Zipper Pillow tutorial

Make a zipper pillow cover ---for any size pillow--- in just minutes. 

Here we go. 

1.Cut the fabric pieces one inch bigger than your pillow dimensions, both width and height. I do one inch bigger so that later I can make strong, big seams-and trim them with pinking shears for a non-fray effect. 
If you want to serge instead, that's great- just a half inch seam allowance would work then. 

ex: my pillow is 15x15"
My fabric squares are cut to 16x16" 

Since I didn't have enough of the yellow chevron, I sewed more fabric to it, to be sure I had 16x16 inches in material. Just so you're not confused by my pictures. :)

 2. Fold down the bottom edge 1/4 inch, then another 1/4 inch to make a double seam. Press and stitch this closed. This is now a finished edge.

Do this for both BOTTOM edges of the fabric pieces. If you have directional fabric, be sure to sew the bottom edge. Unless of course you prefer your zipper to be at the top....then do both top edges. 

See how both the bottom edges on the two pieces of fabric are finished?

4. Put these two finished edges together and pin. Sew two inches on either side, back stitching to secure. In between the two ends sew with a large basting stitch. We will be taking that out later. 

5. Measure the zipper. Pin it so that it's about two inches shorter than the pillow width. Sew across that marking several times, back and forth to secure the zipper from sliding off the edge. Trim. 
(See pictures below if you're confused.)

6. Press the seam open (the basting stitch one) and get ready to attach the zipper.

7. Lay the zipper down so the teeth are directly over the seam. Pin. Sew down the sides, one side at a time.

Closer view:

You may have to pull the tab out of the way when sewing so the machine doesn't get all messed up. I don't have a zipper foot, so that's how I make "do".       :)

8. Take out those stitches with a seam ripper. Careful. 

9. It's easy from here on! Fold the pieces right sides together and pin around the edges. Remember to unzip the zipper at least six inches in order to flip it right side out again.

10. Sew around all the edges, about 1/2 inch* seam allowance.
*For a good amount of space to pink it later, you see. 

11. Pink the edges so they won't fray when washed.

12. Stuff chosen pillow form inside and stand back to admire. 
YOU did it!  Well done. 

 Gotta clip those last few threads. :)

 There they are in my reading chair.

And another is in the works! I just adore this line of fabric from Alexander Henry, called Folklorio.



  1. Now I know how to make a pillow with a zip! Mine currently use buttons as I'm still slightly scared of sewing zips plus more than slightly smug I figured out how to make a button hole on my machine.

    1. Whoo hoo Laura-good on you for figuring out the buttonhole thing...that is super clever. My buttonhole skills are--well---not the greatest. hahahaha :)

  2. That sure closes the pillow in a better way than I use. Now you are teaching me. Are you sure you don't have a zipper foot? xxx000

  3. Adorable pillows (I especially love that last fabric)! I haven't attempted a zipper since my high school sewing class. I've been doing envelope pillows instead. Your tutorial makes it look very easy...thanks! By the way, your fabric banners hanging outside made me smile! :)

    1. I replied to you without hitting "reply" ...umm DUH. :/

  4. Awwe thanks Treehugger_31 :) Your comments always make me smile. :) ♥

  5. Hopefully its not too late to ask a question. Ok im new to sewing and just learning to sew zippers. Your tutorial made it look so easy I would like to know since this tutorial have you tried any other way that doesn't require having to rip open the seam? Please let me know if you have. Thank you.. P.S love the pillows and patterns

  6. Liseli your comments doesn't have your email attached, so I hope you see my reply. I found this to be the easiest way for me to make zipper pillows, as once you split one stitch with a seam ripper the rest are very easy...and it allows you to make a straighter seam. If you use a larger stitch length it will be even easier. Otherwise try Google and see other techniques out there, try until you find one that works for you. :D

  7. Fab tutorial thank you. I put my first zipper in a cushion last week from a different tutorial and this is much clearer. So much so that I'm actually looking forward to my next zipper :-)

    1. GREAT wonderful! So glad it works for you! Yayyyy xxooxxoo


I appreciate every comment, thanks so much for taking the time. It means A LOT to me. :)