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How to Make a Pillow with an Exposed Zipper

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Making pillow is one of the best uses of your, ‘I know how to sew a straight line’ skills.  Also, zippers should not be feared, with the right tools + a teensy tiny bit of patience (think mustard seed) you can be a successful at zipper sewer. Your Grandma would be so proud.

Click through to see the tutorial.

Other Pillow Tutorials:

How to Sew an Envelope Back Pillow

How to Sew a Hidden Zipper into a Pillow


  • I started making exposed back zippers a last summer to add a little drama + flair to boring old pillows. 1 of 20
    I started making exposed back zippers a last summer to add a little drama + flair to boring old pillows.
    I'm not sure if it worked or not (the drama and flair that is), but I sure do love the way it looks.
  • Don’t be afraid of the zippers 2 of 20
    Don't be afraid of the zippers
    They are easy...I promise.
  • Materials Needed 3 of 20
    Materials Needed
    Pillow form, (not pictured) for this tutorial I used a 12 x 12 inch form One piece of front fabric, cut 12 x 12 inches Two pieces of back fabric, one cut 7 x 12 + one cut 6 x 12 inches Contrasting zipper Contrasting fabric cut 1 x 4 inches Tools that are helpful for this project: Sharp scissors Pins Sewing machine Ruler Bone folder
  • Measure and Pin 4 of 20
    Measure and Pin
    I start with the zipper + the contrasting fabric. Begin by folding the fabric in half, lengthwise. Using your ruler + starting at zero + ending at the desired pillow width, in this case - 12 inches, lay the pieces of fabric on top of the zipper. Pin the pieces down, raw edges facing out.
  • Stitch 5 of 20
    Stitch
    Sew pieces to zipper. Make sure that your zipper pull is within these pieces of fabric.
  • Assemble 6 of 20
    Assemble
    Lay out one of your back pieces facing up.
  • Pin and Sew 7 of 20
    Pin and Sew
    Turn the zipper over + lay on top of fabric, pin + sew down.
  • Assemble 8 of 20
    Assemble
    Now take your other piece of back fabric + lay your newly sewn piece on top,
  • Like so 9 of 20
    Like so
    Pin the piece in place.
  • Sew 10 of 20
    Sew
    Sew the other piece down.
  • Notice 11 of 20
    Notice
    This is what you project should look like now.
  • Press 12 of 20
    Press
    Iron the fabric away from the zipper
  • If you want to and for a more finished look 13 of 20
    If you want to and for a more finished look
    Top stitch along the zipper edge.
  • Trim 14 of 20
    Trim
    Trim off your excess zipper on the edges.
  • Very Important 15 of 20
    Very Important
    Pull your zipper half way open. If you forget this step you will be unpicking + cursing at 3 in the morning.
  • Assemble 16 of 20
    Assemble
    Now, lay your 12 x 12 piece of fabric on top of your zipper piece. Pin + sew around the edges. But, (!) before you sew, make sure that your zipper is half way open.
  • Sew 17 of 20
    Sew
    Using a 1/2 inch seam, stitch along all four sides.
  • Trim 18 of 20
    Trim
    Trim your corners.
  • Turn 19 of 20
    Turn
    Turn project, use a bone folder to square out the corners.
  • Stuff 20 of 20
    Stuff
    Stuff + enjoy.

 

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