How to Make a Zippered Pillow Cover (a tutorial for the total beginner)

Inside: Easy tutorial for beginners to learn how to make a zippered pillow cover. It’s easier than you think.

I used to be afraid of my sewing machine.

In fact, in an effort to avoid installing a zipper, I used hem tape on the first pillows I ever made, which didn’t last and they sat on my sofa with a bulging seam for way too long. I had to place them strategically so you couldn’t tell. (I can’t believe I’m admiting that!)

The point is I, too, was super intimidated by the idea of sewing a zipper.

After all, I’m pretty much self taught when it comes to sewing, but I also know that everything is figure-outable and I can now say that sewing a zipper isn’t scary, and my pillow covers can now be thrown in the wash again and again which is awesome because yucky things (like drool) tend to end up on the throw pillows around here.

So, today my friends, it is time to learn how to make a zippered pillow cover!  Time to get over the fright and get a zippered pillow cover made once and for all!

There really is nothing to be afraid of. Trust me.

Being able to choose your own fabric and freshen up your space with new pillows is going to be something you will do again and again!

I’ve got 2 options for you…

To make it super easy for you, I’ve teamed up with my friends at to bring you the easy to follow tutorial in two forms.

To make a zippered pillow cover you can follow the step-by-step tutorial with photos below or head down to the bottom of the post and watch the video!

how to make a zippered pillow cover tutorial

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my disclosure.

To make a zippered pillow cover you’ll need:

  • Fabric:  (You can buy amazing fabric online. Here are my 5 favorite online fabric sources.) It’s best to use a home decor fabric because it is a bit thicker and holds it’s shape nicely. You will need 2 pieces per pillow cut to the same dimensions as your pillow insert.
  • A Pillow Insert: I like to use 18 inch pillows. I know that sounds big, but they look the best on a sofa. And if you want a high end look I suggest going with down pillow inserts.
  • A Zipper: you want it to be about 3-4 inches shorter than the bottom edge of your pillow. This is where I buy my zippers.
  • A Sewing Machine
    • This is my go to sewing machine for home decor projects. It is inexpensive, uncomplicated, and can sew through thick fabrics or multiple layers with no problem.
  • A zipper foot
  • A coordinating thread, pins, scissors, and an iron.
  • (optional) I highly recommend getting a self healing cutting mat and rotary cutter to make your cuts perfect. It will save you a ton of frustration and make your finished project perfect.

**The blue and white fabric I used for this particular pillow can be found here.

Want to add piping to your pillow cover?

Start with the steps in this post first.

Step 1: Cut your fabric

Cut 2 pieces of fabric, one for the front of the pillow and one for the back.

I like to cut my fabric to the exact dimensions of my pillow insert. This way when I have a 1/2 seam allowance, it fits the pillow form nice and snug. I’ve also found that the best way to get really clean edges is to use a rotary cutter and cutting mat. If you don’t have one, just mark your line with a pen and use scissors, but once you get addicted to making pillows, you will want to invest in a rotary cutter for sure!

how to make a zippered pillow cover use a rotary cutter

Once your fabric is cut, lay your fabric out, pretty sides facing in, and decide which edge will be your bottom edge. STOP!  Is your pattern going the direction you want it to on both pieces?

how to make a zippered pillow cover

Step 2: Place your zipper

Lay your zipper along the bottom and mark where the zipper starts and stops by placing pins in the fabric. Don’t pin your zipper in place.

how to make a zippered pillow cover zipper placement

Step 3: Sew your bottom edge

Now you’re ready to sew your bottom edge.  Here’s the trick to getting a straight zipper.

With a 1/2 inch seam allowance, you’ll sew a regular straight stitch from the edge to the pin, back stitching to start and stop your stitch. Do this on both sides.

Then, between the pins, you’ll do the widest stitch possible with your machine. For me this is the zig-zag stitch. Do not back stitch for this portion. You’re going to take this stitch out once your zipper is in place, so you want it to be easy to remove.

how to make a zippered pillow cover sew bottom edge

Step 4: Get ready to add the zipper

Iron the seam you just made open and place your zipper on the seam face down. (Yes there is one pillow in my house that has a backward zipper and it’s a really big pain to open. Live and learn right?)

Pin the zipper in place with a few pins and head over to your machine. Don’t be scared. You’ll be fine. 🙂

how to make a zippered pillow cover zipper placement

Step 5: Sew your zipper in place!!!

Ok. Deep breath. You can do this!

The first thing you need to do is to put your zipper foot on. Hold your zipper foot in your hand. Do you see how it almost looks like 1/2 of a regular foot? When you attach it to your machine, you’ll want the “missing side” closest to the zipper and sew down that side, then you’ll switch it and do the other side.

how to make a zippered pillow cover zipper foot

Ok. Ready. Be sure you are back to a regular straight stitch and start at the end of the zipper farthest away from the zipper handle sewing just like you would any other straight line, but keep as close to the zipper teeth as possible.

how to make a zippered pillow cover sewing tutorial

When you get to the zipper pull you won’t be able to keep going so stop just a little bit from it, keeping your needle down in the fabric (if possible.)  Lift your foot and carefully unzip the zipper past the foot, lower your foot and continue to the end of the zipper. Backstitch to end your stitch.

how to make a zippered pillow cover sewing tutorial

Now for the other side. Move your zipper back to the end, switch your zipper foot to the other side so that the “missing side” is closest to the zipper again, and follow the same steps again.

