Don’t Toss It – Make a PILLOW

You probably have some old shirts or old hubby shirts, right?

(by old hubby shirts I mean the shirt is old not necessarily your hubby!)

Maybe the collar is worn out or maybe there’s a stain or a hole?

Don’t toss it out or giveaway – use it!

sewing, home decor 159

DISCLAIMER -- Now I’m going to warn you that I’m just beginning to sew so these instructions are nowhere near professional as I pretty much am making them up & have no real idea what I’m doing. You seamstresses out there – if you have suggestions on how I could amend to make a better product or make it easier – I’m all ears.

That said – these steps below worked for me & actually produced the results I was looking for so here goes --
* Pick a button down shirt (or pick one up at the thrift store for cheap that has material or embellishments that you like).

* Iron if you need to in order to smooth the fabric. Button the shirt up.

* Smooth it out on your cutting surface.

sewing, home decor 146

* Cut off the arms & collar. With this tank obviously no arms to cut off so just cut off top & bottom of body of shirt.

sewing, home decor 147

sewing, home decor 148

* Cut through both sides of the shirt (from & back) making a square/rectangle with enough seam allowance (I’m using 1/2 inch allowance on all sides) to go around your pillow form.

(If you don’t have a pillow form – I’m sure you could just stuff the case at the end too)

Notice that the front square includes the buttons placard down the middle.

sewing, home decor 149

Put the wrong sides together. Pin all around and sew all 4 sides with coordinating thread. {For this example I only had to sew two side as the two original side seams of the shirt were the right width so I kept those.}

sewing, home decor 150

sewing, home decor 152

sewing, home decor 151

* Trim seam at corners.
* Press
* Unbutton (from the inside which is the hardest part of the whole thing) and turn right side out.

(The beauty here is that you don’t have to leave a space to turn the fabric right side out as you’ll be able to do that through the button section!!)
No zipper needed, no hand sewing needed to finish seams.

sewing, home decor 153

sewing, home decor 155

Cram Add pillow to your finished case. {A little trick to get pillows (big or small) into cases is to karate chop it lengthwise and grab that squashed and dive the pillow into the case.}

sewing, home decor 158


sewing, home decor 160
sewing, home decor 161
sewing, home decor 162

This took about 20 minutes from starting to press the shirt, cut, pin, sew, stuff. Whoohoo!!

Here's another one that I made out of one of my hubby’s shirts from his previous employer. How often would he (or anyone else were I to donate it) wanna wear it with the company logo on it!

Cut that logo right off and here we go:
sewing, home decor 156

Another disclaimer – maybe want to ask hub if he is done with a shirt before you cut it up! ;) Hub came home after I made it & said ‘ahhhh I liked that shirt’ I told he could go snuggle up with the pillow if he really wanted to & see it more than he had in the two years & two moves since he left that employer with the shirt just hanging in the closet.
Ahhh memory lane!

Seems happy enough with that - really!

Chat soon -
Hooking up to Funky Junk SNS:

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


  1. That is a great pillow idea! Love the tank top pillow with the embellishments. Thanks for your sweet comments on my last project! :)

  2. Good job recycling. I like the pillows too. I don't do a lot of sewing either but pillows I can do.

  3. Great idea to use the button down shirts. I love the idea of not having to hand sew or make a pocket for the pillow. It's all built in. Pretty pillow!

  4. beautiful!!! i too am just learning to sew! what a great idea!

  5. I love that ruffly pillow. So pretty! :)

  6. LOVE this! I'm now looking at shirts and sweaters in thrifts in a whole new diff way!

    Thanks for linking yours up to SNS!

    FJ Donna

  7. too too cute, and easy!!!

    thanks for sharing the idea.


    barbara jean

    PS great instructions!

  8. too too cute, and easy!!!

    thanks for sharing the idea.


    barbara jean

    PS great instructions!

  9. Looks great. Recycling shirts is such a time saver; less cutting and sewing!

  10. I adore that first one! The red one if fun, too! And you are just starting out with sewing? Well done!!

  11. Beautiful pillow-- the shirt is a great base! I have an old blanket that reminds me of the shirt... I never seem to use it as a bedspread anymore... it just might be pillow-bound!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog as well! :)

  12. Love your pilows, the one made from the shirt is tooo cute. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Oh, wow, I love this idea! I'm always looking for ways to recycle clothing these days.

  14. I really love how delicate and pretty the first pillow is. Thanks for great tutorial!

  15. Wow, your pillow is beautiful!


I {ADORE} your comments and read! ♥