Buttoned Pillow Cover/Envelope

I’ve been in a real crafting fury for the past two weeks or so. Some news that hit me hard  sent me into my “Studio Sydney” room to paint bamboo sticks, to sew, to make pillows, jewelry, wreaths, and silk flower arrangements, and to contemplate some of life’s harsh realities. I’ve literally been in that back room for 10-days, coming out only to go to work and to work-related events.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Having a hobby is one of the best ways to cope with distress.” And it’s much cheaper than seeing a therapist (although it’s not the answer for all people).

I won’t bombard you in this one post with all of the things I’ve made, but suffice it to say, I have enough completed and documented to keep you busy all summer.

This project is a pillow cover that I bought a few years back while shopping around at Joann’s. I’ve had it a while, so I doubt that it’s still available, but you never know. It’s a plain canvas pillow cover that fits a 14-inch pillow form.



Pillow cover ( You can buy them already made or you can make your own. In fact, I have instruction for making a pillow envelope cover in one of my August 2016 posts entitled Pumpkin Applique Envelope Pillow.), about 95 buttons of varying sizes, embroidery floss/thread, embroidery needle, scissors, brown paint, paint brush, and – of course – a pillow form

I don’t consider this to be an easy project – at least not for all. It is a little time consuming. I worked on mine straight through until I finished it, which took about 2-hours after the paint dried. The pillow cover was $19.99, the buttons were in packets available at Joann’s for $4.99 each (I used three packets), and I already had the paint. So, the total cost was about $35, plus the pillow form that is inserted into the pillow envelope/cover.


Begin by drawing your tree pattern onto the front of the pillow cover. I freehanded a tree to look like it was blowing in the wind; something I had seen in a magazine a few years back.


Then paint the tree. I used brown, but of course, this is your project – so go with any color you like. It will take about an hour for the paint to completely dry.

THEN – and this is very important – you want to heat set it before you begin sewing on the buttons. Heat setting is simple. Just heat your iron to very hot, then with a paper towel over the painted area, apply the hot iron to the whole painted area and let it sit for just a few seconds. When the pillow cover has cooled down, it’s ready for you to begin sewing on the buttons.

I laid out my buttons before I began sewing them onto the pillow cover – just to get an idea as to how many buttons I would need. Then I took a picture of it so I could use that as a guide when I began sewing.

NOTE — If you hate to sew, but really like the look of this project, I’m guessing that you could probably glue the buttons down with fabric glue. I haven’t done it, but who knows?

Embroidery floss/thread is six strands. I wanted the thread to be visible, but not quite that thick, so I cut a piece of the floss about 18-inches long and then separated it in half, using three strands of floss to sew on the buttons. Thread the needle and knot the end. Begin sewing the buttons to the pillow cover. When you get to the end of your thread, knot it off so it doesn’t come loose, then cut. Repeat until the buttons are all attached.

Once all of the buttons are sewn in place, the hard part is over! Now you can easily slip your newly handmade and quite beautiful pillow cover over a pillow form and your project is complete!


Be sure to let me know how your’s turns out. I’d love to hear from you.

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