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Easy DIY Zipper Pillow Covers

DIY Pillow Covers If I were asked what I thought the two simplest ways to quickly change the look of a room would be, I would say to paint a new color on the walls and to recover your pillows with new fabric. I am doing the second this week in my beautifully teal, aqua and green living room. Though these cooler colors are on trend for the upcoming Fall and Holiday 2013, especially the deep emeralds, I am going to be bold and crazy and switch out my living room to the warmer eggplants, plums and golds. I am starting this mini transformation with the pillow covers and will finish with the art around the room. Stay tuned for a full tour of the finished room.

Sew Pillow Covers I have been sewing pillow covers for as long as I can remember. I love to have the option to choose from a variety of fabrics and colors and find it useful to reuse the pillow fills season after season. I have several different versions of pillow covers that I will use depending on the fabric and the use of the pillow. Today I am sharing one of the basics, a zippered pillow cover. These are pillows that I am using in my living room with high traffic and daily use by multiple people, so I want both sides to look finished and they need to be easily removed for washing. Zippers are one of those things that seem a bit tricky to sew and I wanted to create a tutorial that was as simple as possible to follow. I believe you can do it, even if you are a beginner at sewing. Worst case is you can remove the seam and try again. If you are not ready for a zipper, I will be posting a tutorial for an envelope pillow tomorrow. See you then! ~ Lia

Simple DIY Zippe rPillow Cover Zipper Pillow Covers Tutorial

  1. I made four pillows with your tutorial! They were easy and turned out great. I haven’t attempted a zipper since high school which is more than 30 years ago! Thank you for your wisdom.

  2. Hi there! I must say, this is an AWESOME tutorial! These are the first pillows I’ve made and they look quite professional! My only hiccup is sewing the zipper in… are you using a zipper foot? How do you sew around the actual zipper pull? Are you moving it up and down as you’re sewing? Just a little confused on that front. I’ve made two and they look great except I feel that it could be cleaner if I understood a little better. Sorry, noob over here! Thanks!

  3. Thank you so so much. I had to cover some cushions for my mum in law today with Sanderson fabric and I’ve never sewn a zip in my life. Now I’ve sewn two!!!

    Thanks absolutely oodles
    Victoria xxx

  4. I never, ever comment on any blogs or tutorials–but I have to do it here.

    I am nearly 40 and have been sewing since I was a 10 (both by hand and by machine). I believe that (for practical purposes) every pillow form should have a zipper, but I have always hated doing zippers; I was taught to install them the ‘old-school’ way and it’s time-consuming for me and frustrating when things don’t line up–but with this method, I know I’ll be able to knock them out in now in time! Thank you so much; I am going downstairs RIGHT NOW to tackle those pillows for my home office chairs I’ve been putting off, lol!

  5. I really love the bird print fabric in your tutorials. I looked at fabric depot for the fabric and am not seeing it. Did you get this fabric there too?

  6. Thanks you sew much! I searched for “How to make pillows” and this is the first link I opened. No need to open any other!

  7. What a beautifully photographed tutorial. Thank you.

  8. This is great!!! I just found your blog yesterday – surfing for easy pillow covers – and I must say – this is it!!!!
    Just made my first pillow cover – guess what everybody is getting for Christmas this year 😉
    Thank you!! Can’t wait to try out more of your ideas!

  9. Hi, I was wondering if sewing on the zipper side (wrong side of fabric) would be an option, the whole idea of sewing accidentally on the zipper scares me ( I am afraid of the zipper moving ever so slightly). Let me know your thoughts. Thanks

    • Visible zippers are totally in style right now! The foot of the sewing machine normally guides me and will not easily sew over the zipper. Hope it works out!

    • Sewing the zipper on the wrong side of the fabric is totally in trend right now. However, in my experience I use the foot of the sewing machine to guide me and it does not go over the zipper easily.

  10. Hi, just want to know how long is the zipper you need for a 16″ cover? Also do you have some stores or website you recommend for fabric and zipper? Thanks

  11. I gave the cushions I had covered with your tutorial to my sister for her birthday; she thought they were great but had no idea they were handmade until I told her. The surprise on her face was quite something!

  12. I just wanted to say thanks for this wonderful little tutorial. So simple and straight forward, yet exactly what I was looking for and gave fantastic professional-looking results. I’ve never been so thrilled with a zip before! I’ve only just discovered your site but am particularly in love with your paper flowers. Just trying to find an excuse to give some a go!

