How To Make A Pillow Cover Without A Zipper?

Creating a pillow cover without a zipper might sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually a simple and enjoyable project that can be accomplished even by those with basic sewing skills. In essence, to make a pillow cover without a zipper, you can use the envelope closure method, where the back of the pillow consists of two overlapping pieces of fabric that form an opening through which you can insert or remove the pillow. This technique provides a clean and finished look without the need for a zipper, buttons, or snaps.

Understanding The Envelope Closure Method

What Is An Envelope Closure?

An envelope closure is a sewing technique that creates an overlapped opening at the back of the pillow cover. This opening allows the pillow form to be easily inserted or removed for washing or replacing. The name ‘envelope closure’ is derived from the way the back pieces of the pillowcase overlap, resembling the flap of an envelope.

The Advantages of Envelope Closures

Envelope closures have several advantages. First, they eliminate the need for zipper installation, which can be intimidating for novice sewers. They also provide a neat, seamless look and make laundry day a breeze, since zippers can snag on other fabrics. Plus, if you’re creating decorative pillows, an envelope closure ensures that there’s no hard zipper to lean against.

Materials And Tools You’ll Need

To get started on your zipper-free pillow cover, gather the following:

– Fabric of your choice
– Ruler or measuring tape
– Scissors or a rotary cutter
– Fabric marker or chalk
– Pins or fabric clips
– Sewing machine (although you could hand-sew if preferred)
– Iron and ironing board
– Pillow form or stuffing

Choosing the Right Fabric

When selecting fabric for your pillow cover, consider where the pillow will be used. For a decorative pillow, cotton, linen, or velvet might be ideal. These materials come in various patterns and colors, allowing you to complement your home’s decor. If the pillow is for outdoor use, consider a durable, weather-resistant fabric like polyester or olefin.

Preparing Your Fabric

Measuring and Cutting

Once you’ve chosen your fabric, it’s time to measure and cut. For a standard 18-inch pillow, you’ll cut one square piece that’s 18.5 inches on all sides (allowing for a 0.25-inch seam allowance). For the back, you’ll need two rectangles that are 18.5 inches wide but with varying lengths. One should be approximately 12 inches long and the other about 14 inches long. These dimensions provide an adequate overlap for the envelope closure.


Before you start sewing, iron your fabric pieces. This will remove any wrinkles or creases and ensure a crisp, professional finish on your pillow cover. Be sure to set your iron to the appropriate heat setting for the type of fabric you are using.

Sewing The Envelope Pillow Cover

Hemming the Back Pieces

To begin, hem one 18.5-inch side on each back piece. Fold the edge over 0.25 inches, press with the iron, then fold over another 0.25 inches to encase the raw edge completely, and press again. Stitch the hem close to the folded edge.

Assembling the Pillow Cover

Now, lay the front piece of fabric down with the right side facing up. Take one back piece and lay it with the right side down on top of the front piece, aligning the unhemmed edges, and with the hemmed edge towards the center of the pillow. Repeat with the second back piece, laying it in the opposite direction, so the hemmed edges overlap. Pin or clip all four sides to hold the pieces in place.

Sewing the Edges

Using a 0.25-inch seam allowance, sew all around the perimeter of the pillow cover. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end for durability.

Finishing the Pillow Cover

Trim the corners of the fabric diagonally, being careful not to cut your stitches. This will reduce bulk and create neater corners when the pillow cover is turned right side out. Now, turn the pillow cover right side out through the envelope opening at the back, poke out the corners, and iron the edges flat.

Inserting the Pillow Form

Finally, insert your pillow form through the envelope closure. Smooth out the pillow inside the cover and adjust the back flaps so they lay flat and create a tidy envelope look.

Customization Tips for Your Pillow Cover

– Choose contrasting fabrics for the front and back for a unique look.
– Add piping around the edges for a more defined structure and professional finish.
– Embellish with applique, embroidery, or heat transfer designs to personalize your pillow cover.
– Experiment with different shapes and sizes to fit various pillow forms.

Finishing Thoughts

Making a pillow cover without a zipper is a fun and approachable project for anyone interested in DIY and sewing. The envelope closure method is not only simple but also highly functional and aesthetically pleasing. With straightforward measurements, a bit of cutting, and some sewing, you can create a custom pillow cover that suits your style and comfort needs perfectly. Grab your materials and let your creativity shine as you create beautiful, zipper-free pillow covers for your home.

Top 5 Pillows Recommended By

While this project is suitable for beginners, even seasoned sewers can enjoy the satisfaction of quickly creating a fresh look for a room. It’s an excellent way to repurpose fabric scraps or give a new lease on life to favorite textiles. Whether you’re updating your decor for a new season or just want to add a personal touch to your living space, making pillow covers without zippers is an enjoyable and rewarding endeavor.


  • Aiden Lawrence

    I'm Aiden Lawrence, a certified Sleep Science Coach and senior editor of GoodSleepHub, proud parent of two amazing kids, and a pet lover with a cat and a dog. Join me as we explore the world of sweet dreams and comfy pillows. Let's make bedtime the highlight of your day!

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