Free Directions to Sew a Pillow Cover With a Zipper Back

  • 01 of 07

    What You Need to Sew a Pillow Cover With a Zipper

    Zipper Closure in the Back of a Pillow
    Debbie Colgrove

    A zipper closure in the back of a pillow keeps the pillow cover on the pillow form but allows it to be removed for easy laundering.

    Materials You Will Need

    • A pillow form
    • Pillow front - fabric cut to the size of the pillow form - a 14" square pillow form would require a 14" square of fabric. By cutting your fabric to the same size as the form and using 1/4" seams, the pillow cover will be snug and filled to the corners and edges. If you are using a very firm pillow form, add a seam allowance to all four edges before you cut the fabric.
    • Pillow Back - 2 pieces of fabric that are cut to the width of the front by half the width of the front plus 2".
    • An all-purpose zipper the width of the pillow matching the color of your fabric as closely as possible. For example, a 14" pillow would require a 14" zipper.  If you can not purchase the require length zipper,  adjust the length of the zipper teeth if necessary so that the teeth are the length of the pillow form.
    • Thread to match your fabric
    • Basic sewing tools
    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Attaching the Zipper - Step 1

    Attaching the Zipper - Step 1
    Debbie Colgrove

    The Process to Add a Zipper to the Back of a Pillow

    • Place the zipper right side down on the right side of one long edge of a back rectangle. If you are working with a patterned fabric, this will be the center seam of the back of the zipper.
    • Baste the zipper to the edge of the fabric, not sewing too close to the zipper teeth or by using the twill line in the zipper tape as a guide for where to sew.
    • Sew a zigzag stitch along the sewn edge to enclose the raw edge of the fabric.
    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Attaching the Zipper - Step 2

    Top Stitch
    Debbie Colgrove
    • Press the fabric back, on the seam line, to expose the front of the zipper.
    • The Topstitch​ next to the fold by the zipper tape, Stitching as close to the fold as possible so that the fabric will be held in place and not be caught in the zipper teeth.
    • Tips to Sew Straight Lines
    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Attach the Second Back to the Zipper

    Attach Zipper to Second Side
    Debbie Colgrove

    Sew the second back piece to the zipper by placing the zipper right side down on the right side of the long edge of the fabric, being sure that the ends of the fabric line up evenly on the zipper tape.

    Sew the zipper to the fabric the same way you did the first side of the zipper.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Create the Zipper Flap

    Place on Pillow Front
    Debbie Colgrove
    • Place the back pieces on top of the pillow front piece. (The pillow front shown here is a Shadow Appliquéd Pillow Front). 
    • Fold back the second back piece to create a zipper flap, so that the back pieces will be the same size as the front piece.
    • Press and pin the flap fold in place.
    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Top Stitch the Zipper Flap

    Top Stitch
    Debbie Colgrove

    Stitch the flap in place by sewing on the zipper tape through both layers of the pillow back and through the zipper tape.

    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Baste Ends of Zipper Flap

    Baste Ends
    Debbie Colgrove

    Baste the ends of the zipper flap in place so that it stays where it belongs while assembling the remaining part of the pillow.

    Assemble the pillow front and add any desired edges such as a ruffle or piping.

    Place the pillow back on the pillow front, with the right sides together.

    Open the zipper so that you will be able to turn the pillow right sides out.

    Pin the edges of the front and back of the pillow together, 

    Sew the front and back of the pillow together using a 1/4" seam allowance.

    Add a seam finish to the seam allowances to prevent fraying in the laundry.

    Press as it was sewn.

    Turn right sides out and press again.

    Insert the pillow form and close the zipper!

    Enjoy your new pillow!