Pillow Talk: DIY Love Pillow Cover

DIY Love Pillow

We’re just a few days away from February, which means Valentine’s Day is on its way!  By now, most of my Christmas decor has been packed up and put and away.  One of the few exceptions is this DIY “love” pillow I made back in December to tie in with my holiday pillow cover collection.  I love the bright pop of red as well as the sweet message it carries.

As we get closer to Valentine’s Day, I’ve been getting more and more questions about this DIY, so tonight I’m going to share a step-by-step tutorial.  While I made the pillow cover on a sewing machine, the lettering is hand stitched.  So get out your needle and thread and get ready to go!  Or should I say, get ready to sew?!


red fabric | white fabric | red thread | needle | scissors | measuring tape or yard stick | pencil or marker | paper | iron & ironing board | pins

Note: I ironed all my fabric before I began.

1. Cut red fabric into 3 separate pieces. 1 piece that will be the front of your pillow cover and 2 pieces that will overlap to form an envelope closing in the back.

The pillow I covered is 16” x 26”. I cut my front piece to be 17” x 27” to allow for an extra half-inch of fabric on all sides, and the envelope pieces for the back to be 10” x 27” each.

2. Set aside the envelope pieces and focus on your front piece. Place the front piece of fabric with the good side of the fabric you want to show facing up.

3. Gage how large you want your “love” lettering to be. For my 16” x 26” pillow, I wanted the lettering to take up almost the entire space. I played around with different fonts in a Word document, but I couldn’t find anything I loved {pun intended}, so I free-handed my lettering.

DIY Love Pillow

If you find something you like online, enlarge it and print it out in black and white for tracing. I’ve taken my hand lettering and converted it to a black and white image for you below. All you have to do is transfer the image onto your white fabric (I recommend this lead transfer technique) and then cut out the transferred image.

DIY Love Pillow

If you’d like to try your own hand lettering here’s what I did: I taped two sheets of paper together and drew out my letters. I then used a marker to fill in the letters to my desired thickness. When you’re happy with your image, transfer it onto your white fabric (I recommend this lead transfer technique) and then cut out the transferred image.

DIY Love Pillow

4. In order to keep the edges of the white fabric from fraying, I painted them with clear nail polish. Note: you can find anti-fraying glue in most fabric stores, but I didn’t have any on hand so I improvised. 🙂

5. When your edges are dry, position the “love” lettering on top of your front red piece of fabric, with the good side of both fabrics facing up (make sure you’ve ironed the red fabric first to remove any wrinkles). Pin in place.

DIY Love Pillow

6. Using red thread, hand stitch your “love” lettering in place. I used a simple straight stitch here because it was the quickest, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

DIY Love PillowDIY Love Pillow

7. Heat your iron. Take the 2 red envelope pieces of fabric and on each one, fold the edge of one of the 27” sides over towards you once, and then twice, with each fold being about ¼”.   Iron over the fold.

8. Run the fold through a sewing machine to secure a finished edge. I sewed two lines here – about 1/8” apart. Repeat so each envelope piece has one of its 27” sides finished in this manner.

9. Place both envelope pieces upside-down on top of your completed front piece. The front piece should face up. The envelope pieces should face down, with the finished sides meeting and overlapping in the middle.

DIY Love Pillow10. Pin pieces in place.

11. Using a measuring tape or yardstick, measure 16” x 26” around your rectangle to mark your sewing lines. You should have a 16” x 26” rectangle in the middle and an extra ½” on each side. I used a silver sharpie to clearly see my markings.

DIY Love Pillow12. Sew over your markings to complete the 16” x 26” rectangle. Remove pins as you go. Make sure to reinforce corners and the edges where your envelope pieces overlap. These are the places most likely to experience strain.

13. Turn the pillow cover inside out.

14. Use a hot iron to set your seams and iron out any remaining wrinkles.

15. Place on pillow and enjoy!

DIY Love Pillow

Note: If you have difficulty keeping your envelope closure shut, you can always sew on buttons or a zipper. I cheated and used sticky Velcro squares instead. I used 3 sets of squares on the edge of the envelope closure to keep it secure.

This is a very similar process to the one I used on my DIY Holiday Pillow Covers, which you can find here.

Help! For assistance with your pillow cover assembly, watch this step-by-step how-to video:

Happy Sewing!



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