Tutorial: Euro Shams with Flanges

Yesterday when I showed you our spring-y master bedroom update, I mentioned that I made the Euro shams you saw on our bed.

If you’ve been reading our blog for very long, you probably know I’m no stranger to 1) a sewing machine or 2) making pillows.  In fact, after a little search for the word “pillow” on my own blog, I came up with at least 6 tutorials on the subject.

There were the tree pillows and the placemat pillows

Ones made from shower curtains and sweaters

And pillows with burnt flowers and felt flowers.

I promise I’m not planning on renaming this blog “Pillow Power!” anytime soon, but I did want to share a quick and easy tutorial for making Euro Shams.

Why did I decide to make my own versus buying them pre-made?  Well, for the price of 2 shams, I was able to pick up an extra set of gray curtains to make the 2 cases AND a runner for across the foot of the bed.  So are you ready to see how it was done?

Tutorial: Euro Shams with Flanges

I made envelope-style shams with flanges to cover these two 26″ x 26″ pillows.

Step 1: Cut three pieces of material to the following sizes: (1) 29″ x 29″ and (2) 17″ x 29″

Why these measurements?  My pillows were not very dense, so I wanted to make the cases fit snugly.  I decided to pretend they were 25″ x 25″ and added 2 inches all around (for 1/2″ seam allowance and 1-1/2″ flange).

The pieces for the envelope back were 17″ wide so that there would be approximately 5 inches of overlap.  I saved some time by reusing the finished edge of the curtain panel on these pieces.

I probably would have cut these pieces an inch wider if I had to finish these edges myself.

Step 2: With the right sides of the fabric together, lay the 2 back pieces on top of the front panel and line up the outside edges.

Below you can see how the back panels should overlap.

Step 3: Pin the panels together around the edges.

It’s a good idea to place pins on those hemmed edges of the back panels to keep them in place while sewing.

Step 4: Sew around the edges with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Step 5: Turn the pillow case right side out and iron flat.

At this stage, I took a quick peek at the Flange Pillow Tutorial over at Casa Brasi to make sure I had the rest of the plan right (thanks for the great tutorial, Amanda!).  Yep, it really is as easy as it looks!

Step 6: Measure 1-1/2″ in on all four sides.  Place pins or make a mark along these lines.

Step 7: Sew along your line of pins, making sure to backstitch over the points where your back panels join the front panel.  (These are the points that will get the most wear and tear when you’re changing out your pillows.)

Step 8: Stuff your pillows, and you’re done!

Here’s a shot of the pillow from the front.

And here’s how it looks in the back – envelope pocket and all.

There you have it – quick and easy pillow shams with flanges!

I’m glad I took the extra 5 minutes to add the flanges because they really make the pillows more visible at the back of our bed.

I got both shams out of one curtain panel, so I just ironed and draped the second panel over the foot of the bed to break up the pattern a bit.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right?

I hope you’ll try out flange pillows yourself sometime.  Thanks again to Amanda for the easy to reference tutorial and thanks to YOU for reading!  Love you guys!

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19 Responses to Tutorial: Euro Shams with Flanges

  1. Is the duvet and shams a set from Ikea? If so, we just picked those up for our new bed. I just learned to make pillows yesterday and I’m excited to keep going! I love, love, love your gray and yellow combo. So elegant!

  2. Anne says:

    they look great !!!!!!

  3. Morgan says:

    Those look great! Too bad I’m not really a sewer. =( I learned a little in one of my theatre classes in college (I was a theatre minor, haha) because we had a sewing crash course. By the end of the semester I had learned to make a hat, a shirt, etc… It was pretty cool, but I don’t even own a sewing machine now so don’t think it’s going to become a huge hobby for me. It’d be so cool if I could do stuff like that though!

  4. Great tutorial! I have some extra Ikea curtains lying around, might have to add this to the to do list. 🙂

  5. Cheryl says:

    looks great. I have always wondered how they did the flange on shams. i will have to check out amanda’s tutorial as well.

  6. Jess says:

    What a perfect tutorial! And right in time too…we’re in the process of re-working our master bedroom as well. And I love love love your colors!! Which Ikea curtains are those? They are the perfect gray for our room!

    • Meredith says:

      Hi Jess,
      Thanks for the comment! The curtains I used were the dark gray RIVTAs from IKEA. I think they were $19.99 for 2 panels, and like I said in the tutorial, I got 2 large shams out of 1 panel. Quite the deal! 🙂

  7. Meg says:

    GREAT tutorial! They look amazing. I love the fabric with the rest of your bedding as well. Wonderful job!

  8. Comeca Jones says:

    I am loving the bedding !

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  11. LeAnne says:

    Meredith, thanks so much for the great tutorial!! I just made 2 shams for my daughter’s college apartment & I’m so excited!!

  12. Erika says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I recently decided to change (make) my bedding and could not find a tutorial on how to sew euro shams. Well, I could find several tutorials, but none that were helpful! I followed your instructions and my shams are just exactly what I had in mind! Thank you sooo much!

  13. michelle says:

    Came across this tutorial on Pinterest today – whipped 2 shams out in no time! Thanks for posting such easy to follow instructions and pictures!! Also, love your blog, will be back. 🙂

  14. Dacquiri says:

    Worked beautifully. Thank you so much for doing this tutorial. I’m at best a sloppy amateur sewer & can’t believe how easy it was to make the Euro Shams by your directions & they look amazing. Again, thanks!!

  15. hannelore says:

    Hiya! bought two European pillows from ikea and dug out black stash fabric. Google for a tutorial – found yours. I could have measured up and done it myself but why reinvent the wheel?! Thank you. Your measurements and tutorial was spot on. More than two years later!

  16. Dede says:

    Great tutorial! Now, I too set about making a euro pillow sham (my pillow measurement is 26×26 inches. What I prefer is to add a contrasting ‘flange’. I cut my front piece 27 ” intending to use a 1/2 ” seam allowance all around… and the back pieces (with overlap) to fit accordingly. I then set about to make the ‘contrast’ flange, mitred the corners and everything…and for a first go, pretty impressed how perfect they came out!! DISASTER!!….thought I was all done and slipped the pillow inside the sham and it was WAY too big?? Any ideas where I went wrong? I measured the finished size and it is 26″ x 26″ front and back…I have even remeasured the pillow itself width and length and in the middle as suggested on so many tutorials…and it is definitely 26 x 26″. Spent today ripping the whole thing apart to start again – but can’t figure out where it all went pear shaped and am afraid to start again…any suggestions, helpful hints would be greatly appreciated.
    Kind regards from an expat now living in sydney australia…

    • Lisa M says:

      I had that same experience!!! Yet, if I measure the store bought shams they are 26 square. Go figure. I found it I made the seams larger then it bowed at the top of the pillow making it look ridiculous.

  17. linda says:

    Love this tutorial! ?Simple and easy! I looked all over the internet for white diamond quilted Euro shams. I found at Bed Bath & Beyond…$49 each. I purchased the material, and made 2 for under $20. They came out beautiful! Thank you so Much!!!

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