How to Make an Heirloom Matza Cover for Passover

image of a light blue, handmade matzah cover with gold tassel trim

Hello! I’m Sharon, a Yiddishe Momme[1] making everyday magic at home with my two boychiks[2]. We potschke[3] with crafts, tea parties, and nature. What we make is incredibly simple. I love collecting beautiful new and vintage raw materials, with a focus on natural fibers. If you’re interested in our antics please follow along with our journey here.

This project started with a challah cover I assembled a few years back with a piece of embroidery my mother made over 60 years ago. The embroidery was beautiful, but the cotton fabric had become threadbare over the years. After completing the redesign of the challah cover, my mind was set on creating my own matza cover.

After finding some vintage matza covers on eBay, I salvaged the designs and breathed new life into them. Now you can make your own matza cover with my tutorial.

[1] Yiddush term for a Jewish mother

[2] Yiddush term of endearment for a young boy or man

[3] Yiddush term to dabble, experiment, or fiddle around


  • Maison Sajou backing linen
  • DMC embroidery threads to match your linen
  • Vintage embroidery – I prefer flowers and birds, but try searching eBay or second hand shops for what you like
  • Vintage embroidered matza cover – try searching eBay for a design you like  (personally I like to make sure it was made on cotton because some of the original backing will ultimately remain)
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Studio Carta loose weave ribbon
  • Optional for handmade tassels:
    • 2 inches x 1.5 inches tassel maker – small rectangle of heavy duty card or perspex
    • Your choice of thread for the tassels

Please note, these are my preferred materials which I chose because I love their look and feel. Please do the same for your project. Premade tassels can be purchased, but I enjoy hand making them.

How to Sew a Matza Cover

  1. Choose your backing linen, Jewish embroidery, flowers, birds, and other components you wish to include on your matza cover. Cut out each component with plenty of space around the embroidery edges. I filled some of the original designs with extra DMC thread to make the colors more vibrant.
  1. On the backing linen, outline the perimeter of the matza cover with a large tacking stitch (my perimeter is a circle approximately 14.5 inches in diameter). Place the cut out components on the backing linen, and play around with the layout until you are happy with the design. Once satisfied with the layout, pin the components onto the backing linen.
  2. Go back and cut around each component, cutting as closely to the edge as possible without ruining the design. To prevent fraying, seal the edges with glue. Wait for it to dry before repositioning and repinning them back into place.
  3. Using one ply of DMC cotton, sew on each component to the backing linen with a running stitch. To hide the stitching, choose a color that matches your backing linen. Use small stitches and follow the edge of each embroidery component. I like to start from the centerpiece and work outwards to ensure nothing shifts, and I have space for all the components I plan to attach.
  1. Sew the Studio Carta loose weave ribbon on the back of your design just inside your tacking stitch. This will help to limit fraying and give more “substance” when you sew on your tassels. Remove the tacking stitch, cut around the circle outside of the ribbon (leaving a small buffer so the tassels aren’t too close to the edge), and seal the edges of the backing linen with glue.
  1. You could choose to stop here, or continue if you want to add tassels all the way around the edge of the circle.

STEP A – to make two tassels at a time, wrap your color choice of DMC thread around the long edge of your tassel maker five times.

STEP B – cut another thread about five inches long, and separate two ply from it. At one of the short edges of the tassel maker, thread the two ply under the already wrapped thread three times and tie a knot.

STEP C – do not cut off the excess thread, as this will later be used to attach the tassel to the edge of the matza cover. Repeat on the other short side of the tassel maker.

STEP D – slip the wrapped threads off the tassel maker.

STEP E – cut the threads in half to form the beginnings of two tassels.

STEP F  – separate another piece of one ply thread five inches long. Holding one tassel from either side of its knot, wrap the one ply 10 times around the tassel about two millimeters below the knot. Tie a knot to secure in place. To give the tassels more volume, separate the threads in the tassel from one another, and trim to equal length. Repeat as many times as you need to distribute the tassels around the edge of your matza cover, and attach one at a time. Once attached, trim any excess string.

This project was a lot of fun to make. Unlike the challah cover, I unfortunately couldn’t incorporate any of my mother’s embroidery, but the birds and flowers I used were from pieces I found in my grandmother’s house after she passed away. While my family doesn’t think she made them (she apparently couldn’t sew well), I’d like to think that perhaps, like me, she got a little help from her friends and family. Either way, a little piece of her now joins us every year at our Passover Seder.