You did it! You just installed a zipper! Go YOU!

Now let’s finish up this bad boy so your husband has a nice new place to drool when he falls asleep on the couch! (Which never happens around here.)  🙂

Step 6: Undo your temporary stitch

With a seam ripper, carefully undo that long stitch that you made along the zipper.

Unzip your zipper at least half way before moving to the next step.

Step 7: Sew the remaining sides of your pillow cover.

Lay your pillow cover out again, good sides facing in, line up the remaining edges, and pin in place. (Make sure the zipper is unzipped at least half way.)

how to make a zippered pillow cover sewing tutorial

Go back to your machine, put your regular foot back on and sew the remaining edges with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, cutting across diagonally at the corners. (See the photo below)

To do this, stop with your needle in your fabric, lift your foot, turn your fabric, lower your foot, and continue. This is the best way to ever turn a corner of any kind when sewing.

how to make a zippered pillow cover sewing tutorial

When you’re done, cut off the corners about a 1/2 inch from the stitch you made. This will allow your pillows to have nice corners.

how to make a zippered pillow cover sewing tutorial

Final Step: Serge the edges (you don’t need a serger for this)

The whole point of having zippered pillow covers is that it makes it really easy to take them off and wash them. So if you plan to wash them, you will want to take the extra couple of minutes to finish the edges so that they last.

To do this you are going to serge the edges.

I don’t have a serger, so I simply use the zig-zag stitch and run my edges through my machine so that the needle goes through the fabric on one side and just barely misses the fabric on the outside. Line up the edge of the fabric with the middle of your foot so that your needle lands on and then off the fabric with each zig-zag stitch. (See the photo below.)

how to make a zippered pillow cover serge edges sewing tutorial

This will give your edges a finished look and keep them from fraying.

how to make a zippered pillow cover serge edges sewing tutorial


Alright! Now turn your zippered pillow cover right side out and get a pillow in there!

Wasn’t as scary as you thought now was it?

Video Tutorial:

How to Make a Zippered Pillow Cover


Pin these instructions for later!

the easy way to install a zipper on a pillow cover sewing tutorial

Want to add piping to your pillow cover?

Start with the steps in this post first.

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How to Make a Zippered Pillow Cover (a tutorial for the total beginner)

About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don't consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

164 thoughts on “How to Make a Zippered Pillow Cover (a tutorial for the total beginner)

  1. Paula Farley says:

    I never learned how to use a sewing machine and have taught myself at 50 yrs old! This was a great tutorial. I have never ventured into changing the feet and now know why my regular foot falls off sometimes….there’s a lever!
    So, first cushion cover done! Your instructions are simple and straightforward…the pictures helped and whilst practice may make perfect, I have learnt a new skill and more about my machine! Thank you so much! 👏👏👏

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Yay you!!! I’m so glad you found the tutorial helpful, Paula! 🙂 I’d love to see a pic of your cushion cover. If you wish, please email it to [email protected]

  2. Barbara lewin says:

    Hi Corey, want to thank you for giving such a straightforward guide to inserting a zip, wish I’d found it earlier. I’ve looked at several sites but yours is the best without doubt, thanks! Babs

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re so very welcome Barbara. I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂

  3. Thanks for the great tutorial. I have definitely hacked this up before. I’m not so much afraid of zippers as I am too cheap to buy them. I also find it hard to find the right color to go with my fabric. Any tips on where to find a good selection of zippers at good prices?

  4. Susan says:

    If you are adding cording do you sew it to one solid of the pillow before you start the zipper??
    Thanks Corey! Am just getting back into serious sewing after 30 yr hiatus, this is a great refresher.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Yes that’s correct Susan. How fun to get back into sewing!

  5. Jean says:

    Can this method be used to make seat cushions for a kitchen bench?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      It can certainly be used for a bench cushion, Jean, you’ll just want to get a longer zipper of course. 🙂

  6. Michele says:

    Thank You Corey, I have had my Project Runway sewing machine for years and have been afraid to do a pillow w/zipper. Your written and video instructions were awesome. I am so glad I skipped over using youtube and found you. Question, what thread size do you use to sew the zipper?

  7. CARMEN says:

    On a separate note: I can’t find this info anywhere . . . is there any reason you need to cut 2 pieces of fabric and not just fold over at side opposite zipper (as long as you consider difference in measurement/seam allowances)

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You could fold over to reduce the amount of cutting you need to do. I have the instructions like this in case anyone wants to add piping or trim. In that case you’d need to make all these cuts. Hope this helps!

