covered zipper pillow tutorial

Hey Everyone!!!  I am not going to have a pillow and quilt combo for May, but instead I did a great tutorial for making an easy covered zipper for all the pillows you are going to make in the future…(Quilt Market is next week (no…it is going on right now!)…and it aint pretty here…at the moment at least.)

I decided to do a blog tutorial for a covered zipper instead of a video…because I think it is hard to go back and forth on a video…and I think you could print this tutorial…If you have a phone or iPad you can have it next to your sewing machine and scroll… other than starting and stopping and rewinding a video…but if you think a video is easier we can do one as well…

img_1472Supplies Needed:

Finished Pillow front (example-18″x 18″)

Pillow backing…4″ longer than (example 18″x 22″) Cut in half in the center. 2-11″x 18″ pieces.

Zipper foot- not necessary but it makes it easier.

Matching thread

Zipper- longer than pillow width- we used 24″ for this pillow

We have a bunch of colored long zippers on our site for VERY reasonable prices. See below for more info on long zippers.

Purple thang- or something to poke out corners of pillows

Pillow form…Use a bigger form than the pillow when you can…example…put a 20″ pillow form in an 18″ pillow

I suggest reading the whole tutorial first before you start…then go for it!

Finished pillow top, backing pieces and coordinating zipper.

On wrong side of backing fold under 1/2″ and press on one piece

On the remaining piece fold and press 1″ and then fold again another 1″

Now we are ready to stitch to the zipper.

Attach your zipper foot to your machine…and line up the hole on the right side of the foot…The zipper will hang over as shown….place the backing piece with the 1/2″ on top of the zipper with the fold next to the zipper teeth.


Here it is shown all stitched…

Now unfold the other backing piece to only 1- 1inch

Place it right sides together on the other edge of the zipper and it will cover the first sewn side, lining up the widths exactly, like shown.

Move the zipper foot to the other side and stitch right up against the teeth of the zipper.  as shown in photo.

Now flip back the sewn side.


Push the fold forward so it covers the zipper. This is too far…if you see the zipper.

Sorry I had to insert a new photo here as we missed this shot…

IMG_2727IMG_2728Open the zipper a couple of inches and then push the zipper together as if it were closed.


Like this and stitch over the edges of each side to lock the fold as it covers the zipper in place.

Then the other side…


Move your zipper foot so the needle is on the right edge of the foot.



Top Stitch the fold down on the outside, running the foot as close as you can next to the zipper.26-1


Close the zipper and press the newly stitched fold.

Now Trim off excess zipper. I used plastic zippers so I can cut them with my rotary cutter.




Back is done…Time to stitch the pillow together…Make sure you keep the zipper open.


Now lay the right side of the front of the pillow to the right side of the pillow back…I like to match of any kind of stripes or plaids if I can…but I do not stress out if they do not line up…sometimes one side of the zipper does and then the other doesn’t…



Trim the back the same size as the front.





Place pins in the corners and in the middles…I admit I use pins very sparingly.


Now stitch pillow edges using a 1/2″ seam allowance…do opposing sides first…sew edge to edge.



Then stitch the remaining opposing sides. I find this eliminates getting tucks, or unevenness that happens sometimes.

Clip all four corners.

Now open up your zipper a little farther and turn the pillow right side out.


Push the corners out with some kind of tool.


Now stuff your pillow insert in…I use a bigger pillow form than my pillow…example…if my pillow is 18″ I will put a 20″ pillow form in it.




Close your zipper and fluff your pillow…Don’t you just love the finished edge this makes…and I love that I do not have to store a bunch of pillows…I can just store the pillow covering and if it would ever need to be washed it is much easier to do so.



I hope you love making these covered zippered pillows as much as I do…we have lots of designs for you to customize for your home…instead of just buying what the stores have available for us to purchase…

I have a new book coming out soon featuring a bunch of pillows including the one here….Click HERE to order the book .

I used flannel instead of wool on these pillows…they turned out beautiful!IMG_2440

I stitched words on the pillows using a #5 Valdani Thread…

If you need anything you see listed in this tutorial, we would very much appreciate you buying/supporting us for offering this great tutorial.  

We have long zippers-click HERE,  

in lots of colors for $2.50 each.  The following set goes with Farmhouse Gatherings  Flannels.

Then look at all the other colors they come in!!! …and pillow forms in bunches of sizes, beautiful flannels, wools, fusibles and kits for lots of pillow projects…on our WEBSITE.  I will let you know when the pillow kits will be ready to order…Fabric comes in July!

Leave a comment on here and I will pick a winner for a pillow kit with zipper and an advance pattern for the pillow!

…keep stitching everyday!     Lisa



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I live on a lake in beautiful Butte Des Morts, WI. I have three sons: Lance (forever 29), Luke 33, Jake 32, and two grand-babies, Little Man and O-Bug. I've been married to the love of my life Nick, since 1998 when we started our crazy adventure together! I am a quilter, rugger, and gardener. I also love to cook when I get the chance. Thanks for visiting and supporting Primitive Gathering Quilt Shop where I try to bring you the best Moda fabrics and wool projects anywhere!

