Home » DIY Tutorials » DIY Sewing » Appliqued Plane & USA Map Pillow Covers (with envelope closure)

Appliqued Plane & USA Map Pillow Covers (with envelope closure)

Be sure and vote on the “What Do YOU Want to Make” poll going on right now.  And just as a head’s up (and because the poll isn’t showing the results like I thought they would), the leading 3 projects right now are the Maxi Dress, the Kid’s Play Tent, and the Purse.

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If you noticed several weeks ago, when I was showing pictures of Connor’s room (his Wood Plank Headboard and his Pleated Bed Skirt), I had a couple of throw pillows on his bed.  It’s funny because from the moment I placed that “STOP” pillow on Connor’s bed……..Steve and I looked at each other and thought, “doesn’t that contradict with the SOAR above his headboard?”  I know, such a silly thing to worry about, but it bugged us right away.  The pillow only sat on his bed for, oh, 20 minutes……and then I decided to take it back.  Boo.


However, I decided he still needed something……so, yep, sewing machine to the rescue. Again. :)


So we went with an Airplane and USA Map pillows.  Both with an envelope closure in the back (like a slip cover, so I can slip them off and wash them when needed).




The pop of color is perfect for his bed.  And well, the plane and map are perfect for Connor….and go great with his decor.  And luckily, he thinks they are the coolest pillows ever.  (These kids are so easy to please at this age!)




Want to make some too?


Well, let’s hop to it.




First of all, measure your pillow insert.  Add 1/2 inch to those measurements.  (We will be using a 1/2 inch seam allowance down below, so you may be thinking we need to add an extra inch so that all sides have an extra 1/2 inch.  However, I like the cover to be a little more snug……so we’re only going with an extra 1/4 inch around all edges.  Make sense?)


Then cut a front piece out of your main fabric at those dimensions. (The piece on the left reflects those measurements…..because my pillow insert is 12 x 22 inches.)  Then, divide the width of your pillow by two and then add 3.5 inches and then add 1/2 inch to the height measurement just like above…..and that will give you the measurement for your two back pieces that will overlap for an envelope closure.



If you’re using a thin woven cotton fabric (like I did), fuse some interfacing to the back side of each of your 3 fabric pieces.  This will help stiffen up your fabric (and keep it from being see-through).



Next, iron some fusible adhesive to the “wrong” side of your fabric that you’re using for your shapes.  Draw your desired shape or use my airplane and/or USA map template (link above).  Cut your shape out and then trace onto the paper side of your fusible adhesive.  (Be sure to trace the mirror image of your shape if it’s isn’t symmetrical….like the map.)



Cut out your shape and then peel the paper backing off.



Place the shape onto your front pillow piece, with the adhesive side of your shape facing down.  Center your shape right where you want it.  If you want to add the corner pieces like I did, cut some squares (mine were 4 inch squares) and then cut them in half diagonally and place at each corner.



Iron your fabric shapes down (according to your package instructions) and then stitch around the edges of your shapes with a straight stitch.  A zig-zag stitch would work too…..but I really wanted a straight-line detail for this project.



Now, grab your two back pieces to your pillow and fold one of the shorter ends of each piece under a 1/2 inch, another 1/2 inch and then sew in place.



Place your pillow front down in front of you, face up.  Place the 2 back pieces face down, overlapping the 2 finished edges at the center of the pillow…..and match up all of the other corners and edges.



Pin in place……and then sew all the way around, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Clip the 4 corners and then serge or zig-zag the raw edges.



Turn right side out, pole each corner out, and then iron your pillow cover flat.


Stuff your insert inside……and you’re all set!





Now, enjoy your new pillow(s)!




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  1. rachel says:

    Thank you so much for this! I am new to sewing and can become easily overwhelmed, but your tutorials are very clear and make me feel like I can do it too! I made my first pillow today and am hooked! Ready to do a zillion more!

  2. onel says:

    Love the envelope pillows with the awesome airplanes!!

  3. Michele N says:

    Awesome pillows! Now I need to find out if my friend’s son has a throw pillow that I can just make him a cover for or if I need to find a pillow too. He graduated this last week and over the weekend I gave him a canvas wall art that I transferred a picture of his guitar on it, the canvas isn’t completely finished but he loved it and cuddled with it like a pillow. So we decided we might need to make him a pillow case with the guitar pic on it since he’s not taking the guitar with him to college but I think more of a throw pillow would be even better. As always thanks for the inspiration Ashley!

  4. Irena says:

    Thanks for this. envelope cushion great no zips yay

  5. Cami says:

    So very very very cute!! They just go perfect with his bed and room. I especially thought the corners added such a nice touch. Well done Ashley!!!

  6. Kristin says:

    Ashley, those pillows are adorable! Every year as July rolls around, I think about making a pillow with the USA on it…might have to finally do it this year! The corner patches are a great way to make the pillow totally fit in a boy’s room.

  7. Julie says:

    Pillows are cute. You could have left the stop pillow and made one that said rest. No matter how high you soar you still need to stop and rest. His room is really nice, your doing a great job!

  8. Jo Weston says:

    They look so amazing ! You are one clever lady. Thank you once again for super clear instructions that enable us lesser mortals to give it a go !
    I’m off to Spotlight for fabric now. Love from New Zealand.

  9. nanon says:

    Super pillows, our boy loves planes so….. and handy pinchusion!!!

  10. L says:

    Love this!! I’ve never done the envelope closure, but I love the idea. Can we see a picture of the back of the finished pillow? So, it would be a picture of the closure finished. Thanks!! And, oh how I love you and your blog!!!!

  11. Brandi says:

    So adorable! I love all the pillows you made. And your stitch lines are perfect. How do you get them so nice and neat?

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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