  8. CARMEN says:

    I understand the diagonal corners to keep “dog ears” from happening, but do you just do this on one side of the pillow? ie: if you stitch straight to the end on the zipper side, you won’t have diagonals on these two corners . . . also, how far in do you start the diagonal? for 1/2″ seam, 1″ down on either side?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hey Carmen! You don’t have to do the diagonals on the edge with the zipper. I usually do because my zipper doesn’t go the entire length of the pillow. Totally up to you. Yes, starting about 1 inch down when doing a 1/2 inch seam should be perfect.

  9. Jackie says:

    Can you sew the zipper from the right sides? My stitch looks perfect on the wrong side of the zipper (the part that won’t be seen), but is all a mess on the right side. How do I fix this?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Unfortunately sewing from the right sides won’t work Jackie. You need to have the zipper on top when you sew. You may want to check your thread tension settings and make sure your presser foot is down when sewing.

  10. Melissa says:

    Great Directions! Very clear and easy to follow. Now I have to practice! Thank you!
    A few suggestions for pillow makers…
    Use a different color thread for the basting step than the zipper step. I also think using a different color thread for piping is helpful. Otherwise it can get confusing!
    Definitely cut your pillow squares no bigger than the dimensions of the pillow itself. I think the squares could even be cut a tad smaller.

  11. ReviewCart says:

    Used your instructions once about a year and a half ago, came back today for a re-fresher course!!! Last time I missed the little detail about measure off the zipper and pinning inside of the metal tabs, crucial to a finer finish at the ends. That was the only difficulty I had previously. Thanks for sharing an easy way to install zippers on decor pillows.

  12. Louisa says:

    Wow Corey, best teacher ever for a beginner like me. I’m going to try it out. Thank you!

  13. Astrid Welch says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful step-by-step tutorial. I just finished a 30×30 pillow case for a very old feather pillow my mother brought with her from Lithuania at least 80 years ago. I could not have done it without you as it has been a looong time since I have sewn a zipper. It turned out perfectly and I am so pleased. Thanks again.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re so welcome, Astrid! What a thoughtful gift for your mother!

  14. Susie cox says:

    Hi Corey

    What if you don’t have a zipper foot that has two sides to it?


    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Susie! A zipper foot only has one side. When you attach it to your machine, you’ll want the “missing side” closest to the zipper and sew down that side, then you’ll switch it and do the other side (read Step 5). Please email me if you need further help! [email protected]

  15. Sandy says:

    This is an EXCELLENT tutorial…both pics and video…and an invisible zipper!! Thanks

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re so welcome Sandy! Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Linda Galindo says:

    Thank you for a wonderful tutorial! I am making a cushion cover and it’s been a long time since I installed a zipper. This tutorial is so clear, I have no doubts that my project will go smoothly!

  17. Hayley says:

    Fantastic tutorial! I’m really proud of the pillow cover and it’s my first time sewing a zipper! I will certainly be trying it again soon. Thank you.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hayley, I’m thrilled at your accomplishment! Thanks for letting me know your success!

  18. Elaine says:

    Corey thank you for taking the time to make this Pin. I am almost completely blind and was able to mAke the pillow with the zipper. Took me most of a day because I kept getting some of the fabric underneath sewed each time. Thank God for seam rippers. Great advice on the zipper. Than you.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re so welcome Elaine!

  19. Madeleine Manny says:

    Hi Corey thanks so much for your great tutorial. I used your tutorial to do piping around a cushion and then the zip. I found putting the zip in with the piping a bit tricky. Not sure if I have done it right but it’s good enough for my first try. I don’t suppose you have a tutorial that combines both? Or any tips for me? Thanks so much.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Madeleine, I’m thrilled that you’ve made your first pillow! For more in-depth pillow tutorials, my e-book 10 Simple Sewing Projects for the Home, might be just what you’re looking for!

  20. Laura Weber says:

    I sewed a ton in my youth, and just getting back to it now. Being a bit rusty I’m relying quite a bit on online tutorials. This tutorial is by far THE best of any of the tutorials I’ve seen for any type of project. The directions are very clear, the fabric selection is perfect for seeing the project, and the humor tops it all off. Five stars to you Corey!

  21. deborah najjar says:

    Hi Corey, I just made 6 pillow cases using your wonderful instructions. The only problem I have is that I cant pull the zipper back even with the presser foot up. I have to end the stitch and move the zipper to the left, away from the presser foot move the zipper back and then continue sewing to the end. is anyone else having that problem? Thanks for a great tutorial !

    1. Angela says:

      Hi Deborah and Corey, I’m having the same problem with not being able to get the zipper pull so I can undo the zip and continue the stitching. I found it difficult with the first side of the zip and impossible on the second side once the zip is fixed down both sides. I’ve got four dining chair cushions to make so any help greatly appreciated.

    2. Corey Willis says:

      Try having the zipper partially zipped when you’re attaching the zipper and don’t stitch too close the teeth of the zipper. You’ll want to mark where the pull is so you know where to stop and pull past to keep going. Hope this helps, Angela!

  22. Heather says:

    Thank you so much! You just walked me through my first ever zipper and it looks great!!!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Yay you, Heather! Glad you found the tutorial helpful!

