How to Make a Flanged Pillow Sham

    by LeeAnn Bonds

    About the Author

    LeeAnn Bonds has been writing since 2005. Her articles have appeared in "Idaho Magazine" and "BackHome Magazine." Bonds has a short story published and is the Bible Basics editor at BellaOnline. She has a Bachelor of Science in business management from Fitchburg State College and completed a two-year writing course offered by the Christian Writers Guild.


    A flanged pillow sham is a simple way to add style to your home decor. Shams are also easy care as they can be washed after the pillow insert is removed. This style of sham works on any size of square or rectangular pillow. It's also a good choice for beginning sewers, as the technique is straightforward. Having several sets, in various colors and prints, allows you to change the bed decor at your whim.

    Things You'll Need

    • Pencil
    • Paper
    • Pillow
    • Fabric
    • Measuring tape
    • Ruler
    • Pins
    • Scissors
    • Sewing machine
    • Iron
    • Ironing board
    • Tailor's chalk or self-erasing fabric marker

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    Draw a sketch of your sham. Measure your pillow width as the distance from left to right as the pillow would sit on the bed, and the length as the distance from the top to the bottom.

    Decide how wide a flange you would like and draw another larger rectangle around the first. Note the width of the flange. Add the width of the flange, times two, to the width of the pillow and add 1 inch for the front cut width. Add the width of the flange times two to the length of the pillow plus 1 inch for the front cut length.

    Cut one rectangle of fabric for the front of the sham. Cut one piece for the back that is six inches wider than the top piece and the same length. Cut this piece in half lengthwise and hem these two raw edges with a 1/2-inch fold to the wrong side. Sew 1/4 inch from the folded edges.

    Place the rectangles for the back of the sham on top of the sham front rectangle with the right sides together. Overlap the finished edges of the back pieces until the outside edges line up all around the sham. Pin in place.

    Sew around the rectangle with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Turn the cover right side out and press.

    Measure the width of your flange in from the edges and mark the stitching line around the perimeter of the sham. Use a fabric marker or tailor's chalk. Stitch around the rectangle on the marked line.

    Insert your pillow to complete the project.

    • To stiffen the flange, and keep it standing straight, interface the back pieces with heavy-duty iron-on interfacing. Apply it to the whole surface of each of the back pieces, following the manufacturer's instructions.
    • If the overlap on the back tends to gap, as it might with a fluffy pillow, add a closure of some type there, such as a button and buttonhole, ties, or a snap.
    • Pre-launder your fabric to prevent shrinkage.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images