Christmas, Holiday Quilting Projects, Holiday Sewing Projects

Easy Christmas Pillow Covers: A Fun, Fast Holiday Project

jelly roll Christmas pillow covers

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Christmas pillow covers are one of the easiest ways to infuse your home with festive charm.  Here on Day 4 of the 12 Days of Christmas in July, I’m going to show you how to transform a colourful jelly roll into a stunning pillow cover with an envelope backing.

It’s a fun and creative project that will add a touch of holiday magic to your living room or bedroom. So, let’s get started!



Christmas Pillow Cover Supplies

Before you begin, start by making sure that you have all the necessary materials. Here’s what you’ll need for your pillow covers:

  • Jelly Roll: This is a pre-cut bundle of fabric strips that measure 2.5 inches in width and come in various coordinated designs.  The best thing about pre-cut fabrics like this is the selection of patterns is already done for you!  Plus, you can get holiday fabric all year long.  You could be preparing for your holiday decorating in March if you want to!  Be sure to check out online marketplaces if you don’t have a local quilt shop.
  • Coordinating fabric for the envelope backing: Choose a fabric that complements your jelly roll colours and patterns. For one 18-inch pillow cover, you’ll need two pieces of backing fabric that measure 18 ½” x 15″.
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Pins or clips
  • Ruler
  • Iron
  • Pillow Inserts



How to Calculate the Measurements of Your Christmas Pillow Covers

Making a pillow cover from a Jelly Roll really takes the guesswork out of your measuring.  Keep in mind that when you sew together the full Jelly Roll strips, you can make two Christmas pillow covers!  Here are some basic measurements:

  • For a 14-inch pillow, you will use seven jelly roll strips.  You will need two pieces of backing fabric per pillow cover that measure 14 ½ inches wide by 10 inches long.
  • For a 16-inch pillow, you will use eight jelly roll strips.  You will need two pieces of backing fabric per pillow cover that measure 16 ½ inches wide by 12 inches long.
  • For an 18-inch pillow, you will use nine jelly roll strips.  You will need two pieces of backing fabric per pillow cover that measure 18 ½ inches wide by 15 inches long.

Remember that if you are sewing with a ¼-inch seam allowance, your jelly roll strips will be 2 inches wide when sewn.  This will allow you to adjust for cushions that are smaller or bigger than the sizes listed above.


You can see here how I’ve made my own Christmas pillow covers.  Continue reading below for step-by-step instructions.



Instructions for your Christmas Pillow Covers

Start by unwrapping your Jelly Roll.  Carefully remove the packaging and unroll the fabric strips.  You’ll want to flatten the strips by giving them a gentle press with an iron to remove any creases or wrinkles.  I suggest NOT using steam at this stage.

Play around with the order of the strips to create an appealing pattern or colour gradient. This is where your creativity shines!  Once you settle on a pattern you love, it’s time to put your pillow cover together!

Working from the top of the pillow front to the bottom, place two strips right sides together and sew them along the long edge using a ¼-inch seam allowance. Repeat this process until all the strips are joined together.  Press the seams open or to one side, whichever you prefer.

Once all the strips are sewn together, it’s time to create the pillow-front squares.  Use a ruler and rotary cutter to trim any uneven edges and create a rectangular panel.  For our 18-inch pillow, your rectangle should measure 18 ½ inches high.  Cut your rectangle to create two 18 ½-inch squares.


jelly roll Christmas pillow covers


Next, cut your backing fabric.  The envelope backing is a convenient way to insert and remove pillow forms, and it is so easy to make! Following the measurements above, for an 18-inch pillow, we’ll be cutting two pieces of 18 ½-inch wide fabric measuring 15 inches long.

Fold and press a ½-inch hem on one long edge of each backing piece. Then, fold and press another ½-inch hem and stitch it in place.

Align and sew the backing pieces by placing the front panel right side up and positioning the backing pieces on top, right sides down. Align the raw edges and pin or clip them in place. Sew around the entire perimeter using a ¼-inch seam allowance.

Turn your pillow cover right-sides out and give it a quick press.



And that’s it! You’ve created two beautiful Christmas pillow covers from a jelly roll, complete with an envelope backing. This festive addition will bring personalized style to your holiday decor. Remember, the possibilities are endless with jelly rolls, so feel free to experiment with different colours, patterns, and even quilting designs.

For more easy pillow covers, be sure to check out my Brick Path Pillow Cover and my Disappearing 4-Patch Pillow Cover!

Not caught up on the 12 Days of Christmas in July?  Here’s what you missed:

Be sure to tune in tomorrow for even more Christmas in July fun!



Want to remember this?  Save “Easy Christmas Pillow Covers: 12 Days of Christmas in July” to your favourite Pinterest boards!


jelly roll Christmas pillow covers


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Hi! I'm Tanya

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