Sew Easy DIY Cushion Covers

How to Sew a Cushion Cover Without a Zip


easy cushion cover (one piece of fabric & no zip)

Sewing a cushion cover without a zip is a great starter lesson. It is small and easy to make; requiring little materials and time. Selecting fabrics for your pillow can be a fun adventure as well. Explore new and vintage textiles and remember drapery, or clothing you may have planned to discard are fabric sources too. If the thought of inserting zippers make you uneasy, this project is for you. The creations are simple and target individuals with beginner level sewing skills. Those with more advanced skills already know the quickest way to refresh a pillow is to sew a cushion cover without a zipper.


Knife Edge Pillow/cushion cover

The most basic style of cushion cover is called a knife edge or envelope. But if your pillow form is solid, you’ll need to push and squeeze a bit to get it into the cover. Don’t let that deter you; show the pillow who’s the boss.

Note: firm inserts can cause that type of closure to gape. If the gape is at the back, it’s not the biggest deal. However, if the gape bothers you, sew snaps or hook and loop tape to the areas that lie on top of each other.

A knife edge cover generally uses two or three pieces of fabric; we will use one. It is my go-to when I want to make quick changes and refresh decor.


try piecing scrap fabrics together to create stripes and other striking cushion cover designs

I shop my scrap stash first. If you have one, dig in. If they are not big enough to cover an entire pillow, use them as accents: piece them together to make stripes, geometric designs, piping, borders and fringe. Think about how materials will feel against your skin. Imagine yourself snuggling up with your pillows, relaxing, getting comfy and cozy. That will give you an idea of what to buy. If you love airy whites and neutrals like I do, use bold patterns and bright pops of color to bring a space alive. Or, introduce floral prints for a touch of romance.

full cushion covers plus with wider fabrics

Don’t discount so called utility fabrics: If you are after affordable style, muslin and drop-cloth can turn out first-rate covers. Choose colors and textures that make you happy and consider decorator fabrics; they are usually pre-treated for stain resistance. Also, their average width is 54 inches. You’ll have enough to cover both sides of any average pillow form, with some leftovers.


Lots to Choose From (pillow forms an fabrics forms and fabrics to cover cushions)

There’s a vast assortment of textiles available and choosing can be overwhelming. Try an online search. If and when you visit a brick and mortar store, you’ll be equipped to ask questions. Bear in mind, you can buy an expensive fabric and use it only on the front of the cushions. That though, will require additional seams; but it won’t make significant impact on sewing time. A cheaper material of similar weight can be used as a backing.

Pillow Filling Materials

If you are looking to buy new pillows, they to come with a variety of fillings–each with their own pros and cons:

  • Synthetic

  • Shredded memory foam

  • Micro beads

  • Latex: solid, shredded down

  • Synthetic down

  • Down and synthetic

  • Down and feathers

Synthetic is cheap; it eventually clumps, flatten and become lumpy. Down is the most expensive; it too will flatten but will retain its shape when it’s fluffed. If you don’t already have pillow forms, research the characteristics of fillings to find your preferences.

fabric amounts is based on pillow form sizes and the way you prefer your cushion cover to Fit

I have not specified fabric yardage. This allows you to measure your pillow form and make any size cover you want. Cut your covers one inch wider than the size of your form; that includes seam allowance. How snug or loose a cushion cover fits is not a hard and fast rule–explore. Use a ½” seam allowance and backstitch twice at the end of seams. If your pillow form is firm, backstitch overlapped ends in both seams.

Note: To backstitch is to stitch forward and backward more than once at the beginning and ends of seams. It prevents seams from coming apart. It also reinforces areas where stitches are likely to break.



  1. Pre-wash and dry fabrics to prevent after sewing shrinkage

  2. Measure and cut the fabric to size

  3. Make a fold about 1 1/2” toward wrong side of fabric and press

  4. Turn pressed fold about 1/2” under and stitch at short edges

  5. Fold and lap fabric to accommodate pillow size

  6. Sew both 1/2” seams on both sides of overlapped fabric

  7. Turn cover right side out an insert pillow form.

I hope you enjoy choosing fabrics and sewing your cushion covers. Create elegance, revel in sumptuousness or get comfy and cozy. Make as many or as few as you like. Whatever your choices, completing them will leave you with a new sense of satisfaction.

As always, thank you so much for stopping by.

If the LORD will, see you next time.

Coming in the next post: How to Make a Hidden Zipper Clutch