How to make an envelope duvet cover

Updated November 22, 2016

If your bedroom is looking drab, one way to change the look of your bed is to slip your existing comforter into a duvet cover. When you make your own duvet cover, you can select a patterned fabric that suits your style. With a duvet cover in place, your bedroom will look new again and an envelope or sham-style duvet cover can be speedily removed and washed if spills occur.

Spread out your existing comforter on a flat surface. Measure the width and length of the comforter. Add 4 inches to the width measurement. Add 20 inches to the length measurement. Divide the length measurement by 36 to determine how many yards of fabric are needed.

Select a wide fabric that's at least as wide as your width plus the 4 inches. Have the fabric cut to the length you need from Step 1 and trim the width, as necessary, to get it to the width needed. This should leave you with a long, rectangular piece of fabric.

Fold in each of the width edges toward the back side of the fabric by 1 inch. Fold over the edges again by an inch to form a hem, and pin in place. Sew the hems ¼-inch from the first fold across the width to secure. Remove the pins.

Spread the fabric right side facing up on a flat surface. Fold the fabric over at both width ends and pull the hemmed edges toward one another to meet in the middle, similar to how a staple is folded. Pull one of the hemmed edges over the other to overlap the two by 12 inches.

Smooth the fabric flat and align the raw edges on both sides. Pin down both sides of the fabric to hold the bottom portion of the fabric to the edges of the folded over portions.

Sew down both sides of the cover ½-inch in from the edge using a straight stitch, removing pins as you go. Switch your machine to a zigzag stitch and sew over the edges again only a ¼-inch from the edge. Turn the duvet cover right side out through the opening where the hemmed fabric edges overlap. Slip your existing comforter into the duvet through the hemmed opening and smooth it into place.


Wide fabrics used in quilting, called backing fabrics, come in a variety of colours, patterns and styles, and are durable enough for everyday use as a duvet cover. Iron-on Velcro tabs can be added to the opening of the overlapped portion to keep it closed, if desired. If the fabric you select has a narrow width, such as 44 to 54 inches, then you will need to sew two lengths of fabric together to create the width rectangle you need from Step 2.

Things You'll Need

  • Existing comforter
  • Tape measure
  • Fabric: 90 to 108 inches wide
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
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