How To: Add Zippers to Pillow Covers (and a PillowCubes review!)
One of my favorite aspects of blogging is discovering new-to-me products, companies and websites. Admittedly, most things that come across my inbox aren’t a great fit for my family, my home, or this blog. But every now and then, an email or pitch will catch my eye; and upon further exploration, I discover really useful things that either make my home prettier or my life easier…AND are things I think you guys will love. Today, I want to chat about a long-awaited update to our pillows, as well as share a quick sewing tutorial to help you update yours’ too! Let’s get started!
I recently came across a pillow insert company called PillowCubes. When I first read about the company, I loved that the products were solidly designed and crafted, had a wide variety of fill options and sizes available, and were American-made (awesome!). But I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around purchasing pillow inserts in bulk. Why would I need 24 pillow forms all at once?
And then I looked around my house, and realized that I had quite a few pillows on our couches and beds that were still filled with the blocky poly-fill stuffing they came with. For years, I’ve been wanting to swap out all my pillow forms for feather-filled inserts because they look better and are more comfortable to lounge on, but I’ve never been able to swallow the price tag of replacing all my pillows at once. Ah ha! Pillow forms in bulk!
I counted up my pillows and determined that a 7-count order of 20×20″ inserts could transform every last square pillow in our home in one simple, affordable swoop. I had them ordered within minutes, and no kidding…2 days later, this box was on my door step. One single box with seven pillows inside!
I was a bit nervous as I pulled the flat, vacuum-tight bags out of the box. Were these going to be the fluffy inserts I was hoping for? But within seconds of removing the plastic, I had a super nice, fluffy, feathery insert ready to go… #vacuumsaremagic
And after a bit more un-wrapping, I had a whole slew of new pillow inserts ready to freshen up our pillows!
Every last pillow on our couch now has soft, feathery, moldable pillow inserts…
As well as Henry’s bed…
I’m sure pillow fillings are a complete matter of preference, but I thought I’d include a side-by-side for you to see. I much prefer the feather inserts (right) – they hold a nicer shape, are great for afternoon cuddles, and fill out my pillow covers so much better!
My last stop was to swap the pillows on our bed when…shucks!!! I discovered these very inexpensive pillows from HomeGoods didn’t have zippers.
Upon quick examination, I discovered these pillows were sewn shut with a simple (and relatively long) top stitch. I knew it wouldn’t be too difficult to add zippers to these store-bought pillows, so I grabbed my seam ripper, bought some invisible zippers, and in an hour’s time, had “new” zippered covers for my new inserts!
Do you have pillows that you’d love to freshen up with new inserts but the pillows are sewn shut? You can certainly open them up and then sew them back together again, but zippered covers are so convenient for cleaning! Adding zippers to store-bought covers is pretty simple, even for novice sewers! Let me show you…
Start by plucking the seam apart with your seam ripper to reveal the insides…for me, it turned out to be trash bags full of poly fill! #soooomuchfluff
Remove the existing insert or loose poly fill and turn the cover inside out. Most likely, there will already be a seam allowance from where the pillow was sewn together. Luckily for me, the seam allowance on my pillow was just about a half inch on each side…the perfect amount for re-attaching a new zipper!
Try to buy zippers that match the length of the opening you just pulled apart. If your zipper is a tad long (like mine), mark the length you need (adding an inch or so to each side) with a straight pin.
With a sewing machine, sew back and forth across the zipper teeth several times to create a new zipper stop. Cut away the excess zipper, leaving about a half inch beyond your stitch line.
When attaching your zipper (or almost anything for that matter!), keep saying to yourself “right sides together, right sides together.” It will help you keep the zipper facing the right way on your already-assembled pillow case. When you begin, the zipper should be facing down into the opening of the pillow.
Start by unzipping the zipper and pinning the edge alongside the seam allowance on one side of the pillow. Place the zipper a half inch beyond the ends of the pillow opening on both sides. Line up the edge of the zipper teeth with the seam and pin in place. Using a zipper foot, sew along the edge of the zipper teeth, but take care not to sew into the teeth as it will effect your zipper re-zipping. Also as you sew, take care to only sew on the single thickness fabric of the seam allowance; be sure you don’t have any of the pillowcase caught in your sewing. Lastly, don’t worry about sewing all the way to the ends of your zipper, just be sure the clear the opening of the pillowcase.
Before sewing the second side, re-zip the zipper to ensure it closes. If it doesn’t, you may have gotten threads in the teeth. (If this happened, don’t freak out! Pluck out the threads, and sew the first side on again.) Once the zipper closes without any trouble, attach the second side in the same way you did the first.
With both sides sewn in place, flip the pillowcase right-side-out through the zipper opening. Insert a new pillow form and zip shut!
In about 20 minutes, I had the first pillow disassembled and reassembled with a new zipper and pillow insert. Here’s another quick side-by-side for comparison. Feather insert on the left; poly-fill on the right.
I finished up the other pillow, and with that…all our large, square poly-fill pillows have (finally!) been replaced with feather inserts.
This is one of those tedious home projects that has been sitting on my To Do list for a good long while. I am so excited that, with the help of PillowCubes, all of my pillows are now freshened up and looking good in all areas of our home! All in all, I am so impressed with the inserts. Not only were they affordable and super easy to order, but I loved that they arrived in one easy box and fluffed right up like designers pillows. Definitely put this one in the “should have done this sooner” category!
I hope you all are having a great week! Be sure to come back on Friday – I have Henry’s full 4th birthday party reveal cued up and ready to go! See you then!
I did not receive compensation for this blog post; however PillowCubes did provide the pillow inserts for me to use and review. Please remember that I only work with brands and products I fully support and that make sense for my home, my family, and this blog. All opinions are 100% my own!
P.S. Are you looking for more great pillow ideas! Check out some of these other great tutorials!