How to make a zipper pillow cover

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How to make a zipper pillow cover

In-home decor, the personal touch can transform a house into a home. Handmade items, in particular, add a unique charm that resonates with individual style. Today, we embark on a creative journey –the art of crafting a zipper pillow cover. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a beautiful addition to your living space and a sense of accomplishment from creating it yourself.

Gathering Your Materials

How to make a zipper pillow cover

Before we dive into the creative process, let’s gather our materials. Choosing a suitable fabric is crucial. Consider the color scheme and the overall aesthetic of your room.

Additionally, pick a zipper that complements your fabric and suits the size of your pillow. Ensure you have the necessary tools, such as scissors, pins, and a sewing machine, to make the process seamless.

Fabric Selection:

  • Choose a fabric that complements your home decor. Consider the color scheme, texture, and overall aesthetic.

  • Remember the fabric’s durability, mainly if the pillow cover will be frequently used or placed in high-traffic areas.


  • Select a zipper that aligns with your chosen fabric. The color and style of the zipper can significantly impact the overall look of the pillow cover.
  • Ensure the zipper is appropriate for the size of your pillow insert. It’s better to have a zipper slightly longer than needed, as you can easily trim it later.

Tools and Equipment:

  • Scissors: A sharp pair of fabric scissors for precise cutting.
  • Pins: Use pins to secure the fabric during the sewing process.
  • Sewing Machine: If you don’t have one, check if your local community offers sewing machine rentals or consider hand-sewing for a more traditional approach.

Understanding Measurements

Begin by measuring your pillow insert. This will determine the dimensions of your fabric. Remember to add seam allowances for a snug fit. Once your measurements are ready, it’s time to cut the fabric. For patterned fabrics, take extra care to align the patterns for a polished finish.

Measuring the Pillow Insert:

  • Use a measuring tape to determine your pillow insert’s width, length, and height.

  • Record these measurements, as they will be the foundation for your fabric dimensions.

Adding Seam Allowances:

  • To achieve a well-fitted cover, add seam allowances to your measurements. A standard budget is 1/2 inch to 1 inch, depending on personal preference and the type of seams you plan to use.
  • Seam allowances prevent the cover from being too tight, making inserting and removing the pillow easier.

Calculating Fabric Dimensions:

  • Front Panel: The front panel’s dimensions will match the pillow insert dimensions exactly, including seam allowances.
  • Back Panels: You’ll need to divide the pillow’s width by 2 for the back panels. Add seam allowances to each half. The length remains the same as the front panel.
  • For example, if your pillow insert measures 18 inches by 18 inches, the front panel will also be 18 inches by 18 inches, while each back panel will be 18 inches by 9 inches (assuming a 1/2-inch seam allowance).

Cutting Fabric:

  • Lay out your fabric on a clean, flat surface.
  • Use your marked measurements to guide cutting, ensuring precision with fabric scissors.
  • If working with patterned fabric, take extra care to align the pattern correctly.

Choosing the Right Zipper

How to make a zipper pillow cover

The zipper you choose can make or break your pillow cover. Explore different types and select one that suits your style. Please pay attention to zipper color and length, ensuring it complements your chosen fabric. A well-matched zipper can elevate the overall look of your creation.

Types of Zippers:

Conventional Zipper: A standard zipper suitable for most projects. Available in various lengths and colors, it is versatile and easy to work with.

Invisible Zipper: Ideal for a seamless, discreet closure. It’s often used when you want the zipper hidden within the seam for a polished look.

Decorative Zipper: If you’re aiming for a bold statement, consider a zipper with unique pulls or contrasting colors to add a decorative element to your pillow cover.

Matching Zipper Color to Fabric:

Choose a zipper color that complements or matches your fabric. A well-matched zipper blends seamlessly, creating a cohesive and polished appearance.

  • For a subtle look, select a zipper that closely matches the dominant color of your fabric. Alternatively, choose a contrasting color for a bold and trendy statement.

