Taking old t-shirts and turning them into throw pillows is something I learned form my mom. Her motto is that if you aren’t using it, why hold on to it? Sentimental value isn’t a big thing for her (half serious, half joking). But in turn, that makes her really great at recycling and re-purposing things…like old t-shirts. You know you have too many old t-shirts to count that you never wear anymore, but can’t give up because “they’re sentimental!!”. Well, I say turn them into something you will use, like a cute pillow! I took my boyfriend’s favorite favorite favorite (very old, torn up) t-shirt into a pillow for his birthday last year, and this is how I did it.
Start with your t-shirt and a pillow that fits inside the width and length of the t.
Next is the hard part…start chopping your shirt up into bits and pieces…follow the very
precise measurements in my above photos.
You can see in the second picture that after you cut through the seems on the side of the shirt you have two big pieces of fabric, one is the front of the shirt, and one is the back. With the back side you are going to cut that piece in half. This is so you can easily remove your pillow sham after you sew it, and doing it without adding any buttons or zippers. Next, you are going to start pinning your sham together. Lay everything inside out around the pillow. Overlap the two back pieces (just a couple inches, so there isn’t any pillow showing after you sew it together).
When you are all done and have sewn all the pieces together, you should have seems that look something like this…
The seem going across the middle of the pillow should not be sewn shut, that is where you will insert the pillow. I have a seem there because I wanted a clean line on the outside of the pillow. But hopefully by now you get my whole overlap technique. If not, feel free to just sew the whole thing shut.
Just a side note, I wanted the collar to show on my pillow (you can chop your off if you want so you have a clean, straight line) because it had all the cool wear and tear, so I took a piece of the sleeve and sewed it behind the collar like the above picture.
After you’ve finished sewing, turn your pillow sham right-side-out, put the pillow in, and wa-la! A very cool, homemade, re-purposed pillow sham!