DIY pillow cover with zipper

I’m redecorating my living room. Red has been lovely, but the colors of the sea are calling me. (I’ll post a before and after when my living room is done.) I like Ikea’s Fjädrar inner cushions, but none of Ikea’s pillow covers go with my new color scheme. So, using a cover that I bought in the As-Is section for a couple bucks, I figured out how to make my own. Plus I decided I was due an easy project after last week’s marathon.

How to make a zippered pillow cover

*Disclaimer: This may not be the proper way to install a zipper, but it worked for me.


  • 3/4 of a yard of 45-inch fabric (mine is from Jo-Ann)
  • 18-inch zipper
  • thread


  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • rotary cutter, mat, and metal straight edge (optional)
  • straight pins
  • water-erasable marker
  • tape measure
  • sewing gauge or small ruler
  • iron and ironing board


1. Preshrink and iron your fabric.


2. Cut one piece of fabric these dimensions: 42 inches x 21-1/2 inches: Fold your fabric in half, lining up the selvages. Measure 21 inches from the fold, and cut. Then cut the left edge, measure 21-1/2 inches and cut the right edge.


3. In each corner opposite the fold, mark a line that is 3/4 inches from the top and 1-3/4 inches long. Sew along this line, backstitching at the ends.


4. Fold over at the seam and press each side down.


5. It will look like this.


6. Place the zipper upside-down on top of the seam, about 1 inch from the edge. Pin in place.

7. Lock down one side by sewing perpendicular to the zipper, about 1/2 inch long, just before the zipper stop. Sew back and forth a few times.


8. Unzip the zipper. Using your zipper foot on the left side, sew along the left side of the zipper, 1/4 inch from the edge, lining up the edge of the teeth with the edge of the fabric. When you get close to the end, put your needle in the down position, lift the presser foot, and zip the zipper closed. Then put the presser foot back down, and keep sewing to the end.

9. Move your zipper foot to the right side, and repeat step #8 for the right side of the zipper. Then lock down the opposite end in place by repeating step #7.


10. This is how it looks turned right-side-out. Not perfect, but not bad for my first try. Turn it inside-out again.


11. Unzip the zipper. Sew the left and right seams the entire length with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.


12. Turn the cover right-side-out and insert your Ikea inner cushion. You’re done!