This blog post was originally published in December 2018 and was recently updated.
I saw this burlap fabric at Hobby Lobby and knew I had to make Christmas pillow slipcovers for my front porch 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 and it is an excuse for me to sew! ✂️
The first step was to measure the existing pillows I am covering. I flattened the pillows to get an accurate measurement. I determined that the slipcovers needed to be 16.5 inches and I wanted a 1/2 inch seam, so this equated to 17.5 x 17.5 inches total.
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 how 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 wanted the deer and Christmas tree stripe to be in the center of my pillow, so I measured to ensure this. Then I used a yardstick and a Simplicity Triangle Ruler to square my fabric. Because of the stripes, this fabric was easier to square as compared to other fabrics (floral or solids are a little more challenging to square). Then, I cut two perfect squares (actually four because I made two pillows) and I was ready to sew. 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.
It had been a while since I sewed a zipper and I am still working on my technique, so I must give credit to this HobbyLobby video. I have bookmarked it on my laptop and watch it each time I make a pillow slipcover. I am still learning!
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. And then I marked the bottom of the zipper right below the metal stopper (notice again the location of my pencil mark). I also marked (using a series of dashes) a half-inch seam all the way around the pillow. This ensures I am literally on the right track when I sew the two panels together. I sewed the one side (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. I sewed the other three sides of the pillow. I used these clips instead of straight pins. I think they work better for simple projects like this! Once the three other sides are sown, then I turned it right-side out. I stuffed the old pillow into the new slipcover. Here is a close-up view of the zipper. Not bad if I say so myself! ? ?Then I repeated the process for the second pillow (actually I made both pillows at the same time). If you are a beginner, I would suggest sewing one pillow at a time. Below is a picture of the pillows on our front porch bench. Here is a picture of our front porch decorated for Christmas. In 2018, when I originally made these Christmas slipcovers, I only put them on the bench when we had company. Why . . . you ask. Below is the answer to this question.
Yes, Daisy liked to chew on gloves, knee pads, hanging flower pots and … our porch pillows. But we still ❤️ her! Thankfully, she no longer chews on our porch pillows.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours!
Click here to see the floral pillow slipcovers I made for our porch bench.
Click here to see how I chalk painted our porch bench.
Sewing pillow slipcovers is an easy way to update and add some color. It is also a good starter project for beginning sewers.
Please share below your feedback, ask questions or share what you like to sew.