94 thoughts on “covered zipper pillow tutorial

  1. Great tutorial and pictures Lisa! Love how you did the placket for the zipper…even a beginning sewist/quilter can make a beautiful pillow!

    And may I say that window seat cover is just amazing! Love, love these home dec ideas!


  2. This is wonderful. Printing out as I have several pillow covers I want to make. Thank you!

  3. Thanks Lisa for all the tips, tricks and tutorials you share with our sewing world. You deserve a metal for all your hard work! Love the all the pillows.

  4. The best pillow tutorial ever for a folded zipper cover. Loved it! And I think it is jist fine without a video. Great post.

  5. Thank you for the stepped out tutorial. Zippers scare me but this makes it seem very doable. Wonderful selection of zippers and great price point! Thank you!

  6. Lisa, I love your pillows! I have a thought for a May pillow…..KY Derby Horse….how cool would that be! Thanks for all you do. Paula in KY

  7. Thanks for the great tutorial ! I usually just do an overlap on the back, but this is so much neater and more professional! Thank you!

  8. A game changer. I admit I’m not a fan of decorative pillows due to storing them. But having zippered covers to store may have me making a few, especially the Naps pillow. I know there are other instructions out there somewhere but having an easy to understand tutorial appear on my phone with pics is an incentive. Thanks Lisa.

  9. Thx, love the tutorial idea vs a video!
    Can’t wait to see your Farmhouse collection!

  10. Great tutorial, love hiding the zipper!! Can’t wait to see your new line of fabric.

  11. Beautiful pillows! And thank you for the lesson, like it better than a video.

  12. Lisa you’re an inspiration!!!!
    I am currently a subscriber to your wool box that I Love!! 💕 Last months box had a pillow form in it and it is amazing. Very firm n holds it shape. You cannot buy a pillow like that at a box store. Well worth the cost.
    Thank you Lisa for the tutorial. Can’t wait for the book!!!!

  13. Thank you for the great tutorial. I have some pillow forms in my closet that should come out and be used- maybe I can use some of those mini quilts that never got finished……I’m glad that you posted your zippers, wouldn’t have occurred to me that you would carry such a great collection.

  14. I always have such trouble putting zippers in pillows. I think this tutorial will help me a lot! Thank you so much, Lisa!

  15. I’ve always been afraid of zippers, but I’m ready to face the challenge now because of your very clear step by step instructions. Can’t wait to make a pillow! Thank you for taking the time to do this. You are so thoughtful and generous!

  16. Thx thx thx for doing the pillow blog. This is a great way for me to keep directions by sewing machine. Awesome. Barb

  17. Thanks, Lisa, for a very complete tute. Love your stitched word pillows! There are so many possibilities and you’re right. Pick up one pillow and make a few covers for it. They make great gifts. And thank you for a chance to win a pillow kit!

  18. Thank -you Lisa for the fantastic tutorial Lisa if only I had half your talent!!!

  19. Fantastic tutorial 👏. You always make it look so easy!!!! Thanks for all the work. Can’t wait for your new flannel & book.

  20. Thanks so much for taking the time to show how to do this zipper. Love your designs. Keep up the good work. T

  21. This is a great tutorial! I often struggle when it comes to sewing a hidden zipper on pillows. Now I can refer back to your tutorial for my next project that needs a hidden zipper. I never thought of stuffing a pillow with a larger insert before, what a great idea. I love all those pillows lined up on the window seat not to mention the wonderful seat cover/quilt on it. I can’t wait for your new book to come out.

  22. What a greaat tutorial! Thank you! Have a fabulous market!!! Please post pictures of your booth. I am sure it is gorgeous!!!

  23. Love these pillows, can hardly wait for the book. Thank you for the tutorial on the zipper, I will be trying it out this weekend!

  24. So glad to see you posting again, I’ve missed you. Love all the pillows. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial on the zipper installation. Going to have to try it, as you make it look so easy.

  25. I’ve made pillows similar to this method but not with a zipper. After watching this great tutorial I will have to try adding a zipper to my pillows. Thanks Lisa!

  26. See excited to make some of these to change up my loving room. Thank you for the great tutorial.

  27. Wonderful tutorial. Easy to follow step by step pictures. I’m excited to make a pillow with zipper. Zippers were never easy for me but think I will give it another try with your easy to follow directions. Thank you.

  28. Thank you so much Lisa! This tutorial was incredibly helpful!!!! Going To order your book and zippers! love Love LOVE the pillows!!!!

  29. Thanks for the great tutorial !!! I will definitely be making more pillows …. LOVE all your pillow designs and will be looking at your new book!

  30. Absolutely love these pillows, I have been checking yours out for months, Terrific gifts also! Great ideas!!

  31. Thank you for this tutorial. This method looks cleaner than the way I was doing it. I do like to put my zipper about 1″ from the bottom rather than in the middle, but I like your visuals and will try this way. I do prefer the slide tutorial format rather than a video, so thanks for that, too.