  23. Rachel says:

    This tutorial is awesome!! I love how my pillow covers turned out. Such a great way to customize a look and save money. Thanks for making it so easy to follow!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re so welcome Rachel! I’m thrilled your pillows turned out well!

  24. Liz y. says:

    I come from a family that knows how to sew. Me – lucky if I manage a straight line! Will definitely try this. The details in your instructions make it look very doable! It’s all just straight lines anyway!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      I’m so excited you find this helpful! Send me pics of your completed pillow :)!

  25. Mirriam says:

    Hey, very interesting, i will try one. thanks for the idea

  26. Mandee says:

    HI Corey!

    When deciding what size pillow form to buy I see a lot of recommendations to buy a size larger than the pillow case you’ve made. Do you find your pillows are fluffy enough when using the same size pillow form and pillow case? Is it perhaps the case if you purchase a pillow case to buy the next size up in pillow, but if making your own to buy the same size as the pillow case (since you lose a little fabric when sewing).


    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hey Mandee! I’ve always had success with buying the same size insert. When sewing my own covers I cut the fabric to the size of the form then with sewing the seams it becomes just a little smaller which works out perfectly.

  27. Abi says:

    Hi Corey Thanks so much for this I have just made my first zipper cushion cover and am so pleased with it. Looking forward to making more…..and to exploring the rest of your site! Happy Christmas!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Kudos to you for trying something new! Glad to have you part of the HTH family!

  28. Melanie says:

    I’ve always avoided projects with zippers until now! My mother-in-law recently passed away and as we were donating her clothes I came across some of her old cashmere sweaters. They each had holes in them but I saw I could get enough fabric from each side to make pillows, even though the sides might not be the same color. I made a a down filled cashmere pillow each, for my sisters-in-law. Could never have done this without your easy to follow zipper tutorial! Many Thanks!! Melanie

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You are so welcome Melanie! What a creative use of old sweaters – Love your idea!

  29. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for this pillow tutorial! It was very helpful & easy to follow. I’ve done zippers before & I’ve done pillows before, but never together. Thank you again!

  30. Edward Wiils says:

    Wow! Stunning pillow. Looks great with detailed explanation. Never make a DIY pillow before. But this article inspires me to do so. Know little bit of sewing though. Thanks Corey for sharing this creative thing.

  31. Edward Wiils says:

    Thank you for this tutorial. I had never done a zipper before and you made it easy to follow. I have been learning along with my 9 and 15 year old. I really appreciate all the hard work you put into creating this.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Thanks for stopping by! Glad you found inspiration here 🙂

  32. Diane says:

    Awesome directions and tutorial! I took on a re-upholstery project that turned out pretty good after 8 months of hard work (it was way over my head for my first one!) and lots of tears! The 2 pillows (with weird built in piping) are a little lopsided. Anyways, I’ve been sewing since I was a kid but that was my first zipper experience in forever. So 4 months ago I promised to do a coworkers throw pillows and I want to do it right! I’m ready to start now!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      That’s wonderful Diane! I can’t wait to see how yours turns out!

    2. moji says:

      I have interest in learning this but what are the things put inside the pillow to make it puff? secondly on duvet cover what are the material used inside to make puff also.

    3. Corey Willis says:

      Hey Moji, a pillow form makes it puff; it’s also linked in the supplies list above. For a duvet, I use a comforter that inserts into the cover. Hope this helps!

  33. Kathey says:

    Made a mistake ordering a free brochure on combining patterns for quilting. Hope I can make the change here.
    Loved the tutorial on the zipper. It has been years since I put one into a pillow and now it has all come back with this info. Thanks.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      I’m so glad you found inspiration here, Kathey!

  34. Theresa Richardson says:

    Thank you for this tutorial. I had never done a zipper before and you made it easy to follow. I have been learning along with my 9 and 15 year old. I really appreciate all the hard work you put into creating this.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re so welcome Theresa! How awesome that you’re including your children too!

  35. Beatrice says:

    Hi Corey,
    I am twelve years old and I found this pattern very easy to follow! Thank you so much as I now know how to sew a zip. 🙂 🙂

    1. Corey Willis says:

      High five to you, Beatrice! I’m so proud of you!

  36. Shirley says:

    Hi Corey,

    I am just here to say it has been many, many years since I have put a zipper in. I am making pillows for my couches and had to come to Pinterest to refresh my thoughts. I know how to sew it in but couldn’t recall how long a zipper I needed for my size pillows. I came across your tutorial and first wanted to say you did a great tutorial for first timers! Very very easy to follow and ladies don’t be afraid please, it’s sew (lol) easy! The hardest part of sewing is keeping a straight line going! If you cant do that, just put a piece of tape on your machine under the presser foot and follow it! There is one suggestion I have for you Corey. In the very first picture, maybe you could change your zig zag thread to something dark so they can see it. At first I thought it must be in the next pic but realized it wasn’t and if I wasn’t half blind I might see it but I didn’t….lol! It would really help the first timers! I have to say though this is the best first timer tutorial and you should be very proud that you mastered that!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Thank you, Shirley, for your thoughtful comments and suggestion! I will definitely consider making that change. Happy sewing!

