Make neutral-colored fabric cushions to blend in with any decor.

How to Make Zippered Cushion Covers with Sides

by Eric Jonas

Whether you’d like to give your room a makeover with a change in fabric colors or patterns, or you just like to have plenty of different patterned and colored cushion covers to choose from, you can make your own covers with wide sides to accommodate large cushions. Sew in zippers and now you can use every cushion cover interchangeably to suit your mood, your entertaining preferences or your taste of the day.

Measure the length and width of the cushion and add 1 inch to each for the seam allowance. Cut two pieces of fabric according to these measurements; these will form the cushion cover's top and bottom.

Measure the cushion’s height and add an inch. Measure the length of each side of the cushion and add an inch to each measurement. Cut one piece of fabric for each side. For the fourth side, add 1 inch to the cushion's height and cut out the fabric according to this new measurement. This extra inch will help to accommodate a zipper. You should now have a top and bottom for your cushion cover as well as four side pieces.

Cut the fourth fabric side (the piece for the zipper) in half lengthwise. You now have two identical strips of fabric. Lay the strips right side down, side by side, and fold under the adjoining edges of the fabric. Pin a zipper along the length of the folded edges, with the folds meeting on top of the zipper, and sew it in place with a straight stitch, using a zipper foot.

Lay the top piece of fabric right side down on your work surface and arrange the four side strips of fabric right side down on top, with raw edges aligned around the perimeter. Pin the pieces in place and sew a straight stitch along each adjoining edge to join the sides of the cushion cover to the top.

Place the bottom piece of fabric face up on your work surface and lay the cushion cover on top, with the right side facing down. Align the cushion cover's sides with the edges of the bottom piece of fabric and pin these together. The fabric should now begin to resemble a rudimentary cushion cover. Unzip the zipper.

Sew a straight stitch along each pinned edge of fabric. Pin the ends of each adjoining pair of side strips together. These will form the corners of the cushions. Sew a straight stitch along each corner, leaving a 1/2-inch seam allowance

Turn the cushion right side out through the zipper opening. Because you were able to sew each seam while the fabric was turned wrong side out, all of your seams look like finished edges. Slide the cushion inside and zip up the zipper.

Items you will need

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Zipper
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing machine, with zipper foot


  • Make paper patterns to get all the fabric pieces properly labeled and in order.


  • Cushions & Covers: An Easy-to-Make Project Book; Emma Clegg
  • Sew & Stow; Betty Oppenheimer

About the Author

Eric Jonas has been writing in small-business advertising and local community newsletters since 1998. Prior to his writing career, he became a licensed level II gas technician and continues to work in the field, also authoring educational newsletters for others in the business. Jonas is currently a graduate student with a Bachelor of Arts in English and rhetoric from McMaster University.

Photo Credits

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