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No Sew Tea Towel Pillow Cover

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Learn how to make this easy no sew pillow cover using 20″ x 28″ tea towels. This is a simple pillow cover you can make without using a sewing machine. We use a piece of tea towel for our small rectangle pillow, you can use a larger towel to make a bigger pillow.

no sew pillow cover

I was “handicapped” while my old sewing machine was being serviced and repaired. This prompted me to consider how to make a pillow without using a sewing machine.

Here it is, a no sew pillow cover made especially for you, sewer and non-sewer alike. With a few simple tools and materials, anyone can now make a pillow cover.

no sew pillow cover

There could be other techniques for no sew pillow covers; I’ve seen some that use fusible web to “glue” the edges, but I’m not sure if that is only for no-wash pillows.

I’m using the “lace and fasten” method here, lacing through eyelets at the edges, drawing the edges together, and fastening them together to form a no sew pillow cover. When you’re done with the pillow, simply remove the ribbon lacing and the tea towel will return to its original flat form.

no sew pillow cover

You only need a tea towel, some single-piece eyelets, and an installation tool, ribbons to fasten, and other supporting tools to make this no sew pillow cover with ribbon at the sides.

I hope you enjoy it. So, obviously, my sister’s puppy adores it:)

no sew pillow cover

No Sew Pillow Cover

Make: 1

1. Tea Towel – 20″ x 28″ size
2. Rectangle Throw Pillow Insert – 20″ x 12″
3. Eyelets -5/32″ [3.97mm],28 pcs [Dritz Silver tone Eyelets 5/32″ (3.97mm) 100 pk refill]
4. Ribbon, rope, lace or anything you want to use to fasten the pillow.

1. Eyelet tool or eyelet plier
2. Hammer [if you are using eyelet too instead of plier]
3. Erasable fabric marker
4. Awl
5. Rod that is about 5mm in diameter, I used 5mm knitting needle
6. Tacky glue [Aleene’s Original “Tacky” Glue-4 Ounce]
7. Toothpick
8. Adhesive tape (optional)

Finished Dimension: approx. 20″ (W) x 12″ (H)

Remark: don’t use scissors to cut holes for single-piece eyelet installation. The fabric will get weaken by the broken threads and start fraying, thus the hole will become bigger, and the eyelet won’t stay well there.

diy no sew pillow 1

5/32″ [3.97mm] eyelets with the correct eyelet tool or plier. You will need 28 eyelets but spare more in case you need to redo the installation.
The tea towel is around 20″ x 28″. If you can’t find the exact size, it is ok to get a tea towel that is slightly bigger by 1 or 2 inches. A smaller tea towel is not recommended unless you use a smaller pillow insert.

diy no sew pillow 2

Prepare and get ready for the rest of the materials and tools.

calculate eyelets space interval

Mark 14 eyelet positions on each long side of the tea towel with an erasable fabric marker.
If you are using a 28″ length tea towel, mark 1″ from the short length edges, then 2″ between eyelets.
If you are using a different length that is slightly bigger, say L, then deduct 2 x A, where A = 1″, then divide the balance by 13, and you will get more than 2″. By mathematics formula, it is:
B = (L – 2A)/13

diy no sew pillow 3

Poke through the towel with a sharp awl at the marking without breaking the fabric threads.

diy no sew pillow 4

Enlarge the hole with a 5mm rod, I used a 5mm knitting needle.

diy no sew pillow 5

No thread is broken; they were pushed to the side.
Even if it is broken a little, no worries, it can be rescued by placing a small drop of glue to glue it back to the tea towel while stopping it from going further.

diy no sew pillow 6

Put some tacky glue at the back of the eyelet with a toothpick.

diy no sew pillow 7

Carefully insert the eyelet stud through the hole, insert the eyelet from the right side.
Be careful the groves at the stud edge, they are thread catcher. Use the awl to free the caught threads if necessary.
Repeat the process to put in all eyelets.

eyelet crimping tool

Crimp the eyelet with the eyelet installation tool or the eyelet plier.

diy no sew pillow 9

The crimped eyelet at the back.

diy no sew pillow 10

The crimped eyelet at the front.

diy no sew pillow 11

Complete all 14 eyelets at each side, 28 eyelets in total.

diy no sew pillow 12

Fold the tea towel with 2 eyelets overlapping at the end edges. Align the eyelets in all layers.
Tape the ribbon end with adhesive tape so that it can go through the eyelets easily.

No-Sew Tea Towel Pillow

Insert the ribbon into the top eyelet and out from the bottom eyelet, starting from the first eyelet of the tea towel (refer to photo), which is now on the overlapping fold.
Repeat the lacing through the eyelets. It always goes in from the top and comes out from the bottom. From center to bottom, then go up to the top, then come back to the center.

No-Sew Tea Towel Pillow

Tie the ribbon at the center to make a bow.

No-Sew Tea Towel Pillow

Repeat the same on the other side.

No-Sew Tea Towel Pillow

Put the pillow insert into the no sew pillow cover.
~~ DONE ~~

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Wednesday 2nd of July 2014

Love this tutorial :)

Judit & Corina @WineDineDaily

Saturday 6th of October 2012

What a great idea! We have several really pretty linen tea towels from Europe which would be perfect for this project.


Wednesday 26th of September 2012

Love this tute! Where did you buy the tea towels? I can never find anything other than plan white where I live.

Craft Passion

Wednesday 26th of September 2012

I bought it from a local home improvement and decoration shop. I am not sure where are you residing, if you have Ikea at your area, perhaps you can get something similar. I presumed you are from USA, here is the link.