  37. melanie boudreau says:

    Thank you so much for the great tutorial! It’s been years since I included a zipper in any project and needed a refresher. Really appreciate the step by step instructions!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re so welcome, Melanie! Glad you found it helpful!

  38. Alison says:

    Thank you for a great tutorial and your simple and heartfelt encouragement. Who would have thought zippers were so scary…. that is until you simply follow your instructions and… voila a zippered pillow cover is now complete. Thank you

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Awesome, Alison! Congrats on your project success and thanks for being part of the Hey There, Home family!

  39. Annette says:

    Haha, I had to laugh at your one sentence – STOP: make sure your motives are the right side up. I have one pillow with standing flamingos on one side, and dead flamingos on the other side…This was attempted before I saw your tutorial!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Oh my LOL. I’ve certainly had my share of bloopers, Annette! Thanks for sharing and happy sewing 🙂

  40. Shanna says:

    Awesome tutorial! I’ve been wanting to make zippered pillow covers for a while now, but have been scared :). Your instructions have given me a boost of courage to tackle the dreaded hidden zipper. Thanks for the tutorial!

  41. Kathy says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I’m about to go and try it. My suggestion for your future tutorials is to use a contrasting thread so that it shows up better in the pictures.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Thanks for the great suggestion, Kathy! I’d love to see how yours turns out 🙂

  42. Clare says:

    Thank you, I got asked to make cushion covers by one friend for another for Christmas & you made it easy. This is the first time I’ve had a sewing machine in nearly 10years & you helped with the zipper nerves!!

  43. nancy says:

    Wow, I made almost all my clothes in high school but I haven’t sewed much since then, 40+ years ago. I inherited my Mom’s sewing machine and found myself scared to death of it. So, I made a dog bed cover for my new grand-dog. It was like riding a bicycle, came right back to me thanks to your wonderful instructions! Now, I am going to make a few more, so easy and fun.

    1. Hooray! Excited that you are getting back into it Nancy!

  44. Barbara Barsky says:

    Hi I noticed in your photos that the sewing machine needle was moved over to the left before the zipper was sewn. It certainly helps when sewing past the zipper pull.

  45. Gail Jack says:

    Great, great instructions and pictures, but . . . cannot figure out how to “turn” the pillow case once everything is sewn. Cannot get the zipper to open so I can turn it.

    1. ginger jenkins says:

      I looked carefully for that instruction but couldn’t find it. The rest of the tips were great, especially using a wide zig zag to rip out later–also stitching diagonally–gives a nicer corner. I’ve got at least 60 yrs of sewing behind me and so in sewing any kind of item, you must open the zipper before sewing the sides. it’s also a good idea to “seal” the seams–press down with iron–before any other pressing.

    2. Hey Gail. Once the zipper side is done, you need to unzip it (at least half way) before sewing the rest of the sides.

    3. Deb says:

      Read Step 6 – ripping out the basting over the zipper. That gives you access to the opening.

  46. christine says:

    what kind of thread would you use for a thick designer fabric? Its not canvas but is almost upholstery weight.

    1. Hey Christine. Great question. I’ve always just used an all purpose thread and have never had a problem. You will want to use a little thicker needle though.

  47. Clarissa says:

    I have two questions (I’m new sewing and have never done a zipper before so I apologize if these seem like really naive questions)

    1) Why does the zipper need to be 3-4 inches less then the edge? Why wouldn’t you get one the same length as the edge?

    2) Are you using a traditional zipper or an invisible zipper? It sounds like you used a traditional zipper but the photo at the end looks more like an invisible zipper.

    3) bonus question: Do traditional zippers and invisible zippers get put in the same way as you described in the tutorial, or is there a different technique for each?

    1. Hi Clarissa. Good questions. The zipper shouldn’t go across the entire edge. There should be a little bit of regular seam on either side. I used invisible zippers and yes they get put in the same way.

  48. Tina says:

    I use an invisible zip, much easier to insert, no outside stitching, hehehehe, lazy housewife eh!

  49. Barbara. Glennon says:

    Worked great except when trying to move zipper pull out of way on the second side. What is your secret easy way to do that?

    1. Hi Barbara. It can be a bit tricky but I find if I leave the needle down into the fabric and then lift the foot it is easier to pass the zipper to the other side. Then lower the foot and keep going. Hope that helps and I’d love for you to share a photo on Instagram or FB. Just tag me so I get alerted!

  50. Thanks Corey for sharing this great tutorial for beginner. These pillow covers are simple to make with some decorator fabric, a pillow fill and a zipper. Your step-by-step tutorial really helps me. Thanks again.

