How to Sew a Burlap Pillow Cover

porch decorated for fall with burlap pillows on bench

I like making slipcovers for various seasons rather than having multiple pillows. It is much easier to store the slipcovers as compared to multiple sets of pillows. So in this post, I will show you step-by-step how to sew a burlap pillow cover.

I purchased this burlap fabric at Walmart.

STEP 1: Measuring

Determine the size of your pillow slipcovers and allow an additional inch (half-inch on each side for your seam).

Side note: This is my office/craft room/guest bedroom in our loft. I had to kick Buddy the cat off the bed to work on this project.

Back to sewing pillow covers . . .

I ironed the fabric to ensure accuracy as I measured and cut each square panel. I always remember my Mom’s advice (who taught me to sew) to stop and iron along the way to be sure everything is lined up correctly. Great advice, Mom! For this reason, I keep an extra ironing board in my craft room.

I used an “Easy Angle II” by Simplicity and a yardstick to measure.

STEP 2: Cutting Fabric

Cut two perfect squares (actually four because I made two pillows). Because I am using burlap, I cut four (two for each pillow) off-white lining fabric. This will ensure that the flowers on the pillow insert will not show through.

STEP 3: Sewing

To make certain the burlap would not unravel over time, I stitched all the way around each fabric panel/square. I had to do this to all four panels; it took some time, but I think it was worth it.

STEP 4: Sewing the Zippers

I am still working on my technique for sewing zippers, so I must give credit to this Hobby Lobby video. I have bookmarked it on my laptop and watch it each time I make a pillow slipcover.

I pinned the two right sides of the fabric together. I then used a pencil and marked the top of my zipper, right above the metal pull (notice the location of my pencil mark). NOTE: I always put the zipper on the bottom of the pillow (if the fabric has a distinctive top and bottom) so it is not as noticeable. Then I marked the bottom of the zipper right below the metal stopper (notice again the location of my pencil mark).

I sewed one side (the bottom of the pillow slipcover where the zipper will go). I used the largest stitch possible on my sewing machine (I will eventually rip this seam out after sewing in the zipper). Then I pressed this seam open. I then placed the zipper over the pressed open seam to align with my original pencil marks.

I pinned and then sewed the zipper in place (again, refer to the video above). Now I am ready to rip out the original stitching (basting) with my seam ripper to reveal the zipper beneath the seam.

Step 5: Sewing the Other Three Sides

I pinned the two pillow sides together (with the right side of the burlap on the inside and the off-white lining on the outside) to sew the other three sides of the pillow.

Step 6: Turning Right Side Out and Inserting the Pillow Inserts

Once the three other sides were sown, then I turned it right-side out. I stuffed the old pillow into the new slipcover.

Below is a picture of the pillows on our front porch bench. I added this black and white plaid ribbon from Hobby Lobby (literally just tied a bow around each pillow).

Let us know what you think or if you have questions about how to sew a pillow cover by commenting below.

Happy Fall, Y’all!


  1. Samantha on 09/27/2019 at 10:15 AM

    Your porch is so sweet! I like all you decorations.

    • Suzanne on 09/28/2019 at 1:28 PM

      Thank you so much, Samantha! We enjoy it. Daisy (our dog) really enjoys sleeping on our porch.

      Thanks for reading our blog!


  2. Jayne on 09/27/2019 at 1:07 PM

    Do you always line the pillow covers?

    • Suzanne on 09/28/2019 at 1:31 PM

      Hey Jayne,
      No, I don’t typically line the pillow covers. I lined these because you can see through the burlap (floral underneath). One day, I will just get plain inserts and then lining would not be needed.
      Thanks for reading our blog!

  3. Vivian on 09/27/2019 at 5:56 PM

    Are the ribbons sewn on the pillows or just tied?

    • Suzanne on 09/28/2019 at 1:33 PM

      Hey Vivian,
      The ribbons are just tied around the pillows. This will allow me to change the ribbons so I can use these pillows for different seasons/occasions.

      Thanks for reading our blog!

  4. Denise Baker on 09/28/2019 at 8:16 AM

    So loving all your projects! You go!

    • Suzanne on 09/28/2019 at 1:34 PM

      Thank you for your kind words of affirmation! ☺️
      Your comment makes my day!
      Thanks for reading our blog!

  5. Kim on 09/28/2019 at 1:26 PM

    I needed a little fall inspiration and this was the dose I needed.

    • Suzanne on 09/28/2019 at 1:35 PM

      I am so glad you liked this post. I just love FALL!!!!
      Thanks for reading our blog!

  6. Martha Welk on 09/29/2019 at 12:45 PM

    This makes me want to learn how to sew.

  7. Trynette on 09/09/2021 at 3:19 PM

    I love these! Are you planning on washing these at all? If you are how are you planning to do it?
    Thank you!!

    • Suzanne on 09/12/2021 at 7:33 PM

      Great question. I have not had to wash them yet but would do so by putting them in a linen bag and washing them on the gentle or handwashing.

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