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This tutorial has kindly been provided by Gone To Earth.


Envelope back cushion cover tutorial

How to sew an envelope back cushion

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

You will need

Cutting fabrics to sew a cushion cover 

  1.  A cushion insert whichyou can find in stores like Dunelm or The Range as well as many online stores. The cushion insert I'm using is an easily obtainable 40cm by 40cm.

  2. Fabric  - enough to cut one piece the same size as the cushion insert, plus 1cm for the seam allowances.  (So, for a 40cm by 40cm cushion insert you want a piece of fabric 42cm by 42cm.)


Choosing fabrics to sew a cushion

  1. Fabric enough to cut two back pieces each 42cm by 35cm. (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.)
  2. Scissors or rotary cutter and board
  3. Matching thread
  4. tape measure
  5. Pins

Fabric Notes: I'm using home decor weight fabric for this project but medium/quilt weight fabric also makes a very nice cushion cover.  Be bold and choose a beautiful combination of colours and prints for your cushion covers.

To make your envelope cushion cover

Cut one piece of fabric 42cm by 42cm (this will help keep the cushion fairly plump looking. Cut two back pieces 42cm by 35cm.

Hem the back pieces - Take one of the back pieces and fold one of the 42cm edges over by 1cm.  Iron this into place.

Sewing gauge for an accurate hem

Using my handy little sewing gauge.

Turn it over another 1 cm and iron that down to make your double folded hem.  Pin this down if it helps to keep everything in place. 

How to sew a double fold hem

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

 Home sewing projects - Cushion cover

5. Repeat this with the other back piece.  Remembering 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.

Sewing an envelpe cushion cover 

6. 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.

7.  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.   

Home decor sewing project 

There will be an overlap in the middle, with no ‘front piece’ fabric showing. (This forms the the ‘envelope’)

8.  Pin this into position to hold everything in place.

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

10. Fasten off any trailing threads so there's nothing likely to come undone at any point in your soon-to-be cushions life.

Trimming corners to reduce bulk when sewing 

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

12. Turn the cover inside out.

13.  Give it a little press to tidy it up...

Pressed cushion cover from sewing project 


 14.  Insert cushion insert.

  Finished cushion cover

15.  Admire!  Fetch a book or magazine, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and give it a road test.


Or then again you might just have to make one or two more ....

Handmade cushions


 Find more sewing projects to make for your house in our home sewing projects section.

Home sewing patterns