    1. You are so very welcome!

  51. Han says:

    Brilliant! I just made my first ever cushion cover 🙂 Such clear instructions made it a very enjoyable afternoon!! Thankyou!! x

    1. Hooray! So glad to hear it!

  52. Kay Riebel says:

    Thank you! I have found very pretty outdoor fabric panels on eBay and I am thinking of purchasing two different panels so they can be reversible. I went looking on the Net for pillow cover making directions and found your easy to follow directions. I have made pillows in the past and my corners always turn out terrible. I am going to bookmark this so I can find it when it comes time to sew my panels together. Thanks again.

    1. You are so welcome Kay! Let me know how they turn out. I love the idea of making reversible covers!

  53. Charla Ence says:

    I’ve been sewing well…FOREVER and for some reason, had never thought of putting in a zipper this way. Thanks for showing a simple way to put a zipper in a pillow that doesn’t make me want to take up cussing!! =D

    1. Ha! You are so welcome!

  54. Carol says:

    Thank you for this post, I am going to do this tomorrow. If you have time one day could you (pretty please) how to sew a pillow with zipper and trim? Thanks so much again!

  55. jmarie says:

    does this method still work if you do piping on your pillow?

    1. It sure does!

  56. Thanks Corey for the tutorial, I was not doing it correctly, as you shows you have to install the zipper first and then you close the pillow. No wonder it was so difficult.

  57. Sara says:

    Best tutorial ever !!!!

  58. Anne says:

    Looks really easy with your way!! Thanks for all your clear explanations.

  59. Lynne says:

    I am excited (sort of) to attempt my first zipper pillow cover! Just this week I bought some cool fabric, and when I found your instructions, I realized that I bought the same fabric you used in the example, except mine is Granny Smith apple green and white instead of orange! I’m taking that as a sign!!

  60. Claire says:

    Just wanted to say how clear and helpful this tutorial was – so pleased with the result!! I did a beginners’ sewing course a little while back, and one of the things we made was a cushion, but since then my sewing machine has remained untouched. Was asked by my mum to make a cushion for my sister-in-law’s birthday and felt totally stumped about where to begin! Then stumbled across your blog and it was a god-send. Thank you! 🙂

    1. I am so happy to hear this! I go in spurts of sewing too and getting my machine out and getting back into it is always so hard, but once I do I remember how fun and rewarding it can be. Thanks so much for stopping by and for you kind words. Have a fantastic week!

  61. […] 1. orange and pink water color wall art  ||  2. drum pendant with silver foil lining  || 3. simple glass pitcher  ||  4. pink glassware  ||  5. modern white dining chairs  ||  6. square pedestal table  ||  7.  purple and mauve ikat pillows  ||  8. build your own banquet kit  || (not shown) black faux leather fabric for banquet cushion  ||  (not shown) purple fabric to make some extra zippered pillows […]

  62. April says:

    Thank you for the excellent tutorial! I wanted to make an outdoor dog bed for our dogs to lay on while on our back pork or patio (the little one doesn’t like concrete). I also wanted to have a zipper for easy washing (it’s gonna get dirty!) I have had my machine for seven years and barely used it. My husband (his mom is very good seamstress) told me that a zipper might be hard to do and he was right, I had no clue where to start until I read your tutorial! I’m so happy with how easy it was and the results, that I’m ready to make zippered covers for my porch furniture cushions! Thanks again!

  63. Hello there, I believe your web site could possibly be
    having web browser compatibility problems. Whenever I look at your web
    site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues.

    I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Besides that, excellent website!

    1. Thanks so much for the heads up! I just looked at it and it looked fine to me, but I will keep an eye on it. Thanks 🙂

  64. Dear Corey
    Thank you Thank you
    I have just made the first of many cushions,with zip,Yay me????,thanks to your easy to follow instructions.
    Love it.
    Thank you

    1. You are so welcome! Hooray!

  65. Glenda says:

    Great video! Thanks for sharing.

  66. Julie says:

    I just scanned over your instructions and they appear to be excellent. I apprecaite that you wrote them with step by step details for the novice and didn’t assume that the reader already knew what you meant. So many instructions are not made for a beginner, they always assume you have some knowledge of the subject which isn’t always the case. I am going to be covering a large bolster pillow and will hope to incorporate your zipper instructions. Thank you.

    1. Hi Julie! I’m so glad you found this tutorial helpful. I was a teacher before I had kids so I don’t ever assume anyone knows what I’m talking about. hahaha. Can’t wait to hear how your bolster turned out!

  67. These pillows are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

    Olivia @

  68. […] shown you how to make a zippered pillow cover and I love hearing that so many of you are facing your fears and learning how to install a zipper, […]

  69. Brittany says:

    I wish I would have seen this tutorial about two hours ago! I already did three sides of two pillows thinking I could do the zipper at the end. Is there any way to put in a zipper without unstitching the whole thing?

  70. Janet says:

    fo you have a tutorial if you want to add cording to the pillow?

    1. Hi Janet. I don’t, but I have it on the books since I’ve been getting a lot of requests for it.

  71. Oh my goodness, THANK YOU for this tutorial! I have resorted to making throw pillows with envelope closures because I convinced myself that zippers were way too “advanced” for my measly sewing machine skills. This changes everything. Thanks! Now to figure out how to add piping haha…

    1. I’m so glad you think this is helpful. I wasted a ton of years thinking zippers were too hard too. I should do a piping tutorial soon! Great idea!

