How To Put In A Zipper For Pillow With Cording

Do you struggle with how to put in a zipper for pillow with cording? Learn how with this detailed, step-by-step video tutorial. You won’t ever struggle with sewing a zipper in a pillow again!

Pillows are a great way to update any room in your home!

Pillows are a quick and easy way to update any room in your home!  That’s why I love them!  I also love making pillows.  For our home and for my clients.

I also love to make pillows with cording around them.  Cording adds such a nice custom touch to pillows.  For years I made pillows with cording, (click here to see that tutorial), but I always hand-sewed them closed (click here to see that tutorial).

But, then I was stuck with that pillow cover on that pillow form.  There was no easy way to change out the pillow cover.

That’s where this tutorial comes in.  Today, I’m going to share how to put in a zipper for pillow with cording!  Now you can have that custom corded pillow with a zipper!

How To Put In A Zipper For Pillow With Cording

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Materials needed to put in a zipper for pillow with cording:

Fabric of your choice for pillow and cording – amount needed depends on the size of pillow.
Scissors – large
Scissors – small
Fabric Marker
Measuring Ruler
Pillow Form
Zipper Foot
Sewing Machine


I’ve created a detailed video tutorial to show you how to put in a zipper for pillow with cording.  I’ve also written out the steps below the video for you to follow along.

NOTE:  It might be helpful to watch these video tutorials first if you’re not familiar with making pillows and cording.

How To Make A Pillow

How To Make Cording

How To Make A Pillow With Cording

  1. Cut out the front and back pieces of fabric for your pillow.  Both pieces are cut the same size.  I like to cut my fabric pieces the same size as my pillow form.  For instance, if I’m making an 18″x18″ pillow, I would cut the fabric at 18″x18″.  This makes for a pillow cover that’s not loose and baggy on the pillow form.
  2. Sew cording around all 4 sides of the front piece of fabric.
  3. Serge all 4 sides of the the front and back pieces of fabric.  This will help to keep the fabric from fraying.
  4. Lay the front piece of fabric that you’ve just sewn the cording around face side up.
  5. Lay the back piece of fabric face side down on top of the front piece of fabric.
  6. Mark 2″ from each end of the bottom edge.
  7. Sew from end of fabric to the 2″ mark on each end of the bottom edges, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Sewing the front and back sides together.  Use a zipper foot, and a medium stitch length.
  8. Lay the zipper face side down on the cording.  With the teeth of the zipper along the cording.
  9. Sew the zipper into place.  Being sure to sew close to the zipper.  The zipper needs to be partway open, and the zipper pull needs to be up.
  10. Pin the other side of the zipper to the back side of the pillow fabric, and then sew into place.
  11. To make the placket, pin the back side of the fabric next to the cording.
  12. Open the zipper.
  13. On the wrong side, sew along the zipper.  Making sure to take the pins out as you sew.
  14. To finish the pillow:  With right sides together, pin the other 3 sides of the pillow.
  15. Sew 3 sides together where pinned, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
  16. Turn pillow right side out.
  17. Insert pillow form.

Yay! You’re done!  That wasn’t so hard, was it?

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

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  1. Pillow covers are one of the fastest ways to freshen up a room. I’m still practicing, but I love being able to whip one up with some new beautiful fabric. Thanks for the sewing tips.

  2. Jan the pillow looks so much more polished with that cording on top! And I always had trouble with zippers but your tutorial is so easy to follow!

  3. Hi Jann,
    I love your tutorials. I’m currently working on holiday projects and I want to make a tree skirt just like yours, but I would like to make mine bigger. How can I adjust the proportions to make a 60 inch tree skirt?

  4. Thanks, Jann. I am going to make pillows with cording and zippers. I watched all of your throw pillow tutorials. I’m ready to start. You had so many helpful hints I hadn’t tried when making pillows!!

  5. You are an EXCELLENT instructor! I just finished making this pillow for the first time and while it’s not perfect, it’s pretty darn close :).

    Just one VERY important step you forgot to mention…when you’re finally ready to sew the right sides together in the last step, it is imperative that you unzip the zipper or you won’t be able to turn it right side out. The video does not make this very clear, and if I wasn’t an experienced sewer I wouldn’t have thought of it. It would be a huge hassle to sew those three sides only to have to reach for the seam ripper.

    Thank you for this video. I learned a new skill during this quarantine!

  6. Thanks for your great tutorials!! I just made a pillow with cording AND an invisible zipper for my sofa. I am so pleased with how it came out.

  7. Thank you Jann for this clear explanation. I know how much work it is! I’m really happy with my new outdoor cushions with piping and a nice covered zipper at the bottom.

  8. Hello, would you please give more guidance on how far in from the edge to sew the piping? 1/2”? 1”? It is hard to tell from the video and that would be really helpful information- it would be rough to get to the last steps and not have enough fabric to complete around the zipper!
    Thank you.

  9. Does the placket come out of the seam allowance on the the opposite side of the pillow or do you add more to the zipper side to accommodate the placket? It’s a great tutorial and I’ll be trying it tonight. Thanks!

    1. Yes, basically the placket comes from the seam allowance. Just follow the directions, and you shouldn’t have any trouble. Good luck!

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