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Sew a Zipper in a Pillow: Simple Steps (2024)

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how to sew a zipper in a pillow by handReady to take your sewing skills to the next level? Sewing a zipper into a pillow is surprisingly easy and adds an extra dimension of style.

You’ll need some basic supplies like thread, scissors or rotary cutter, and optionally an iron for pressing open seams. Follow this guide for all the details on how to measure and trim fabric pieces. Stitch one side of the fabric, insert the zipper face down, and remove basting stitches.

Additionally, you’ll find tips on sewing without zippers and making flange covers too! Once you master this skill set, there’s no limit to what unique projects you can create with zippered pillows.

Key Takeaways

  • Basic supplies needed for sewing a pillow with a zipper include thread, scissors/rotary cutter, and an optional iron.
  • Quality materials like cotton or linen fabric and a nylon coil zipper are recommended for durability.
  • Additional tools such as a hand-sewing needle, pins, and a leather tape measure may be useful.
  • Alternative closure options for pillow covers without zippers include ties, buttons, or Velcro.

Simple Steps to Sew a Zipper in a Pillow

Simple Steps to Sew a Zipper in a Pillow
Before beginning your hand-sewn zipper pillow project, start by measuring and trimming your fabric according to the pillow dimensions, adding 1.5 inches for a loose fit or no seam allowance for a snug cover. Next, stitch one side of the fabric together, leaving an opening.

Then, stitch between marked points across the seam without backstitching before inserting the zipper face down, centered over the seam.

Measuring & Trimming (or Cutting)

After getting your supplies, take your tape measure and measure your pillow form, then add 1.

With your pillow insert dimensions in hand, cut your pillow front and back fabric panels to size.

For invisible zipper insertion, cut the opening 1⁄2” wider than zipper tape. Mark zipper placement on wrong side of front panel.

Trim any loose threads. Your materials are prepped and ready for zipper insertion. Hand-sewing offers satisfaction in mastery and control. Now, let the project begin.

Stitching One Side of the Fabric

Now baste one side of the seam to temporarily hold the zipper. Fold the zipper along the seam line and pin it in place. Insert the needle and return it through the folded edge, making small prick stitches along the zipper tape.

Take care to keep the stitches straight and even to prevent puckering. Vary your stitch length for a reinforced hold.

Stitching Between Two Marks

You’ll stitch between the marked points with a 4-inch stitch length. Optimal zipper positioning requires strategic marking. Measure and mark guidelines in fabric chalk. Align zipper teeth and baste along marks using uneven long stitches.

Ensure marks match both fabric pieces. Keep the stitch length consistent. Tightly woven medium-weight cottons or linens work best. Sturdy fabric prevents puckering. Mark and measure precisely for professional results.

Inserting the Zipper Face Down

You’ve got to masterfully pin that zipper face down, as if your life depended on it, before moving on to the next step.

  1. Use plastic zippers for beginners’ ease.
  2. Center the zipper teeth over the seam.
  3. Ensure the zipper is shorter than the fabric opening.

With the zipper centered and pinned, focus on your hand-stitching technique. Take care not to fray the fabric while securing the zipper in place.

Removing Basting Stitches

Gently tug the threads loose to unravel the basting stitches without damaging your work. Avoid pulling too hard to prevent damage. Snip basting threads close to the fabric surface to allow them to unwind.

Prick stitches become nearly invisible after light pressing. For zippers under strain, use a hemming stitch to secure the tape to the seam allowance. This is particularly helpful for loose garments that are not worn daily. Your handwork and control deserve admiration.

Tips for Sewing Pillow Covers Without a Zipper

Tips for Sewing Pillow Covers Without a Zipper
Though zipperless, creative closures like ties, buttons, or Velcro keep pillow covers secure while adding visual interest.

Choose fabrics like cotton, linen, or silk in colors and patterns that excite your senses. Complement your color scheme with thread that matches or provides a subtle contrast.

Allow extra fabric for a flanged edge or decorative trim to elevate basic pillows.

For durability, use thicker hand-sewing needles and quality threads. Aim for small, neat stitches on the right side.

Insert a soft but firm pillow form before closing. Polyfill or down alternative inserts hold shape well when covered.

