How to put a zipper in a pillow

For all you do-it-your-selfers out there....I was once just like you. Fortunately for me, there are thousands of helpful people around the world willing to share their knowledge.  My friends at the Window Coverings Association of America have become extended family and I'm so grateful to know them.  (Ok, I'll get off the teary-eyed soap box and get to the point)  Since they were so willing to share their secrets with me, I am passing them on to you.  And before you beat me to the punch, let me just say this.....I am sure there are MANY ways to put a zipper into a pillow, this is just one that I like to use.  If you have a better way, I'd love you to share it on this blog.  Happy sewing!
Begin with 2 pillow sides serged

Both sides are serged and cording is added on one side

Cut a pillow flap the length of the pillow and 1 3/4" wide.  Use a see through ruler to make it quick and easy.

This is the cut strip for my pillow flap.

Fold the strip in half and use your finger to press it down along the edge.

Cut the zipper the same length as the pillow.  Place folded edge of zipper flap about 1 1/4" above the zipper when sewing.

Zipper is 1 1/4" below pillow flap.  Using a zipper foot, sew as close to zipper as possible.

When you get to the end, there will be more zipper than flap. 

Pull the zipper apart about 1.5" above zipper flap.

Cut the flap side of the zipper off

Continue sewing to the end and cut off left side of zipper to be even with zippper flap.

Place zipper pull on long side first and then short side.  Holding both ends together, pull zipper up.  (This can be a little tricky hahhahaha)  Seriously, it takes a little getting used to this part as it feels like you could use an extra set of hands!

Fold over 3/4" seam allowance on NON-CORDED pillow.

Line up zipper flap with edge of pillow.  The pillow edge should be lined up with the stitching on the flap.

After lining up the edge of pillow with the stitching, start sewing as close to zipper as possible. 

About 1.5" from where you started stitching, take a few stitches across for zipper stops.

Continue sewing down length of pillow.

Before you get to the end take a few stitches back and forth again.

Here is 1 side of the pillow attached to the zipper flap.  (I got a little too far from the zipper on the far left side....yes, we ALL make mistakes)

Line up corded side of pillow with edge of pillow flap.

Flap and corded side are aligned.

Place zipper side on bottom and corded side on top.  Using a cording foot, stitch just inside the previos stitching line.  Here, I'm stitching just inside the blue thread.

Don't forget to open your zipper before you start stitching.

Stitch the entire way around your pillow.

Here is the finished pillow with the zipper and cording.


  1. It's great to see your method Lisa! I use the Pillow Lady's method, which is different then yours. I should give yours a try! My biggest problem is having to stitch around the zipper pull, which yours alieviates! :)

  2. I love this - I'm going to try it next time I get a pillow job. Thanks.