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How to add a zipper to a pillow {a free tutorial}

I'm sure you all know that I HATE sewing by hand, I actually just plain despise it. So when Kathleen taught me how simple it is to add a zipper to pillow backings I was in heaven! I can whip out pillows with zippers super fast now and they are just so rewarding!
Here is how we add zippers to pillow backs.
Start with two background pieces of fabric. For an 18" pillow I will cut one piece that is 16"x20" and one that is 6"x20".

Fold over and press one side (one 20" side) on each of the two pieces.

Now, using your 12"-15" zipper sew one side onto the bottom section of the pillow backing (the bottom section first). 
When using a small polyester zipper we just top stitch right over the side of the zipper, no need to change to a zipper foot or anything fancy for this.

After the bottom side is sewn to the sipper place the top section of fabric over the zipper and about 1/4" over the bottom section of fabric.
In the fold that you pressed, open your fabric up and on the wrong side of the fabric top stitch right up to the zipper on each end.

Now top stitch across the end of the zipper across the top side and down the other end. 
And there it is.
Now trim the pillow backing down to the appropriate size. In my case that would be 18" square.
Sew the pillow backing to the pillow front, right sides together.
Unzip the zipper and turn the pillow right sides out.

Quick and easy and super simple if you want to was your pillow!

Click here for our free Pillow Form tutorial.

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  1. Thanks for that tute. I want to try this but:

    'In the fold that you pressed, open your fabric up and on the wrong side of the fabric top stitch right up to the zipper on each end.'

    You lost me there...I think because I can't tell the right and wrong side of your fabric, the photo above that instruction doesn't help me. Help?

  2. I am totally bookmarking this. Zippers always scare me a little.

  3. Fabulous. I did this today and was amazed at how quickly it all went. The cushion was one of your recipes too. Thank you so much

  4. Thank-you so much for sharing this! Just tried it and it has worked brilliantly :))


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