Add a Zipper to a Pillow in 10 Mins.

throw pillow zipper tutorial, diy, sewing project

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Changing out throw pillow covers is one of the very best ways to update a room, especially as the seasons change.  If you make your own, it is tempting to just skip the zipper and sew the whole thing closed.

But, what happens when you really need to throw that cover in the washer? Or its the Fourth of July in a couple of weeks?  I know you would love to add a blue ticking grain sack pillow to your porch.

My first sewing project EVER, was a pillow. It was a weird, little animal with button eyes, but technically it was a pillow. So, pillows are a good place to start learning how to sew.

I actually wasn’t planning to talk about this today, but I needed six white throw pillows to do the post I had in mind. So I got to work.

The first one was ridiculous!

I don’t make throw pillows very often and I was a little foggy. I kept making mistakes on the zipper part.  I did things that weren’t necessary.

But, by pillow number six, I was flying.

10 minutes total, to be exact!

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Add a zipper to a throw pillow cover in 10 minutes!

I decided I needed to document my zipper adding skills.

NOTE: This post is selfishly for me, so I don’t repeat my pillow number one blunders in the future. But, I will publish it.

You might as well let me make all the mistakes (wink).

Or you can be even smarter than me and hit up Etsy in about two minutes for cute pillow covers.

Click on the images below to find these pillows.

But, for those of you who pride yourself on your DIY abilities, here you are.

Add a Zipper to a Pillow in 10 Minutes

Add a zipper to a throw pillow cover in 10 minutes!


  • Pillow Form
    • Feather pillows are my favorite and I get most of them at Goodwill for a couple of dollars. Just check the throw pillow section, it doesn’t matter what the current fabric is. It is the pillow form you are looking for.
    • Feather pillows feel kind of crunchy and hold the shape you make with them better than the other types of pillow forms.
  • Desired Fabric
    • This step may take many, many hours for a woman, therefore, rendering my blog post title absurd.
  • Measuring Tape
  • Invisible Zipper
    • Use one that is 1-2 inches wider than your longest edge.
  • Sewing Machine
    • Use a zipper foot.
  • Matching Thread
  • Straight Pins
  • Sewing Scissors
  • Iron


  • Wash and dry your fabric and pillow form (if it is thrifted).
  • Start by flattening the pillow form as much as you can. Measure the two perpendicular sides.
  • Write down your two numbers.
  • Add one inch to both of these numbers to give you a 1/2″ seam allowance.
  • Measure out the square or rectangle and cut out two pieces of fabric, right sides together.
  • Iron the zipper flat and unzip.
  • Pin the right side of the zipper (BE CAREFUL HERE) to the right side of one of the fabric pieces.
    • Leave some of the zipper ends hanging out on each side.

Add a zipper to a throw pillow cover in 10 minutes!

Add a zipper to a throw pillow cover in 10 minutes!

  • Stitch the one side of the zipper into place.
    • Don’t worry about doing a backstitch at the beginning and end of the stitching. Just stitch one straight line up close to the zipper teeth.
  • Trim the tails of the threads off.
  • Now line up the other side of the zipper to the right side of the second fabric piece and repeat on the this side.

Add a zipper to a throw pillow cover in 10 minutes!

  • Next, zip the zipper closed, leaving about four inches unzipped.
  • Stitch around all three unfinished sides of the pillow.
    • Skip the pins to save time. Just keep lining up the edges.
    • Use a 1/2″ seam allowance.
    • Sew right through both ends of the zipper hanging off the edges.  This will keep the zipper from coming unzipped on either end.
  • Trim the tails of the thread and the extra zipper ends.
  • Turn right side out.
  • Finally, iron the pillow cover and insert pillow form.

Add a zipper to a throw pillow cover in 10 minutes!

Piece of cake!

Now you can have the luxury of a zipper in all your DIY throw pillow covers.

Let me know if you have any questions!


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  1. June 20, 2017 / 4:06 PM

    I’m with you, add zippers in the pillow cover. Great tutorial. Pinned.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      June 22, 2017 / 2:13 PM

      Thank you so much, I’m glad you found the tutorial helpful. And I’m with you, zippers only for this girl!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      June 22, 2017 / 2:14 PM

      Haha, I bet you can do it, as long as you can sew a straight line. I just visited your blog and I can tell we are kindred spirits. Keep up the good work! xoxo

  2. Laurie
    June 25, 2017 / 8:42 AM

    Thank you so much for the detailed, and beautifully photographed instructions. I’ve been nervous about attempting this, but feel confident enough now to start that project I’ve been putting off for waaay too long. I, too, found you via the party link. Happy to make your acquaintance.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      June 29, 2017 / 8:44 PM

      Oh goody, I just love it when someone feels empowered to decorate from one of my posts. I hope it helps and let me know if you have any questions!

  3. June 29, 2017 / 7:48 AM

    Great tips- thanks for sharing and joining FNF!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      June 29, 2017 / 8:49 PM

      Thank you for the feature, sweet Courtney. I am so honored!

  4. June 30, 2017 / 4:42 AM

    I haven’t put a zipper in anything in so long I’d forgotten how simple it really is. I love pillow covers too as it is so easy to change things up for the different Seasons and I am also a thrift store pillow shopper! Great minds think alike you know. Thanks for this great tutorial. I’ve pinned it and will be using it in the future for sure.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      July 1, 2017 / 8:55 PM

      I’m so glad you found it helpful! Thanks for pinning. xoxo

  5. July 4, 2017 / 7:57 AM

    Hey Sarah! Are you washing the thrifted (feather) pillow forms in the washer? How about drying time? Sometimes I’ve had problems with feathers escaping the fabric, even with new pillow forms…any advice to find truly feather proof or downproof fabric? Thank you!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      July 8, 2017 / 11:15 AM

      I wash my pillows on high in my washer and keep running them through my dryer on high until they are truly dry. Mine lose feathers, too. But, once I put the covers back on I don’t notice any feather problems. I used white denim to cover these pillows.

  6. Sybil
    July 7, 2017 / 8:43 AM

    Thank you!! Been planning to make zippered pillow covers for ages but keep putting it off because I knew the “figuring it out ” phase would be the most time consuming part.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      July 25, 2017 / 7:26 PM

      Girl, I hear ya! I’m glad I could help you out, good luck!

  7. January 23, 2018 / 5:42 PM

    I believe I shall do this on old (antique) bags I have

  8. Susan
    January 19, 2019 / 1:04 PM

    Thank you for for making it sound so simple but I have a question. I have a existing pillow I want keep the existing fabric. I want to add a zipper so I can wash easily or add more stuffing as it gets flatter, how do I add it then? Most directions or videos are geared to 2 pieces of fabric not already joined. I hope you can help me out.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      January 26, 2019 / 2:59 AM

      Susan, you are right that is a little more complicated. Honestly, I would take the seam completely out and start over. I really like to work with two flat pieces of fabric when I add a zipper.

  9. shannon
    January 20, 2020 / 10:12 PM

    Doesn’t the zipper show when it’s zipped up?

    (also – delete this part — the “shop now” pop-up for the Finding Time courses keeps popping up even though there is no time left on the count-down deadline. You don’t seem like the kind of person to taunt us poor mortals who missed it)

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      January 27, 2020 / 6:58 PM

      Shannon, you can buy regular zipper and “no show” zippers, you like the no show ones. The zipper sits between the folds of the fabric.

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