    • Thanks Emily! It makes me so happy to hear when people like yourself are finding my tutorials useful. :-) You will have to use the excuse of just wanting to do a creative paper project and make a flower for your own joy! Best reason ever.

  13. Hi Lia,

    What a great post! I especially like your tutorial on how to insert a zipper. I just made a DIY cushion cover tutorial and was looking for a good zipper tutorial and I found your site. I have posted a link to your site in my own blog, I hope that’s OK? Here is a link to my post if you would like to have a look:

    Thanks again for the great tutorial!


  14. I was curious if you found out more information about the grey fabric. I absolutely love it! Looking to purchase on their website. Thanks a lot for the tutorial. Going to attempt it this weekend.

  15. Hi Lia,

    gosh… I’m obsessed with your website. I think I’ve watched the perfect bow tutorial 8 times as I tie my Christmas gifts.

    Anyways, I live in San Diego and I LOVE that grey and white textured fabric. I looked online at fabric depot and wasn’t sure where to look. Do you happen to remember the designer for that fabric? Or maybe any ideas on where I can locate it in my area?

    All of your crafts are absolutely incredible! :)

    Thanks for your help!

    • Thanks Kimmy! Trying to rid the world of ugly bows one at a time. 😉 I am going to be at Fabric Depot this weekend and I will check on that fabric and see if I can get info. I LOVED it the minute I saw it too. Very unique. How much are you looking for?

  16. Love your ideas! I am curious though – I have a Bunch of velcro left over from a tarp project for my husband. Have you ever used this as a pillow closure? I am tempted to try this but I’m worried it would make the seam too bulky. What do you think?

    • It certainly will work, but velcro can be stiff and scratchy. Again, it depends on the use for the pillow and it is just for looks or are people going to be touching them. I have another version coming today that is fabric only. You may like that one too.

  17. Is the first seam, the “bottom”, zippered side, a standard 5/8″ seam?

    • Hi Linda! Good to see you again. 😉 To make it easy to explain the non-patterned sizing of the fabric, I used a non-standard 1/2 inch all around, but honestly, it really will not matter since the pillow will fill it up and a small variation will be just fine. I am more accustomed to sewing on the 5/8 mark too.

  18. Hi Lia! I’ve got to tell you that I loved this pillow tutorial! I have always wondered how to get a zipper on something like this, and your instructions gave me new hope that I could possibly do something like this, not even knowing how to sew too well. I am so glad that I subscribed to your blog a long time ago! I hope you stop over to visit my blog one day too – – I have been on a paper mache kick for Halloween over here! Have a super nice & special day! Hugs, Valerie

    • That is great news! I am trying to make it as simple as possible. A video would work better right? I will go look at your blog right now. I love paper mache!

  19. Lia,

    I also live in the Portland, Oregon area. Where do you get your fabrics? I love the ones you’ve chosen here, especially the fabrics with texture.

    • Hello Neighbor! I buy most of my fabrics at Fabric Depot. They have a great selection of interior choices. However, the textured pillow that is deep purple I grabbed from their wedding and formal area. They are having a big 30-35 off sale this week so go check it out if you can. (Report back what you find too). 😉

  20. That’s great!!
    Thank you!!!!

  21. Way to go Lia, love all your pillow covers. Love the tutorial about putting zippers in the covers. I’ll have to print that out when I get some more ink.
    I really love all pillows you showed in this post but my favorites are the bird fabric and Ikat. I’m slowly learning to like Ikat patterns.
    I also have been making pillow covers for many years. If I want something new I go into my sewing room and rummage thru all my fabric stash. I usually can come up with something I can make a cover with.
    I have several pillow covers for different seasons, styles I keep handy when I get a wild hair to have something new or different for while. I tend to like to change things up like pillow covers and my couch slip covers
    . I don’t really care for original upholstery on our couch or couch style for that matter. So I switch out slip covers I’ve had for while also. I even took different fabrics I had and wrapped them around the cushions on sofa for something different. I’ve been known to use duct tape to keep the fabric on the cushions.
    When we kept moving out to areas not close to fabric or craft stores I had to learn to make do, not go running to store as I did in Ca. It’s good for me.
    Great post and so glad you shared how to put a zipper on a cushion cover, I pinned it.
    Have a great week. How was your writing conference?

    • So this post was talking your language! :-) I keep a box of all of my pillow covers to switch around, but this is the first time I have done it for the season. Maybe I will even add something Christmasy later. The conference was amazing! I also loved seeing my sister who joined me there.

  22. Easy, beautiful and inexpensive! What more could you ask for?

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