8 Easy Steps to Sewing a Pillow Cover With a Zipper!

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Hi!  Hope you had a wonderful week.  Sooooo busy here at the castle this week!  Can’t wait to show you what has been going on.  First and foremost – last month I bought a new sofa.


New Living room sofa


And I love it!  I look at and hear angels sing!  It took me FOREVER  to find the perfect sofa.  With the sofa came a few changes to the living room.  A new rug and a few new accessories.  At the top of that list was to get rid of the no good, awful, really terrible pillows that came with the sofa.  So here is how I made a pillow cover with a zipper.


Zipper pillow 3


See what I mean?  The inserts were down, so I was definitely using those but, the pillow case itself?  Unh… NO!

Now here is where my disclaimer comes into play.  I am no seamstress!  In fact, after a small amount of initial training, I am basically self taught, so I come at things back-ackward as my Granny used say! This is just how I do it.

I’ve never really taken the time to make pillow covers this way because I always thought that it was too much work. It really wasn’t!  In some ways, it is actually easier to do than sewing all four sides and hand stitching the bottom closed.  It definitely looks better AND I can change the cover out whenever I get a whim to do so!

1. After finding some really great material, the first thing I did was measure the pillow.  It was 20″ square.  I cut two 20″ squares from the material. Using a seam allowance of 1/2″ on all four sides this will put the sewn cover at 19″.  Which will make the pillow nice and tight.

2. With right sides of the material together, sew a 1/2″ seam on one edge of your material.


zipper pillow 8


3. Your two squares will be sewn together, grab the opposite edge from your sewn seam, open your material and lay flat, wrong sides up. Iron seam open. It will look like this.


zipper pillow 1


I had these two 12″ zippers that were left over from long ago unfinished project and decided to use those.  As you can see it came with a card on the inside of the zipper packaging that will tell you how to sew a zipper if you forget any steps!


zipper pillow 7


4. Center the zipper and lay the “teeth” part of the zipper directly over the seam of the pillow case, pin in place. ( Make sure that you change out your sewing “foot” on your machine.  You want to be using a “zipper foot” on this part of the project.  When you are done sewing the zipper, just change it back to your normal one. )  Now just sew the zipper to the material! I like to sew across the bottom of the zipper first, continuing up one side of the zipper, across the top, then down the remaining side. Don’t ask me why, it’s just how my crazy brain works!


zipper pillow 6


5. Once it is sewn, remove pins and turn the material over, right sides up.  Starting at one end of where the zipper was sewn, gently take a seam ripper and “rip” the stitches of your earlier seam from one end to the other of the you first seam! This will create an opening to get to your zipper.


zipper pillow 5


6. Your zipper is done!  Be sure to find your zipper pull and lower the pull, leaving the zipper open.  This allows you to have an opening to turn your cover right side out after sewing the other three sides.  If not, you have effectively sewn your pillow case shut! No bueno!

zipper pillow 4


7. Close your material, right sides together. Be sure to match up the outer edges. Pin the other three sides and sew all the way around.

8.  I like to cut the extra material off of my corners. Just cut at an angle, being careful not to get too close to the stitching!  This helps create “pointy” corners. Now, go to your zipper opening reach in and grab your material and turn right side out, being sure that you get your corners turned well. You can use a pencil -eraser end or they actually make a sewing tool for this task for this purpose.  I have no idea what the name is….remember? Not a seamstress!  Insert your pillow form into the cover and zip closed.  That is it! You are done!


Zipper Pillow


Here it is… Love it!  It really ties in my neutral sofa with the rest of the room.  I love how colorful it is and the best part? If I get tired of it , and you know I will, I can just make something else and easily change it out.

Skill level?  Well, if you have basic sewing skills – you can sew a straight line – this is beginner.  In fact, when I was teaching my boys how to sew this is one of the first things I taught them.  Hey! Boys need to know how to sew too!!!!

I have a few more projects to share with you before I show you my completed living room.  Can’t. Wait!

Until next time……








Tammy from Patina and Paint

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