  72. […] was so nervous about attempting a pillow let alone a pillow with a zipper. I followed this tutorial that was written for beginners and it turns out that sewing a pillow isn’t really hard at […]

  73. Jordan says:

    I saw your tutorial on Pinterest and decided to try it for my first ever sewing project. I got a sewing machine for Christmas and have been hesitant to try it.The ease of your tutorial was just what I needed to get started and the outcome was great!!! I feel confident using my new machine (thanks to your tutorial) and will continue to follow your blog! Thanks so much!

  74. Deborah says:

    I got everything except where to put the zig zag stitch and when to remove it.. Could it be across the opening where you are installing the zipper?

    1. You will put a zig zag stitch between the two regular stitches on the zipper edge. It is the basting stitch in the 4th photo down. You will remove it once you sew the zipper in place but before you sew the other 3 sides. (Step 6) Let me know if that doesn’t answer your question by email or by leaving a new comment here.

  75. Marilyn French says:

    Thanks for the timely article on zipped pillows. My last project was a throw for our new leather sofa, and thought the material -sort of Mexican colours in stripes would brighten up the room. As an afterthought I got an extra metre and three matching zips while I was there, as the other sofa was in a solid colour and I had a picture how the pillows would look and complement the throw on the leather sofa. Well the throw got done but the zippers and extra cloth taunt me! You have given me the courage to finish the whole project. Thank you and keep up the good work.

  76. Jackie says:

    Thank you for posting this great tutorial,I am going to make a pillow snuggie for my new grandson and it calls for a zipper.You have help so much,Thank you

  77. Hanna says:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I just finished my first pillow cover on my first and sparkling new sewing machine. It was easy with your great tutorial and came out perfect :). I will never by a pillow cover again, they will all be made by me.

    1. This made my day Hanna! I’m so glad you are on a “make your own pillow cover mission” like me! I’d love to see pics of your pillows. You can email me or use #inspiredbytinysidekick on Instagram or Twitter! Can’t wait 🙂

  78. Thanks for a great tutorial! I tried it and have done two pillows this way now. Makes the zipper so much easier.

    1. How awesome! Can you share pics of them with me? By email or just use #inspiredbytinysidekick on social media. Can’t wait to see!

  79. Emily says:

    I knew how to insert a zipper, but just had to comment on how clear your instructions are! Great job! I get nervous when I have to do pillows—this brings me back to wanting to make pillow covers! Thanks!

    1. Thanks so much Emily! I try my best to explain cause the last thing we need is to be frustrated when sewing. It is intimidating enough! Have fun making some pillows!

  80. Wow! If one can’t follow this, turn in the sewing machine! This was the best tutorial for ANYTHING I have ever seen. Good work and thanks! Consider yourself pinned!

    1. Thank you so much! I am self taught so I try my best to explain in a way that is easy to follow and gets people making so they can gain sewing confidence! I’m thrilled you loved it!

  81. Penny Owings says:

    Thank you for this tutorial! It’s been very helpful. YOU have been very helpful — like a cheerleader coming out of my iPad next to my sewing machine teaching me how to sew that intimidating little zipper in! I am now sewing zippers with more confidence and enjoying it! (Your tutorial is still close by, though, just in case.) 🙂

    1. This made my day! I’m happy to be sitting right next to you (in your ipad) cheering you on. 🙂

  82. Sam says:

    Hi, in step 4 when you say ‘Sew the seam you just made open and place your zipper on the seam face down’ What do you mean by ‘sew the seam’? … sorry if I’ve missed something, new to all this!
    Looking forward to going fabric shopping tomorrow and having a go 🙂

    1. Oh my goodness! That was a typo and so many people have followed this tutorial and never caught it so THANK YOU!!! It should have said “iron” the seam open. I just fixed it. Does that make sense now? So sorry!

  83. nanci says:

    thanks that was great.

  84. Alanah Cox says:

    I’m very new to sewing (just got my machine for christmas) and am dying to add some colour to my living room with new pillow covers. Thanks so much for your very easy to follow tutorial. I do have a questions about the corners that may be silly. Why sew diagonally across the corners? What difference would it make to make the corners 90 degrees?

    1. Great question and congrats on entering the wonderful world of sewing! When you do a diagonal, you will get crisp corners once the pillow has the insert in it. Happy sewing!!!

    2. Mary M. says:

      I had the same question. It seems counter-intuitive if you want 90 degree angles to sew diagonally across the corners. I do understand the need to clip corners. Your directions are so spot on, though, I’m going to trust you on this. My daughter gave me 5 pillows to make, and I was hesitant about the zipper but now plan to jump in and go for it all. I, too, would like to add piping. Maybe by pillow number 5 I will give it a shot. Thank you!

