How to Make Square Pillow Covers

2 Materials
30 Minutes

I love to make pillows and square pillow covers are my favorite. I found a very economical way to make square pillows … using dish towels.

Wait. Dish Towels? That’s right! There’s nothing like a soft, cozy pillow to rest your head on after a long day. And now you can make your own square pillow covers using dish towels. These easy-to-follow instructions will show you how to create a custom look for your home décor with towels!

Square Pillow Covers

Sometimes it’s the simple things that are really fun.

All I had to do was buy some dish towels, cut them to the right size, cut some fabric for the backside, and sew them together.

I wanted to make some pillows for the guest bedroom on the 3rd floor and for our family room. They are two different color palettes. The upstairs bedroom has pinkish accents and our family room has a green and blue color palette.

I did some shopping on Amazon and found some awesome dish towels that I knew would be perfect for pillows. Normally I use 20″ x 20″ pillow inserts so most dish towels are perfect. I bought towels that were 20″ and 21″ on the shortest side. They were very easy to cut into a square. Since I love to make square pillow covers, these were a perfect size.

This is my favorite shop on Amazon to find incredible linens!

Let’s get creative and have some fun with this project.

Don’t these orange and pink pillows look great? I don’t think anyone would guess that they were made from dish towels.

It’s kind of amazing how well they match my painting. (I painted this one a few years ago.)

What You Need to Make a Square Pillow Cover

  • 20″ x 20″ down pillow insert (you can use any size but you will have to adjust your measurements)
  • Dish Towel (minimum 20″ wide on the shortest side)
  • Cotton fabric for the backside, 2/3 yard
  • 20″ zipper (this is optional as you can do a flap instead)
  • Thread
  • Iron and ironing board

Step by Step Instructions


Unless indicated, all seam allowances for the pillow covers are 1/2″.

  • one – Depending on the size of your dish towel, cut it in a square. The pink and orange towels had a center design so I cut from each side to keep the design centered. I cut this towel in a 21″ square.
  • two – Cut two pieces of fabric for the backside. The large piece should be 3″ shorter on one side. So I cut a piece that measured 18″ x 21″. The seond piece should be 4″ x 21″.
  • three – Pin the short piece across the top to the back side.
  • four – Sew a basting stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance. (A basting stich is a long stitch that will be pulled out once the zipper is sewn in.) Flatten the seam the seam and press open.
  • five – Lay the zipper along the seam on the wrong side of the fabric, leaving about 1″ from the top of the fabric to the top of the zipper.
  • six – Using a zipper foot, sew in the zipper about 3/8 inch from the center seam. Remove basting thread.
  • seven – Open up the zipper about 4″ and then pin the backside to the dish towel, right sides together. (If you don’t open the zipper you won’t be able to turn the pillow to the right side.)
  • eight – Sew all the way around the outside using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
  • nine – Open up the zipper all the way, and turn the pillow to the right side. Iron the edges flat.

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How much fun are these square pillows made from dishtowels? Sew, sew easy to make – get it?

White 22″ Zipper

100% Cotton Vintage Stripe Tea Towel

100% Cotton Maison d’ Hermine Summer Maze, Set of 3 Kitchen Towels 20″x27.5″

Singer Sewing Machine

20×20 Pillow Inserts, Set of 2

Thread and Bobbins Set

100% Cotton Maison d’ Hermine Jardin du Roy, Set of 4 Napkins, 20×20

Bistro Dinner Napkins (18×22, 12 Pack)

100 % Cotton Maison d’ Hermine Jardin Du Roy, Set of 2 Kitchen Towels, 20×27.5″

Wood Dough Bowl

Blue Glass Pillar Candle Holders, Set of 3

Safavieh Martha Stewart Collection Handmade Wool & Viscose, 5×8 Rug

Set of 3 Blue Glazed Ceramic Vases

Blue and White Winter Wreath

Farmhouse Lamp, Blue, Set of 2

How cute do these new pillows look in our guest room? Sharing some similar items to what is in our guest room with you below.

Stikwood Reclaimed Heartwood Peel & Stick Barn Wood, 20Sq’ Pack

Wood Beaded Flush Mount Chandelier

25″ Sea Grass Lamp, Set of 2

Linen Upholstered Tufted Button Headboard

Cross Stitch Quilt Set, 100% Cotton + 2 Shams

Rustic Farmhouse Chandelier

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Suggested materials:
  • 20″ x 20″ down pillow insert
  • Dish Towels
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