Making throw pillows: free pattern

Editor Mary Jane Harris shares a free pattern for making throw pillows – no zips required

I’ve been looking for a pretty floral scatter cushion for my guest room but just couldn’t find one that looked right. So when a decorator friend cleared out her workroom, I snapped up this small fabric remnant. The colour was perfect and it had a floral motif. The only problem was that there wasn’t enough for a whole cushion cover. The solution was to use it for the front and another fabric on the back. I used a cushion cover pattern from an old feature in Garden and Home about making throw pillows which works on the same principle as a pillowcase and fastens with ties so no zip is required.



1. Measure the size of the cushion you want to cover and add 2cm all round for seams. Cut the front out to this size and for the back add 15-20cm on one side to form the flap. See Diagram 1 below. Hem the edge of the back flap and one side of the front.

2. Place the two sides together, right sides facing, with the hemmed front edge and back flap on the same side. Bring the flap over to the front and sew three sides as shown in Diagram 2 below. Clip the corners, turn the cover to the right side and iron flat.

3. Top stitch 5mm in from the flap fold and on the other three sides as shown in Diagram 3 below.

4. Make the ties by cutting two strips about 36cm long and 10cm wide. Fold them in half lengthwise, right sides together and sew as in Diagram 4 below. Cut each strip in half, clip the corners and turn to the right side – you’ll now have four ties. Use scissors to push out the corners. Turn in the raw ends and hand sew closed. Iron flat.

5. Pin the ties one third in from edge as shown in Diagram 5 below and sew securely in place. Insert the cushion and fasten the ties.


  • Use different fabrics for the ties to add more interest.
  • Instead of ties use decorative buttons or pretty ribbon.
  • Use up smaller pieces of fabric by sewing strips together to form squares to make bold striped cushion covers.

For other ideas on making fabric go further, click here.