Decorate My Home, Part 7 – Basic Pillow Cases

Alright, ready for a very basic tutorial?

And need some vibrant pillows on the bed, without making pillow shams?

Pillow shams make my husband and I grumpy.
You either can’t sleep on them or you have to take off the sham to use them.

So make your own cases to match your bedroom colors.

And enjoy the simplicity.

*All fabrics are Amy Butler, Lotus.

Start by measuring your existing pillow cases, while it’s laying flat. (Take note that a pillow case is all one piece, folded in half.) Make sure to add several inches at the top (about 3-4 inches), so that it can be folded down for the opening. And also, add another 1/2 inch to the sides and bottom for a seam allowance.

Start by folding down the top edge (where the opening will be) a 1/2 inch and then another 3-4 inches, whatever extra you gave yourself for the opening. Iron flat.

Then open the fold back up and fold the whole pillow case in half, with right sides together……..making sure to have the ironed side all at one end. This will be the opening to your pillow case. (If looking at this picture, the part I ironed is all to the right end…just unfolded.) Then sew along the side and bottom, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. And then sew a zig-zag stitch on the outer edge of the original seam.

Then while the pillow case is still inside out, fold the opening back down…right where your pressed seams are.

Then sew in place, close to the bottom folded edge.

And that’s it.

Your new pillow cases.

In the colors you want them.

***You can always add a strip of different color, a ruffle, or add any sort of detail… make it completely unique. Have fun with it.

To find the red sweater pillow that’s pictured, click here.

To find the tied pillow that pictured, click here.

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Filed under Home Decor, Sewing


44 Responses to “Decorate My Home, Part 7 – Basic Pillow Cases”
  1. 1
    Robyn says:

    When I was a freshman in college my mom would make a pillowcase for every holiday and mail it to me in a package with other goodies. So fun and now I know they were relatively easy to make. :)

  2. 2
    anhesty says:

    great post!!! i want to make some pillow cases myself… these look fabulous!

  3. 3
    Katie says:

    OMG! This is such a great idea to do an easy and inexpensive bedroom revamp!

  4. 4
    ABC Graf says:

    Good to know I am not the only person in America that HATES rearranging a gazillion pillows all the time. Love the front pillow with the cute ties on it.

    FYI for the Baby Blvd give away:
    email: [email protected]
    I put your button on my blog
    I am a follower of your blog
    I posted about the give away
    My favorite item on their site is the scripture tote in red #5 with handles definitely and a big black flower maybe? cute huh?
    And I follow their blog,

    So however many entries that gets me…SANKS

  5. 5
    Kalleigh Hathaway says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! American Patchwork & Quilting is doing a One Million Pillowcase Challenge for charity and it's good to have an easier alternative to the fancier patterns they put on their site.

  6. 6
    Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage says:

    I love those colors!! :)

  7. 7
    Adventures in Dressmaking says:

    I love those prints! And you're right, pillowcases are so easy to make and make new when you want new colors!

  8. 8
    Carol says:

    I love your pillowcases! Your bed looks bright and cheery! What a great job you did! Stop by and visit me sometime!

  9. 9
    Helen says:

    LOVE the colors! I was just in the process of picking out fabric for our pillow cases! I also cannot live with those shams! This should be a fun project…

  10. 10
    The Gunter Family says:

    About how much fabric will I need for 2 standard shams?

  11. 11
    Miss Anne says:
    and now
    thank you!

  12. 12
    Angie says:

    Where do you get your fabrics? They are always so cute and modern.

  13. 13
    nsmerkt says:

    Love these! As a beginner at sewing, I appreciate any and all help! Do you mind sharing the source for your fabric?

  14. 14
    Cheryl says:

    Such a simple & genius idea (which has never dawned on me despite finding loads of great fabrics & having ratty looking bedding at the moment). Thank you!

  15. 15
    ~~Lina~~ says:

    What kind of sewing machine do you use? Im going to but one this weekend… Love ALL your pillows!

  16. 16
    Melissa says:

    WOW! I think i can even do that! Thanks Ash! I love your new bedroom set! ADORABLE!

    Love ya!!!

  17. 17
    Jenn says:

    You make it looks so easy. I love Amy Butler fabrics!