Stitch your pillow cover with meticulous care, envisioning the finished product bringing you joy.

Display your pillows prominently so their beauty can lift your mood.

How to Sew Pillow Covers With Flanges?

How to Sew Pillow Covers With Flanges
After stitching the pillow cover, add dimension by creating flanged edges.

  • Cut bias tape strips or single-fold tape 1-2 inches wide, depending on the flange depth desired.
  • Cut strips twice the length of each pillow edge.
  • Pin the strips to the right side of the cover edges and sew them using a 1⁄4 inch seam allowance.
  • Fold the flanged edges over to the inside of the cover and press them with an iron to crease sharply.
  • Edgestitch the inner flange edges by hand or machine using small stitches for durability.
  • For rounded corners, clip into the seam allowance of the flange up to the stitching line to prevent puckering.

Decorative flanged edges provide beautiful accents and make pillows appear professionally finished. Play with flange widths and fabrics. Contrasting flanges pop against solid color covers. Coordinate flange and cover fabrics for a cohesive style. Flanges enable quick updating of your space by allowing covers to be changed out.

Supplies You’ll Need for Sewing a Zipper in a Pillow

Supplies You
According to our understanding of this task, you’ll need cloth, a needle, and thread, scissors, pins, a zipper, and a pillow form. For the cloth, cotton or linen work best as they’re easy to sew by hand. Select fabric in a fun print or texture to enliven your space.

You’ll need a hand-sewing needle and pins. Choose good quality sewing scissors for cutting your fabric panels neatly. A nylon coil zipper, about 2 inches shorter than your pillow’s circumference, prevents bunching.

Finally, pick a firm pillow form in the dimensions you want, allowing for the zippered cover. With quality supplies in hand, you’re ready to refresh your room with a hand-sewn zippered pillow cover.

Top 6 Products for Sewing a Zipper in a Pillow

Top 6 Products for Sewing a Zipper in a Pillow
Your quilting and sewing projects will look polished and professional when you use the right tools. From high-quality fabric scissors to an ergonomic ironing board, we’ve selected six must-have products to help you hand-sew a zipper into a pillow with ease.

Pillowflex Synthetic Down Pillow Insert

With nearly 900 rave reviews, indulge in the sublime plushness of the Pillowflex pillow insert. Boasting hypoallergenic fiberfill and a poly-cotton cover, the 24×24 down alternative square replicates the comfort of natural down.

Feature Detail
Size 24 x 24 inches
Fill Material Polyester fiber
Cover Material Poly-cotton blend
Shape Square
Special Features Hypoallergenic, washable
Made in USA

Trust in the quality of American craftsmanship. This all-season pillow complements decorative covers, ensuring plumpness and durability.

Leather Tape Measure for Sewing

You’ll love this leather tape measure’s 1.5-meter length while tailoring and sewing projects, although a few users have struggled with its push-button locking device. Utilize the elegant leather and advanced fiberglass tape when measuring patterns and garments.

Despite occasional locking issues, the compact design travels easily in a purse or pocket.

Singer 9960 Sewing Quilting Machine

You can really turbocharge your pillow-making with the versatile Singer 9960, which boasts 600 stitches and a spacious quilting extension. Expert sewing capabilities abound with this fully-featured machine. Use the buttonhole, mirror imaging, LED light, and bobbin features for pillow perfection.

Accessories like zipper feet ensure that your zipper gets professionally hand-stitched into the pillow sham. Finally, utilize the troubleshooting tips from other users to ensure that your sewing time stays frustration-free.

Livingo Premium Tailor Scissors

Without the Livingo Premium Tailor Scissors, snipping until your fingertips turn purple will slow down your sewing pace when adding a zipper to a pillow by hand. Their durable forged steel blades glide through multiple layers of pillow fabric with laser precision.

Proper scissor care keeps these workhorse shears cutting strong despite frequent zipper trimming.

Ironing Board Heat Resistant Cover

Unfortunately, this ironing board’s unstable legs could lead to frustration and even injury while sewing delicate fabrics. Consider investing in a sturdier model for sewing. Hand-stitching requires precision and finesse when handling fabric.