  32. The tutorial is great. I love the covered zipper concept. I have a pillow cover that will be a perfect project to try it. Thanks for all your tips.

  33. Thanks for the hidden zipper tutorial! I’ve not tried that method yet but will now! Just a few May pillow ideas: Lily of the Valley, May showers, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Graduation. 😊

  34. Lisa, the tutorial is very helpful. Have not done one like this in the past but will not hesitate to try now. I love all your home dec pix also. Thanks for sharing!

  35. Instead of trimming the pillow back to match the front, simply pin the front on top of the larger back (with the zipper part way open), sew, then trim. Also you can top stitch edge of turned pillow for a knife edge that can mimic piping.

  36. Thank you for the tutorial. I’ve been wanting to make some pillow and this will make it go much faster. What a great idea, pillow covers instead of storing pillows. You have such great ideas and tips.

  37. Once again, Lisa, I am bowled over by your willingness to share your skills and encourage us! I plan to try my hand at a pillow with a zipper. What a great idea to change the outer portion without having to store a stash of bulky pillow forms! Thank, thank you!!!

  38. THANK YOU, I love the tutorials… I tend to learn better from looking at pictures or watching! Have a great Market

  39. This is definitely getting printed out and going in my “sewing ideas” notebook. Now I can’t wait to make a pillow!

  40. You certainly make it look easy! Now I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the tutorial!

  41. You rock, great tutorial!! I love all the pillow designs, awesome colors for the zippers. Looking forward to putting this tutorial to go use! 🙂

  42. Awesome!!! What a wonderful way to make a pillow. I feel very computer illiterate with videos – starting & stopping. It’s very frustrating!!! BUT, I can read this & follow directions, even on a zipper. Thank you so much for making this easy to follow. I will be making pillows!!!

  43. I just finished a pillow back just like this….this is an excellent reference. Great pillows 🙂 I always put zippers on my pillows for washing purposes but don’t like the zipper tabs sticking out when they are on the outer seams so this is a perfect way to make them.

  44. Love the tutorial and love all the pillows you made, they make everything so bright and cheerful!

  45. Thank you Lisa for all the info you have shared on making pillows!! I love all your designs but the pillows are so special. I am looking forward to your new book!!

  46. Lisa- thank you for the great tutorial!!
    New to making pillows so this is just what I needed especially since I saw some pillows from your new book that I want to make!!!

  47. I pre-ordered the book…excited to get it! Love the pillows! Zippers scare me a bit…but I think I might try this on my Wool Box “Spring” pillow. You make it look easy. Wish me luck!

  48. I use my embroidery machine to make seasonal and holiday pillows and even bring these along with RV trips. Neither my confidence nor my patience has reached the level of inserting zippers. Your tutorial is very tempting. I will keep it in mind for the next time. Thanks for sharing it.

  49. This pillow tutorial is so helpful and I am loving your new fabric line! Pillows are in my plans. Been using the farmhouse decorating scheme and will certainly add some of your designs to my new room. The quilt you have hanging as a curtain at market with the “Live, Love…..” pillow squares really took my eye! You are so creative and what I saw of your booth was wonderful. I hope the wooden quilt puzzle will be for sale. My sister has one of these in another color and I have been envious but could never find one.

  50. Thank you for taking the time to put together such a great tutorial! This is a great resource for all of us! This line is just stunning!

  51. I LOVE ALL of the new pillows! These have grown on me really quick and I am ready to start making pillows! Great tutorial and I love that as soon as I was thinking, I can never find pillow forms, there was the part with the links to buy on your website! You thought of everything! I need to watch one of my favorite movies with Doris Day…. Pillow Talk… and start some pillows! Lots to look forward to! Thank you!

  52. HI Lisa, I love the the zipper is covered–such a professional finish!! I’ll conquer my fear of zippers after this tutorial!! Much appreciated!

  53. Hi Lisa, Love all of the pillow ideas and the zipper tutorial!!! I have always used velcro but now I am ready to move on to zippers!!!!!! I will be in the shop soon to check out the zippers. Looking forward for the June and July pillows!

  54. I love the tutorial and will be making some of the pillows for my house. The colors are perfect. I still struggle with stitching the lettering though. Maybe you can do a tutorial for the letters using the #5 threads? That would be really helpful.

  55. Thank you so much! I am going to use this on my Spring Pillow. Working on it right now!

  56. Thank you for the tutorial for the zipper. I love the pillows and want to make the COFFEE pillow for a couple of friends for gifts. And some of the other pillows would also make nice gifts for Christmas. They are different and would look great in any ones home.

  57. Thank you for the excellent tutorial! I just used it to finish my Like Mother Like Daughter pillow. Well done like everything you do!

  58. Awesome tutorial, and now I need this book and some zippers. Thank you so much for all you take the time to teach! You are appreciated!!

  59. I love pillows too. Believe me I have only three throw pillows right now and none of them match my furniture.
    I would love to have your pillow!!

  60. I love this pillow and the tutorial is a great idea. So many ladies cannot put in a zipper.
    Thank you Lisa! I would love on this pillow!!

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