Zipper Length Considerations:

  • Ensure the zipper is long enough to span the entire opening of your pillow cover. It’s better to have a slightly longer zipper than needed, as you can easily trim the excess.
  • If using an invisible zipper, choose one at least the length of the pillow opening for easy insertion and removal.

Consider the Fabric Weight:

  • Heavyweight fabrics may require a sturdier zipper to withstand the added strain. Consider a metal or heavy-duty zipper for fabrics like denim or upholstery material.
  • Lightweight fabrics, on the other hand, are better suited to lighter zippers that won’t weigh down the pillow cover

Cutting and Preparing Fabric

How to make a zipper pillow cover

With measurements and materials in hand, carefully cut the fabric according to your dimensions. Take the time to mark and cut precisely, especially if you’re working with patterned fabric. To prevent fraying, consider finishing the fabric edges before moving on to the next steps.

Lay Out Your Fabric:

  • Clear, flat, spacious surface to work on. Ensure your fabric is clean and free from wrinkles to maintain accuracy in cutting.

Transfer Measurements:

  • Using your previously determined measurements, mark the fabric with a fabric pencil or washable marker. Indicate where you’ll be cutting to avoid any errors.

Precision Cutting:

  • Armed with fabric scissors, carefully cut along the marked lines. Take your time to ensure straight edges and accurate dimensions. Smooth, deliberate cuts contribute to a professional-looking finished product.

Aligning Patterned Fabrics:

  • If you’re working with patterned fabric, pay extra attention to aligning the pattern during cutting. Ensure symmetry and continuity across the panels for a cohesive appearance.

Marking Additional Design Elements:

  • If your design includes additional elements such as embroidery, appliqué, or other embellishments, mark these on the fabric during this step. This ensures that they are strategically placed and well-integrated into the overall design.

Sewing the Front Panel

Lay the groundwork by sewing the front panel. Pin any design elements in place and choose appropriate seam allowances for a professional finish. This step sets the tone for the entire project, so take your time and enjoy the creative process.

Positioning the Fabric:

Lay the front panel on your work surface with the right side facing up. Ensure the fabric is smooth and free from wrinkles for accurate stitching.

Pin Any Design Elements:

If your design includes embellishments or decorative elements, it is time to position and pin them in place. Take care to align these elements symmetrically for a balanced look.

Choosing the Right Seam Allowance:

Select the appropriate seam allowance for your project. Standard budgets range from 1/2 inch to 1 inch, depending on personal preference and the type of seams you plan to use.

Marking Stitching Lines:

Use a fabric pencil or washable marker to mark the stitching lines on the fabric, indicating where you’ll sew. This ensures accuracy and helps maintain even seam allowances.

Attaching the Zipper

Now that your front panel is a work of stitched artistry, it’s time to introduce the functional and stylish element that will seamlessly bring your zipper pillow cover together – the zipper attachment.

Lay your meticulously crafted front panel right-side up and position the zipper, face down, along the top edge. Pin it securely, ensuring a straight alignment. Attach the appropriate zipper foot to your sewing machine, selecting a medium stitch length for durability.

Begin stitching from the top, securing with a backstitch and following the zipper’s path down each side.

As you sew, periodically check the alignment to maintain a polished appearance. Backstitch again at the end to secure the zipper in place. Pressing the seam with an iron sets the stitches and adds a finishing touch.

Testing the zipper for smooth functionality is a crucial step before moving forward. Trim any excess zipper length, ensuring it aligns with the fabric edges.

This process ensures secure closure and elevates your pillow cover with a touch of craftsmanship. With the zipper flawlessly attached, you’re poised to dive into the next steps of sewing the back panels and completing your unique handmade pillow cover. Enjoy the journey of turning fabric into functional art!

Sewing the Back Panels

How to make a zipper pillow cover

With the zipper securely in place, move on to the back panels. Align and pin them carefully, ensuring they match seamlessly with the zipper. Stitch the back panels to the zipper and then complete the remaining sides. The goal is a flawless finish that hides the zipper and showcases your craftsmanship.

Laying Out the Fabric:

  • Place the front panel, now adorned with the attached zipper, right-side up on your workspace.