  18. 18
    Marygail says:

    Love all of your Amy Butler fabrics. I used those same patterns to make me a tote bag :)

  19. 19
    Amanda says:

    Wonderful idea! I can't wait to try these. I love your fabric choices!

  20. 20
    Ashley says:

    Yes, they are Amy Butler fabrics. The Lotus line.

    And as far as my sewing machine, I answer that a little better in my FAQ section, here:

    And thanks everyone….I'm glad you like them.

  21. 21
    Anderson says:

    Thank you for giving detailed instructions with great pictures. You always make everything look so doable! Thanks again.

  22. 22
    Brooke says:

    love the colors of the pillow cases. I too hate shams, and hadn't thought of making cases and just using our pillows. A light bulb turned on and I see a room revamp in the very near future.

  23. 23
    Twiddle Thumbs says:

    Those fabrics are GORGEOUS!!!

  24. 24
    marmielu says:

    I really like this idea! I was just thinking about pillow cases the other day. Your fabrics are so pretty!
    Mary Lou

  25. 25
    Kathy says:

    I have just found your blog this evening and have been glued to it for about an hour and a half. You must be brilliant! I love it! I will be back!!!

  26. 26
    Jessica [] says:

    Thank you for this! I don't know why I never thought to use my old pitiful pillow cases as a pattern to make new ones.

  27. 27
    Lissa @ MyThriftyTreasures says:

    SOOOO cute! The great thing about doing your own pillowcases is you can be sure no one else has them. There is something very satisfying about having something unique:) Lovin the prints

  28. 28
    kermiefrg says:

    These are gorgeous! I love the fabrics!

  29. 29
    Crystal says:

    Fantastic simplicity! My favorite kind! Now, if bed sheets were that easy… I have a Cali King bed that my nearly 7-year-old sheets finally gave up on. I mended and mended them until I realized that my mending was making the rending worse! Now they are in my fabric stash awaiting their new life as flat cloth diapers! The tricky part is how to replace them… They cost us $70 @ Bed, Bath, & Beyond and we simply do not have $70 to run out and buy new ones – any ideas???? Please help!

  30. 30
    Ben and Ashley says:

    I love these pillow cases. My question: How do you keep fabric like this from fading? With these being used a lot it seems like they would fade rather quickly. I have a baby sling made from Amy Butler material (the blue Lotus here that you used) but it doesn't get washed nearly as much as our sheets do. Just wondering if this material "wears" well.

  31. 31
    Michelle and Landon says:

    you are so great with your sewing machine. I am attempting to make a duvet cover for my king bed and I have no idea what im doing! any tips for a beginner?

  32. 32
    Twigs @ Twiggles and Trunks says:

    so cute. i'm so bookmarking this for when i re-do our master bedroom.

  33. 33
    katie k says:

    so funny! I just made some shams for my bed out of the EXACT sAME fabric, but in the yellow! and I was going to do a tutorial on my blog, but now I can just link to yours!!

  34. 34
    Christie says:

    LOVE the fabric by Amy Butler. And the ties on that pillow are amazing!!!!

  35. 35
    Skitzo Leezra Studio says:

    Pillow "shams" are correctly names because it is a SHAM to remove pillows each night. Do people really do that? Mine have inexpensive fluffy pillows inside.
    Thanks for the tutorial!

  36. 36
    Sarah says:

    These are fantastic. Thanks so much for posting. I need to decorate my guest room on a budget and I know this will help.

  37. 37
    Nicole says:

    ok, so i'm loving your blog!!!!!! you should really consider moving away from blogspot and getting your own URL. you definitely get lots of traffic… you can do much more with your own URL. just a thought!

  38. 38
    WestSacHoney says:

    Wow I just found your blog and I LOVE everything on it! Especially this idea! I want a new look for the bedroom this spring!

  39. 39
    going kiwi says:

    I just found your blog. You have inspired me to revamp our bedroom, well actually my whole house. I love your fabrics too. Look forward to checking out more of your posts. Great blog!

  40. 40
    The Sewist says:

    Ashely great tutorial loving the decorate my home series so much inspiration!

    This tutorial is featured as part of my Sew a long called Sew part of 3 that i choose and participants get to vote for what they would like to sew :)

    Check it out here

    Dont forget to grab the "i've been featured button"

    Mayya @ Sew Chic and Unique

  41. 41
    Glowtish says:

    Love this! This was so simple and easy to follow. My pillow case looks great.