Choose high-quality cotton fabric for pillow covers, making sure it is pre-washed to prevent future shrinkage. Style zippered pillows with unique inserts to achieve a personalized look. Experiment with different pillow heights and textures to create visual interest.

Utopia Bedding White Throw Pillow Inserts

After inserting a zipper, fluff up the Utopia pillows to test the loft and comfort. The siliconized fiber filling provides moderate firmness. Match the 18 by 18-inch pillow covers with shams or decorative cases.

Easy Steps to Make a Pillow Covering With a Zipper

Easy Steps to Make a Pillow Covering With a Zipper
Making a pillow cover with a zipper closure is both functional and decorative. To get started, you’ll need fabric cut to size, a zipper, thread that matches the fabric, hand needles, straight pins, and scissors.

First, measure your pillow and add 1-2 inches to each side before cutting your fabric to allow for seams.

Next, mark the zipper placement in the center of one edge. Pin the closed zipper to the pillow front, lining up the teeth with your placement line.

With right sides together, pin then sew the bottom edge using a 1⁄2 inch seam allowance.

Flip the cover right side out and insert the pillow through the zipper opening.

Pin the remaining open edges together, sew closed by hand, and—done! You can now access your pillow easily through the centered zipper.

Cutting the Fabric for Your Pillow Cover

You’ll want to precisely measure and cut your fabric pieces before starting to sew.

  1. Measure your pillow insert.
  2. Add 1-2 inches for seam allowances.
  3. Cut out your fabric pieces according to measurements.

When selecting fabrics, opt for tightly woven materials like cotton or linen that won’t fray easily. Mark the zipper placement with pins or tailor’s chalk. Having your pieces accurately prepped makes stitching tidy zippers much simpler.

Placing and Marking Your Pillow Zipper

Next, position your zipper centered on the wrong side of the fabric and mark where to place it. Carefully measure the zipper’s length, align it in the middle of the pillow panel using fabric chalk. Be precise when marking the zipper placement as any deviation will affect the final fit.

Focus on exactness for quality results. Pinning the zipper first helps maintain accuracy when marking for flawless fabrication. Use tried and true marking methods for precise zipper placement and pillow perfection.

Sewing the Bottom Edge of Your Pillow Cover

Fold the bottom edge of the pillow cover over the zipper tape and prick stitch it in place, securing the zipper while concealing rough edges for a polished finish. Aligning the zipper evenly across the bottom pillow edge provides structure and enables it to lie flat once inserted.

Securing the zipper to the pillow’s bottom edge with nearly invisible hand-sewn prick stitches creates hidden strength while preventing fraying for beautifully finished pillow covers.

Adding the Zipper

The white cotton material suddenly feels cold and unfamiliar in your hands as you prepare to insert the strange metal teeth along the delicate seam. After checking your zipper placement, prick stitching and reinforcement become a meditative practice.

Zipper alternatives like ties or buttons provide charm yet lack convenience. Invisible coil zips blend discreetly, while chunky plastic zips assert bold style. For pillows, opt for nylon – durable yet flexible. Take your time and mind the details – hand-sewn mastery is its own reward.

Sewing the Zipper in Place

You’ll want to carefully align and tack the zipper tape along the folded edges before prick-stitching it into place by hand. Ensure even zipper tape placement, starting from the base and working upwards. Utilize the woven zipper lines as visual guides.

Take care with straight stitching and consistent spacing for durability. Consider a hemming stitch on heavily used pillows.


Making a pillow cover with a zipper is a great way to add a unique touch to your décor, and it’s easier than you think! Mrs. Smith was able to create a cover for her square pillow insert in just 10 minutes using a zipper and some fabric.

Sewing a zipper into a pillow by hand, however, requires a few extra steps. The process involves measuring and cutting the fabric according to the pillow insert size. Then, you need to stitch one side of the fabric, insert the zipper face down, and stitch the zipper in place.

To ensure success, you’ll need to have the right supplies on hand. These include a sewing machine, leather tape measure, tailor scissors, and an ironing board. With the right tools, you can easily sew a zipper into a pillow and give your home a unique touch.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.