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Making T-Shirt Pillows

Category Clothing
Favorite t-shirts often hold memories we would like to keep. So rather than throw them away, make pillows. This is a guide about making t-shirt pillows.


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January 5, 2011

My friend wanted me to make her son dorm pillows out of his college tee-shirts.

Approximate Time: 7 hours



  1. I bought old pillows at the Salvation Army very cheaply. Be sure to measure them and be sure they are big enough for the design on the tee-shirt.
  2. Make new pillow covers out of cotton for the inside pillow the same size as the old ones.
  3. Cut open pillows and remove the stuffing. Insert it into the new pillow covers and fluff. Be sure to get it into the corners.
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  5. Hand sew the opening close.
  6. Wash and dry tee-shirts.

  7. Cut around the ribbing at the neck of the tee-shirts. Cut off the sleeves and cut open the sides.
  8. Lay the front out smoothly. Measure the center and mark with a dot. Cut this piece exactly as you want it and add 1/2 inch for seams. The material stretches so sometimes you may need to cut off more to make it be a smooth fit on the pillow. But at this point cut it the size you want and you can trim later if it's too big.
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  10. Lay the top of the back (right sides together) over the front and center the design.
  11. Do not cut the back one exactly. Keep it oversized until after you sew around.
  12. Machine sew around 3 sides. Leave an opening in the bottom.
  13. Trim the corners and turn right side out. Push the corners out with a sharp point.
  14. Fold the pillow and gently push into the tee-shirt opening. This is where it may stretch.
  15. You can put it in the dryer on hot to get the opening to shrink a little.
  16. Hand stitch the opening closed with tiny stitches.

An important thing is to have it fit smoothly with no wrinkles. Be sure you measure, measure, measure to get the designs centered.

By D.Lockwood from Millbury, OH

Comment Was this helpful? 9

Kelli Mahoney1 found this helpful
July 20, 2005

These are a great way for you to preserve your old t-shirts rather than keeping them in a drawer. Often our t-shirts have messages that bring us back to events in our lives with fond memories. By creating pillows out of your t-shirts, you can keep those memories without keeping them hidden in the dresser.


Optional Ingredients:


  1. Take your old t-shirt and lay it flat on the table with the front on top facing you.
  2. With the chalk, trace a square around the design of the t-shirt (you may want to use a ruler to make your lines straight), also making sure you give one inch of extra space around the design. If you are a decent sewer, you can even try a circle or other shapes.
  3. Cut along the chalk line. You should be cutting through both the front and back side of the fabric so that your pieces will be the same size. Cutting through both parts of the fabric together saves time.
  4. Discard the rest of the t-shirt.
  5. Turn the pieces so the right sides face each other and the wrong side of the fabric is on the outside.
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  7. Pin the pieces together so that they don't move while you are sewing. If you have a sewing machine, then stitch 1/2 inch from the edge of the fabric, leaving a 3 inch space to stuff the pillow.
  8. Use the fiber fill to stuff the pillow to the fullness you desire.
  9. Then hand stitch the opening.

If you do not have a sewing machine, then you can hand stitch the entire thing, just make sure you are stitching straight and with small stitches.

That's it. You now have your memories preserved on a pillow. There are other things like adding fringe or sewing on buttons that you can do to add character to your pillow. Also, a variation is to not cut the t-shirt at all, and just stitch up the openings, stuff through the neck opening, and stitch that up. It will give you a t-shirt pillow in the shape of a t-shirt, the possibilities are endless, and so much fun!

Comment Was this helpful? 1

By 2 found this helpful
November 16, 2009

For special occasions I always try to give something that will be kind of a keepsake. Several years ago when my nephew was graduating from high school I went to a place that puts anything you want on t-shirts. I had the name of his school and team put on the front side, and his last name with his football number on the back side. I bought the t-shirt in one of the school colors, and had the lettering done in the other color.

Then I made it into a large size throw pillow. I did this by sewing the ends of the sleeves and the bottom shut. Then I stuffed it with a lot of fiberfill stuffing, and then hand sewed the neckline shut.

Source: I guess it came out of my own head, because I didn't remember seeing how to do it anyplace else.

By redhatterb from Sioux Falls, SD

Comment Was this helpful? 2

By 0 found this helpful
July 23, 2008

What to do with all those old concert tees? You can't get rid of them - way too many groovy memories.

So I sewed them in to pillows, but left them in tee shirt shape. They are so comfy and the neck part fits right under your neck!

I used fun bright embroidery thread to make the colors on the shirt really pop!

By Julianna from Princeton, NJ

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

June 12, 20170 found this helpful

Old t-shirts can be used for all sorts of craft projects. This is a guide about using a t-shirt as a pillow cover.

A bright yellow green T-shirt covering a pillow.

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes
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