DIY zippered pillow covers for Christmas - a tutorial

This year we will be hosting Christmas lunch for our family for the first time. We are so excited!

One of the first things I thought about was... the decor! We moved recently (less then three months ago) so we still have some things to put to place and our home is still a bit "naked" - we still have to get a few rugs, curtains and lots of throw pillows! 
Well, my husband pretty much assumes that now that I sew I no longer need to buy these things since I can make them. :) Humm... no I don't... but, yes I can! :) So, I started an endeavour - I shall make our new home's curtains and pillows. (No, I won't be making rugs. That is weaving not sewing. :) )

I decided to start with the simple quick stuff. Some throw pillow covers! 

I found this gorgeous Christmas upholstery fabrics on a small (but amazing) fabric warehouse on my new town. It is rather funny  because it looks just like some Christmas throw pillows I found a few days later on Gato Preto (a well known home decor chain store around here), so this is almost like a sewing knock-off. :)

I have used some zippered pillow covers I already had (on our living room) to figure out the construction. So this tutorial is for throw pillow covers with a zipper enclosure. If you have never sewn a zipper before do not go away! This is actually a great project for sewing a zipper for the first time.


  • Fabric of choice (quilting cotton, upholstery fabric, etc.)
  • Zipper (about the same length than your pillow's width)

Step 1 - Measure and cut
Measure your pillow (width + heigth). Cut two squares of fabric about 1'' bigger than the measure you obtained, to allow for 1/2'' seam allowance. Finish edges (overlock or zig zag stitch).

Step 2 - Sew the zipper 
Place your zipper right sides together (face down) with one edge of one of the fabric squares and stitch close to the zipper, on the right side, with a zipper foot. Unfold zipper. Place the other fabric square on top. Turn to the other side (where the zipper is showing) and stitch the other edge of the zipper.

Top stitch along both zipper seams. (It will look neater and it helps the seam not to get caught by the zipper teeth when pulling).

Tip: When sewing the zipper, once you get close to the head of the zipper, stop the machine and carefully pull the zipper head up to where you have already stitched

Step 3 - Sew sides 
Fold in half right sides together, matching all corners, and sew the other three edges (pivoting on corners) with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Make sure the zipper is a few inches open for turning. If you haven't finished your edges do it now. Overlock or use a zig zag stitch.

Step 4 - Turn and stuff!
Turn right side out - make sure the corners are neat -, stuff your pillow cover, close the zipper and... you are done!

This project takes about 10-15 minutes. Don't you love it?

And the best thing is - it is a super easy, super quick, inexpensive way to change your home decor anytime you want! Of course I am already thinking what to make next, once Christmas season is over. :)

I would love to see the pillow covers you will be making, so please share!

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