Mar 26, 2012

Tutorial: DIY piping

I love sewing with piping. It is such an easy way to add color to your projects and I love the clean structured look of it.

You can buy it in packages at the fabric store, but I can never find the right color.  The colors my local fabric store carries all look so drab. When you make your own, the color possibilities are endless, plus, it is so easy to make!

Skill Level:

Fabric, the amount depends on your project.
Cording, this is the stuff that goes inside.  It is sold by the yard in a bunch of different sizes, at my fabric store it is with the ribbon.
Sewing machine with zipper foot.
Coordinating thread

To make the piping you will need to cut your fabric on the bias (or diagonal).   Most woven fabrics don't stretch, but if they are cut on the bias, they will have just a bit of stretch.  This bit of stretch will make it easy to sew the piping around curves and corners.

To Cut the fabric on the bias, fold the selvage edge over to line up with the side.  Cut along the fold.

To make the fabric more manageable to cut, fold it along the bias edge.


Next,cut it into strips.  This is easiest with a self healing mat and rotary cutter. Your strips need to be about 1.25"-1.5".  My cording is pretty thick so I went with 1.5"

After you have all your strips cut, you will need to sew them together.  Place two strips right sides together at a 90 degree angle.  The corners need to hang over about 1/4" to account for the seam allowance.   Sew along the edges with 1/4" seam allowance.  Sew all of your strips together so you have one really long strip.

Press your seams open.

Fold your strip around your cording.

Using your zipper foot sew close to the cording with a basting stitch and you're done!

I like to wrap mine around a piece of cardboard to keep it tidy until I am ready to use it.

Check back soon for a fun tutorial using the piping!


  1. Thanks for a great post! I'm just about to try piping on some pillows for my daughter's room and was going to buy some but now I'm excited to make my own. Endless possibilities!

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