How To Make A Shirt Into A Pillow?

Turning a shirt into a pillow is a wonderful way to repurpose a cherished garment and keep memories alive. To do this, choose a shirt, prepare it by ironing and cutting to size if necessary, sew around the edges while leaving an opening for stuffing, then insert a pillow form or loose stuffing material before sewing the opening closed. Let’s explore the step-by-step process of creating a cozy keepsake pillow.

Materials Needed:

Before you dive into the project, you’ll need to gather a few supplies:

– A shirt (any kind will do, but button-ups or t-shirts work well)
– Pillow stuffing or a pre-made pillow form the size of your choice
– Sewing machine or needle and thread
– Scissors
– Ruler or measuring tape
– Fabric chalk or a fabric marker
– Straight pins
– Iron and ironing board (optional but recommended)

Preparing the Shirt:

Choose Your Shirt

The first step is to select the shirt you want to transform. It could be a worn-out button-up, a favorite t-shirt, or even a jersey from a memorable event. Look for a shirt with a pattern or print that will make an attractive pillow and consider the fabric’s comfort and texture.

Ironing the Shirt

For best results, iron the shirt to remove any wrinkles, which makes it easier to work with and measure accurately. Detailed patterns and textures will also be smoothed out, ensuring they look their best on the finished pillow.

Measuring and Cutting

Decide on the size of your pillow and measure your shirt to ensure it fits the dimensions you need. If you’re using a pre-made pillow form, measure around it, leaving an extra inch on all sides for the seam allowance. Mark your measurements on the shirt using fabric chalk or a marker and then cut with scissors.

Sewing the Pillow:

Align and Pin the Fabric

If the shirt is a button-up, button it up before aligning the front and back evenly. For t-shirts, simply ensure the front and back are flush together. Use straight pins to hold the fabric in place, especially along the lines where you will be sewing.

Sewing the Edges

Begin sewing around the edges using a sewing machine or needle and thread, being sure to backstitch at the start and end of your sewing to secure the stitches. Remember to leave an opening through which you can insert the stuffing or pillow form.

Adding the Pillow Form or Stuffing

Turn the shirt right-side out through the opening you left. Work the corners out to make them as defined as possible, and then insert the pillow form. If you are using loose stuffing, gradually add it until the pillow reaches your desired fullness.

Closing the Opening

Fold the edges of the opening inward to align with the sewn seams and pin in place. Sew the opening closed either by hand or with the sewing machine. This may be a bit tricky with the pillow form inside, so take your time and keep the rest of the pillow out of the way.

Adding Finishing Touches:

Once the pillow is fully sewn, you may choose to add additional decorative elements. For example:

– Attach buttons, lace, or other decorations to customize your pillow further.
– Use fabric paint or patches to add designs or personalize the pillow for a gift.
– Create a border or frill around the pillow for extra flair.

Creating a Removable Cover:

If you’d like to be able to wash the pillow cover, create an envelope closure or add a zipper. For an envelope closure:

Making an Envelope Closure

– Cut the back piece of the shirt into two overlapping pieces to form the envelope.
– Hem the edges of the overlapping pieces.
– Sew the front and back pieces together, right sides facing each other, ensuring the hems on the overlapping pieces face inward.
– Leave an opening at the bottom to insert the pillow form.

For a zipper:

Top 5 Pillows Recommended By

Inserting a Zipper

– Choose a zipper that matches the length of the side where you want to place it.
– Cut a slit for the zipper, ensuring it is slightly shorter than the actual zipper to account for the fabric at the ends.
– Use a sewing machine to attach the zipper, and then sew the rest of the sides of the pillow.

Maintenance Tips:

Caring for your newly made shirt pillow will depend on the materials used. If it has a removable cover, detach and launder according to the shirt’s fabric care instructions. For non-removable pillow covers, spot clean or hand wash as necessary, avoiding heavy detergents that could damage the fabric or prints.

Finishing Thoughts:

Creating a pillow from a shirt is not only a creative and economical way to upcycle clothing, but it also adds a touch of personalization and comfort to your home. Whether it holds sentimental value or complements your decor, your unique pillow will be a conversation starter and a cozy addition to any room. With a little time and effort, you can transform your beloved shirts into huggable memories that last.


  • Ollie Lane

    My name is Ollie Lane, the zestful spirit and sleep enthusiast editor at GoodSleepHub. Blending my expertise in Sleep Technology with a dash of whimsy, I'm all about transforming your nights from blah to ta-da! I believe great sleep is a blend of science, art, and a bit of fairy dust. When I'm not knee-deep in the latest sleep gadgetry or jotting down notes for my next blog post, you can find me strumming on my ukulele or chasing after my mischievous beagle, Benny. My approach to sleep is like my music: playful, innovative, and always in tune with your needs.

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