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Envelope Back Cushion Cover

Envelope back cushion cover

Cushions can revamp your living room or bedroom, adding a touch of colour or pattern.  This envelope back cushion tutorial is ideal for beginners as it doesn’t require sewing zips.  So sew your zip free cushion cover now.

You will need

A cushion insert in your chosen size which you can find in stores like Dunelm or The Range as well as many online stores. 

Front Fabric – enough to cut one piece the same size as the cushion insert. I don’t add a seam allowance to this because then it makes the cushion look nice and plump. 

Backing fabric – enough to cut 2 panels which are the width of the front panel/cushion insert. They need to be half the height of the insert + 3 inches.

Fabric used for the back doesn’t have to be same as the fabric used for the front – mix them up for a bit of contrast if you like.

Example – If you have a 20 inch cushion insert you will need:

Front fabric – 20 x 20 inches

Back fabric – Cut 2 pieces 20 x 13 inches (half the height = 10 inches, plus 3 inches =13)

Scissors or rotary cutter and board

Matching thread ( I used Gutermann sew all 189)

Tape measure


Fabric Notes: I used 2 gorgeous furnishing weight fabrics from Yorkshire Fabric Shop for my cushions. Ludlow linen effect chenille in teal (shown in step by step photos) and Hannah Geometric Chenille. You could use quilting fabric if you prefer. 

How to sew an easy cushion

To make your envelope cushion cover

Cut one piece of fabric the same size as you cushion pad (this will help keep the cushion fairly plump looking.) Cut two back pieces the same width as the cushion front, but half the height plus 3 inches on each. 

Hem the back pieces.  Be aware you stitching will be visible on the back of the cushion so use a co-ordinating thread where possible. 

We are going to make a double fold hem to hide the raw edges of the fabric. Take one of the back pieces and fold one of the long edges over by 1/4 an inch. Iron this into place.

How to sew a double fold hem

Turn it over another quarter of an inch and iron that down to make your double folded hem.  I use wonder clips to hold my hem in place whilst I stitch it. 

Envelope back pillow project

Take this to your sewing machine and sew down the edge of your folded seam.

Repeat this with the other back piece. Remember that if your fabric has a one way/directional pattern you need to consider this, as you will want to have the pattern all the facing the same way.

How to make an envelope back cushion

Place the front piece face up on your work surface.  Lay one back piece right side facing down onto the front piece, aligning the top edge and the bottom edge. The un-hemmed side edge should line up with the outer edge of the cushion front.

Take the second back piece and place it right side facing down onto the other fabric pieces. Align the top and bottom edges as before.  The un-hemmed edge needs to line up with the outer edge of the cushion front.   

There will be an overlap in the middle, with no ‘front piece’ fabric showing. (This forms the the ‘envelope’ you will use to insert your cushion pad)  

Pin or wonder clip this into position to hold everything in place.

Pillow making project for beginners

Take this to the sewing machine and sew all the way around the ‘square’, using a 1/4 an inch seam allowance.   Move any pins/clips out of the way so that you don’t break your needle as you sew. 

Envelope back pillow project for beginners

Trim fabric away from the corners to reduce bulk and give give you nice corners when you turn your new cover inside out. 

Turn the cover inside out.

Give it a little press to tidy it up…

Insert cushion pad. Your cushion is now ready to use! 

Cushion making for beginners

TIP – you can also quilt your cushion covers first like I did with the smaller cushion below.

For other cushion cover tutorials visit our free projects page and click the ‘for the home’ tag. 

Simple cushion cover project