Aligning Back Panels:

  • Take the back panels and position them on the front panel, right sides facing each other. Align the edges, ensuring they match precisely with the zipper.

Pinning in Place:

  • Pin the back panels to the front board along the sides where they meet the zipper. Use straight pins to secure the layers, preventing any shifting during sewing.

Selecting Seam Allowances:

  • Choose your preferred seam allowance, typically 1/2 inch to 1 inch. Ensure consistency with the seam allowance used for the front panel.

Stitching the Sides:

    • Sew along the pinned sides, starting from the top and moving towards the bottom—Backstitch at the beginning and end for added durability.

      Turning Inside Out and Final Touches

        • Sew turn your pillow cover inside out to reveal your handiwork. Ensure all seams are secure, and take a moment to appreciate your creation. This is the perfect time to add any final touches or personalizations, including additional embellishments or unique stitching the pinned sides, starting from the top and moving towards the bottom—Backstitch at the beginning and end for added durability.

          Turning Inside Out:

          • Gently reach inside the cover through the unzipped opening and carefully flip the entire body inside out. Take your time to ensure smooth corners and well-defined edges.

          Ensuring Seams and Corners:

          • Once turned inside out, inspect the seams and corners. Use a blunt tool, like the end of a chopstick or your fingers, to gently push out the corners for a crisp, defined shape.

          Inserting the Pillow:

            • If you haven’t already, insert your pillow form through the open zipper. Ensure the pillow is evenly distributed for a plump and well-filled appearance.

          Closing the Zipper:

          • Zip up the cover, marveling at your creation’s seamless closure and polished appearance.

          Final Adjustments:

          • Smooth out any wrinkles or creases by gently manipulating the fabric. Adjust the pillow inside for optimal fullness and shape.


          Creating a zipper pillow cover is an engaging and rewarding DIY project that allows you to infuse your home with personalized decor.

          The process begins with gathering materials, including carefully chosen fabric, a suitable zipper, and essential tools. Understanding measurements is crucial for achieving a snug fit, and attention to details like pattern alignment enhances the overall aesthetic.

          Choosing the right zipper involves considering types, colors, and lengths that complement your fabric. With materials in hand, the meticulous steps of cutting and preparing fabric follow. Precision in this phase sets the stage for a professional-looking final product.

          The guide then delves into sewing, starting with the front panel. This pivotal step includes positioning fabric elements, selecting appropriate seam allowances, and utilizing various stitching techniques for decorative flair.

          Attaching the zipper adds functionality and craftsmanship, requiring careful alignment and testing for smooth operation.

          Sewing the back panels completes the structural integrity, with careful attention to hems for a polished appearance.

          Turning the cover inside out reveals the transformation, and final touches, such as adjusting seams and adding optional embellishments, perfect the project. The completed zipper pillow cover becomes a unique expression of creativity and a striking addition to your home decor.


          What materials do I need to make a zipper pillow cover?

          Ans: To make a zipper pillow cover, you’ll need fabric, a suitable zipper, scissors, pins, a sewing machine, measuring tape, marking tools, and an iron. Optional materials include embellishments like buttons or embroidery thread.

          How do I choose the correct zipper for my pillow cover?

          Ans: Consider the type of zipper (conventional, invisible, decorative), match the zipper color to your fabric, ensure the zipper is the correct length, and factor in the weight of your material. Test the zipper for smooth operation before use.

          Can I use any fabric for a pillow cover?

          Ans: While using various fabrics, consider their durability and aesthetic appeal. Cotton, linen, and upholstery fabrics are popular choices. Heavyweight fabrics may require a sturdier zipper.

          Do I need a sewing machine for a zipper pillow cover?

          Ans: While a sewing machine is recommended for efficiency, you can hand-sew a pillow cover. Remember that a sewing machine provides a more secure and polished finish.

           How do I prevent the fraying of fabric edges?

          Ans: Finish fabric edges with a serger or use a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine to prevent fraying. This step ensures a clean and polished appearance.

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