted to add a touch of spirit onto my couch. For this project I’ve split it into two parts where you can learn how to cover a pillow and decorate with iron on material. You will find total project supplies and tool list as well as individual  supplies for each part.



How to

First we will make our pillow cover. Before we get going, wash, dry and iron the fabric according to the type of fabric. Ironing is especially important when cutting matching pieces.

Pillow Cover Supplies

  • Sewing machine
  • Pillow Insert
  • Fabric
  • Scissors or Rotary Blade
  • Pins
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Pinking Shears (optional)
  • Sewing gauge (optional)

Pillow Cover PiecesFor this pillow cover, we will have 3 pieces. The front and two pieces for the back. This creates the envelope type cover where we can slide the pillow into the cover with out sewing it in or adding a zipper. This cover is also good if you are using two types of fabric – one for the front and one for the back.

Let’s get our measurements. For the front, we want to add a 1/2″ seam around the pillow. So add 1″ to the pillow height and width. For the back, the two pieces are half the width of the front, but we want the opening to over lap so the pillow isn’t exposed. Add 1″ to the width of each piece. We also need to include the 1/2″ seam around the two pieces. The easiest way to calculate the width of back pieces is to divide the pillow width by two and add 2 inches to each half. The height of each back piece is the height of the pillow plus 1″. Look at the diagram below for a visual.

Pillow Cover Illustration

Iron Down Seam - Pillow BackOnce you have your pieces cut, we are going to fold in and iron the hem of the back opening. This will give a nice finished product. Fold the wrong sides together and iron down a half inch on one side of length on each back piece. It’s hard to see the right and wrong sides of the fabric since it’s a solid color. My fabric has a sheen on the right side and is flat on the wrong side. You can always mark it with a disappearing marker or piece of tape to keep the sides straight while constructing the cover. The sewing gauge comes in handy here. Use the little blue piece to mark a half inch. Slide it along as you fold down and iron. The finished pillow back is below.

pillow back edit

Pin Cover TogetherLay the two back piece on the front with the right sides touching each other. We are going to turn the cover inside out when finished sewing. Line up the edges and pin. Head to your sewing machine.

First sew a straight stitch along the ironed down edge. You want to line up the sewing foot to the edge of the fabric.  You may need to take out some pins for more maneuverability. Next sew around the edge of cover leaving a half inch seam.

Shear Edges + Cut CornersIf your using a fabric that is likely to fray, use pinking shears to cut a zig zag along the seam edge. To create sharp corners, snip off each corner (without snipping your sewed seam corner). Next turn the cover right side out. You can use your scissors to help push out the corners.

Now for the iron on design. Baby it’s cold outside is one of my favorite holiday songs. And it’s a cute design that can last through out the winter. But get your creativity on for your design!

Iron on Design Supplies

  • Silhouette cutting machine + cutting mat  or  X-acto knife
  • Iron on glitter material 
  • Silhouette hook + spatula tools (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Press cloth (i.e. scrap cotton material)
  • Iron & ironing board

silhouette studio iron on design reverse cropdesign cut editFor the iron on glitter material, you need to flip your design especially if you use lettering. The design will be backwards when cut. Open the Silhouette Studio, select your design and adjust the size for your pillow. To flip the design, select your design, right click and select ‘Flip Horizontally’. Cut your iron on material to the size of your design leaving a little extra around the edges. Place the material with the clear liner side down onto the cutting mat and load into the machine. Select the Heat Transfer Material Flocked option (blade setting 3) and send to the Silhouette to cut. Remove the design for the Silhouette and peel off the excess material leaving only the design on the liner. The hook and spatula tools can come in handy for this step.

Iron On DesignSet your iron Cotton/Linen setting. This is usually the hottest setting. Make sure the steam setting is OFF. Pre-heat the fabric where the design will go for 10-15 seconds. Place the design on to the ‘right’ side pre heated fabric with the liner side up. (I ironed on the design before I sewed the cover hence the frayed edges above.) Lay your press cloth over the design and iron 25-30 seconds while applying medium pressure. Flip the cover inside out and apply additional heat the back of the design for 25-30 seconds. Let the material cool and peel off the liner.

pillow complete 2 edit croppillow back editpillow complete 3 editI’m ready to cuddle up on the couch with my puppies and fiancé to bask in the holiday glow of the tree and Netflix.

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