Easy Tape-Basted Zipper Pillows

Categories: Bedding, Decor, Kid Friendly, Pillow

Zippers can be intimidating for lots of beginning (and experienced) sewists.  This easy technique to tape your zipper in place instead of pinning will save you time and give you the perfectly lined up zipper every time.

PRO TIP:  Use a pillow insert one size larger than the pillow cover you make.  This will ensure that your pillow looks plump and completely filled.


What you need to make this project

Home Elegance® Pillow 26″ x 26″ or...
Soft Touch® Pillow 26″ x 26″
3/4 yard Cuddle Fabric (60" wide) or 1 1/2 yards 45" wide fabric
Approximately 20" Zipper (Slightly bigger or smaller okay)
Double-Sided Tape
Seam Ripper
Sewing Machine
Rotary Cutting Blade, Mat, and Ruler

Quick Shop


Step One

Gather your supplies.


Cut out two 25″ squares of Cuddle® fabric.  With soft sides TOGETHER, pin along what will be the lower edge of your pillow.  Lay your zipper down and place double pins at each end.


Step Two

Between each edge and the double pins stitch with a regular stitch length and back-stitch at each double pin.  In the middle between the double pins, stitch with the longest basting stitch your machine allows.

Tape Basted Basic Zippered Pillow

Step Three

Open up your seam.  Between the two double pins, carefully lay out a strip of double-sided tape centered exactly over the seam.


Lay your zipper over the tape with the FRONT of your zipper DOWN.  Press well into the tape.


Step Four

Use your sewing machine to stitch around the edges of your zipper, doing your best not to catch the tape underneath.  You may find it easier to use a zipper foot, but on my machine, I prefer to use my regular foot but move my needle position all the way to the left.

013-Tape-Basted-Zipper-Pill 015-Tape-Basted-Zipper-Pill 016-Tape-Basted-Zipper-Pill

Step Five

Use your seam ripper to remove only the stitches covering your zipper.


Remove your tape.  If you accidentally sewed over your tape, it may break in a few pieces as you pull it out.)

018-Tape-Basted-Zipper-Pill 020-Tape-Basted-Zipper-Pill

Leave your zipper slightly open, so you can turn your pillow inside-out after sewing the rest.


Step Six

Stitch around the remaining 3 sides with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.


Clip your corners being careful NOT to cut through any of your stitching.



Step Seven

These pillows ended up in a lucky 1st grade classroom in their DIY Reading Corner.

But they’d be right at home in your living room as well…on their own or paired with smaller accent pillows (Get their pattern here…the chevrons even line up on the back.)

Simplify your pillow-making with tape-basted zippers.

Simplify your pillow-making with tape-basted zippers.

Simplify your pillow-making with tape-basted zippers.

You can find out more about how we made the DIY Reading Corner here.

The smaller chevron color-and-white chevron pillows were made without zippers.  You can find their instructions for the Easiest Ever Cuddle® Pillows here.