Episode 909

amanda niederhauser

Zipper Pillows by Amanda Niederhauser

Indulge your fabric obsession with throw pillows that are quick to make and easy on the wallet. Insert a zipper to easily change your home décor for any occasion. 


20" pillow form

2/3 yard of fabric (pillow back)

1/2 yard each of 2 coordinating fabrics (pillow front)

Metal zipper (at least 22" long)

Fabric scraps (zipper tabs)


The pillow above features home-décor fabric, but cotton quilting fabric is also suitable.

From the pillow-back fabric, cut one 20" square; set aside.

From one coordinating fabric, cut one 6 1/2"x20" rectangle for the pillow-front upper panel.

From the remaining fabric, cut one 14"x20" rectangle for the lower panel.

From the fabric scraps, cut two 1 1/2"x3" tabs.


Use 1/4" seam allowances unless otherwise noted.

With the right side up, place the lower panel on a flat work surface. Center the zipper right side down over one lower-panel short edge; stitch.

Select a zigzag stitch on the machine. Stitch the seam again to catch any frays that might get caught in the zipper teeth. Press the seam allowances toward the fabric.

With right sides together, align one upper-panel long edge with the remaining zipper edge; stitch using a straight stitch. Use a zigzag stitch to finish the seam allowance. Press the seam allowances toward the fabric.

Topstitch 1/8" from each zipper seam. Using craft scissors, trim the zipper to align with the pillow edges. 

Unzip the zipper halfway. With right sides together, align the pillow front and back along the upper edge; pin. Trim the pillow-front lower edge to align with the pillow back. Pin the open zipper end so the zipper ends abut.

Stitch the perimeter, walking the needle over the zipper ends. If the needle hits the metal zipper, shift the fabric and zipper to allow the needle to penetrate the fabric. With the needle down, pivot around each corner.

Reinforce the zipper to ensure the stress of using the zipper doesn't break the seam. With wrong sides together, fold each tab in half widthwise; press. With the fold pointing toward the pillow center, lap the fold 1/8" over the zipper stitching, centering the tab over the zipper; pin. Stitch over the previous stitching line, walking the needle to ensure it doesn't hit the metal zipper. Trim the excess tab even with the pillow edge.

Zigzag-finish the pillow perimeter to prevent fraying.

Turn the pillow right side out through the zipper opening, and then insert the pillow form.

Tip:  If the pillow form doesn't fill out the corners of the pillow, stuff a small bit of fiberfill in the corners to help the pillow keep its shape.

Zipper Flap

Add a pop of coordinating fabric to a zippered pillow in a few easy steps.

From one coordinating fabric, cut one 4 1/2"x20" rectangle. With wrong sides together, fold the strip in half lengthwise; press.

Sandwich the flap between the zipper and the pillow-front upper panel, aligning the raw edges; stitch.

Get the instructions to create a cute zippered pouch here!

Products used in this episode:

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