    3. Corey Willis says:

      You’re welcome Mary! Please drop me an email and let me know how it goes! [email protected]

  85. Terri says:

    Corey, I did it. I am no longer a zipper virgin. And…it was spectacular! Lol

    Fabulous instructions. I made a pillow cover for my fav brother and sister-in-law from this very valuable piece of upholstery material that was left over from a bench cushion. It turned out perfectly. Thank you, thank you.

    1. I’m so excited to hear this Terri!!! I’m working on a Reader’s Spotlight Post and would love to include you and show off your work! You can send me a pic to [email protected]. Can’t wait to see!

  86. Carol says:

    Hi Corey.. thanks so much for this tutorial. I have been sewing cushion covers for the past two and a half years for a lady who has a home decorating business. I have literally made thousands of them and have never been happy with how I sewed the zipper in. I have just made a sample of your method and didn’t even have to hand baste the zipper in first.. it looks amazing!!! Finally, a method that really ‘works’ for me!

    1. I’m so excited to hear that it has made your life easier! That is fantastic. I’d love for you to send me a picture if you get a chance. My email is [email protected]

  87. Hayley says:

    Hi Corey,
    This tutorial is amazing I feel like The first paragraph was about me. I love making pillows but have avoided putting zips in them!! Also when you say STOP is you fabric the right way around.. I loved that. I need that in all the instructions I follow because I get so caught up in the project I forget to check like ! Thank you xxx Love from New Zealand 🙂

  88. Alexandra says:

    Is there a specific type of zipper I need for pillow making?

  89. suzanne says:

    thanks alot. i’m gonna try this over the weekend. oh, i think on instruction #4 you must mean “iron” the seams open, not “sew” the seams?

    can you do tutorial on putting a zipper in when i also put in rope trim?

  90. […] Paint Pumpkin via The Casual Craftlete DIY Zippered Pillow via Tiny Sidekick Pumpkin Wall Art via The Cards We […]

  91. Well Corey you post was rather timely. Behind me is some fabric, pillow forms, and piping and I’ve been procrastinating on starting because these are holiday pillows and I’d like to be able to switch them out after the holidays….but…that would require a zipper, yikes! A big Thank You for your tutorial – I just may tackle this project today 🙂

    1. I love having covers that are season specific. Let me know how they turn out!

  92. This is a HUGE lifesaver! Thank you!

  93. Corey you are such a great teacher and this post has me wanting to get my sew on. I’m not gonna lie, I liquid stitch a lot of my pillows, but having a zipper would make things sooooooo much easier. Pinned!

  94. Believe it or not, I’ve never sewn in a zipper before — pinned and will keep this on hand 🙂

  95. […] Cash Giveaway and Fall Blog Hop  ||  How to Make a Zippered Pillow Cover Ampersand Wall Art | Upcycled Coffee Table{s} with Chalk Paint | Fall Blog Hop & Giveaway […]

  96. Great tutorial, Corey! I’ made a bunch of new throw pillows for my living room sofa this past spring, and I’d love to make some new zippered covers for them! I have to give your tutorial a try.

  97. I just have to give “kudos” to you, Corey, for an excellent tutorial! MANY, MANY, MANY years ago (like back in the dark ages….ha), I had a one-woman, custom sewing business and workroom. It was in the day when everyone was swooning over big double and triple ruffled pillows with huge welting — very “shabby chic.” I put zippers in every pillow, duffet, and custom-made seat cushion. Sometimes, someone would ask what the price would be if I didn’t add a zipper, and I always made it $5 more — so much faster to put the zipper in than hand-stitch. I bought zippers by the roll, because I was making so many different sizes, and my hubby would sit & make zippers for me while he watched TV. I had installing zippers down to a science & did not need to do the basting step, but that is a great idea for beginners. I made over 1500 pillows one year for one interior design shop, so I had lots of “zipper practice.” I like that you sew diagonally across the corners and that you cut the fabric exactly the size of the pillow form — my method, too. Just an FYI, we live within about 30 minutes of an IKEA, and they have feather pillow forms (18×18, I think) for about $7. That’s an incredible price for a well-made feather form. I’ve been gradually going through every pillow in our home and changing to these forms. So again, thank you for doing such an excellent tutorial!

    1. Wow Carol! That is sooooo impressive! The fact that you like the tutorial means so much, since clearly you are the zipper queen! What a fun business! I saw those pillow forms last time I was at IKEA, but forgot about those, so thanks so much for the reminder! Hope you had a great weekend 🙂

  98. Wow. I’m honestly inspired to almost give this a try, hee hee. It looks so simple and I’ve always been so afraid of zippers. I’m pinning this to my “If only I could sew” board… one of these days I’ll work up the courage! Great DIY steps!

  99. You made this look really easy. I bought a brand new sewing machine at my aunt’s yard sale. I have always been so afraid to use it that it is now at my parent’s house so my mom can use it. I need to not be so afraid and venture over there to tackle a project like this. I am sure once I got started and learned how, I would use it for many things. I love your pillows!

    1. Hi Lindsay! Go get your sewing machine back! I promise you that once you get going, you will love all of the things you will be able to make. No fear lady!!!

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