How To Put A Zipper In A Pillow

We’ve been talking about several different kinds of pillows lately, and most of them have been closed by hand sewing the bottom edges together.  Sometimes you can’t or wouldn’t want to hand-sew a pillow closed.  For those kind of pillows, I’m going to share with you how to put a zipper in a pillow.

Be sure to check out our popular How To Make Pillows page for over 25 pillow ideas, tips & techniques.


Here are two examples of pillows that may need zippers.  (I will be doing blog posts about both kinds of pillows soon.)  The first is the neckroll pillow.  It would be very difficult to hand sew this kind of pillow closed.   This is the bottom side of the pillow, so the zipper won’t show.


This next example is a flanged pillow.  There are other ways to make this kind of pillow cover without a zipper, such as using overlapping flaps on the back side, but  I’m not a big fan of making a flanged pillow this way.  Sometimes the overlap can split open, and the form can be seen.  In the pillow below, I put the zipper right above the flange on the bottom of the back side of the pillow.


How To Put A Zipper In A Pillow

I’ve created a short video showing step-by-step how to put a zipper in a pillow like the ones above.  There are written directions below the video too.

1.  You will have two pieces of fabric, or in the case of the neckroll pillow, one piece of fabric.  Serge the two edges that you will be seaming together for the zipper.  This will keep the fabric from fraying when the zipper is opened and closed.

2.  With the right sides together, sew a  seam 3/4″ away from the serged edges.  The first and last couple of inches of the seam will be sewn with a medium sized stitch, and the middle section will be a long stitch.  (These long stitches will be taken out later.)

3. Your zipper length should be slightly larger than the zipper opening.  For instance, if the zipper opening needs to be 14″, then I would use a zipper that was 15″ or 16″ long.

4.  Lay your zipper face side down and centered on the seam.  The top and bottom edges of the zipper should overlap slightly, 1/2″ or so, into the medium seam stitching.

5.  Using a zipper foot, start sewing to the left of the top of the zipper teeth.  Continue sewing down the left side of the zipper teeth.

6.  At the bottom of the zipper, turn and sew across the bottom edge.

7.  Turn again and sew up the other side of the zipper.

8.  When you reach the top, turn again and sew across the top edge.

9.  Take out the long stitches in your seam, so that the zipper can be opened and closed.  Remove any loose threads.

Now you can finish off your pillow however you would like.  Stay tuned for instructions on how to make the neckroll and flanged pillows.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial for how to put a zipper in a pillow!

You might also enjoy these sewing tutorials:


How To Make Cording

How To Make A Knife-Pleat Ruffle - Video Tutorial from

How To Make A Knife-Pleat Ruffle


How To Make A Gathered Ruffle

I’m sharing here:


Between Naps On The Porch

Savvy Southern Style


  1. Thank you sooo much for this video!! I have tried so many different ways to put in a zipper and they have all failed!! You make it look so easy and I can’t wait to try it! Thanks again!

  2. I love that you made a video. I wonder if I can adapt this for a large sofa cushion. I’ve been putting it off since I really don’t want to sew in a zipper…lol.

  3. Have watched several online tutorials for pillows, but yours are the easiest to follow. Good work. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *