I love knit fabric in home decor or bedding, it is so soft and cozy. I saw this t-shirt in the Goodwill outlet bins and knew it needed a new life. For day 9 of 12 Days of (upcycled) Christmas tutorials, I’m sharing the easy way to turn a t shirt into a pillow with this upcycle sewing project. While I just picked a random shirt that I liked the design of, this would be a sweet memory pillow sewing project for anyone who has recently lost someone and has some of their clothes left.
It looks so festive against my tree! My kids love it too, so I’ll be on the look out for another giant, cheesy Christmas t-shirt to make a second one.
If you like this project, you need to check out these posts too
- All of my t shirt upcycle sewing projects in one list
- How to make fabric gift tags, as seen in the pictures of this post
- Master list of Christmas DIY & craft tutorials
- Another upcycled wrapping idea, how to make furoshiki
Pin this tutorial for how to turn a t shirt into a pillow with this link or collage image:
The easy way to turn a t shirt into a pillow
- Pillow form! I used an 18 X 18 pillow form here, but it will depend on your shirt size. I had one on hand to makeover; you can also sew/cut down a regular bed pillow
- Quilt ruler & rotary cutter (or scissors and marking pen)
- Pom pom trim (optional!)
- Sewing machine
- Ballpoint needle (used on knit fabric)
Step 1- Use scissors to cut up the side seam of the t-shirt, up to the armpits. Lay the front out flat and carefully cut a straight line as high as you can, chopping off the neckline. Then trim the other 3 sides to make a square the same size as your pillow form -so for me that was 18″ X 18″.
Step 2 (optional!)– Sew on pom-pom trim to your front pillow square if desired. You may want to put fray check on the trim’s edges if you think it will get washed often. Above I show how I handle corners, sew it all the way around with 1/4″ seam allowance.
Step 3- Lay out the back of the shirt and the front bottom that you cut off. You will be making a square out of these two that matches the front, but has some overlap.
About 3″ overlap worked well for me, no bulging when it was on the pillow form.
Here again you can see the two piece layered for the envelope pillow back.
Step 4- Lay each rectangle right sides together, tucking the pom pom trim inside, and sew with 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around. You’ll then trim off the corners and turn the pillow right side out through the opening. Gently poke the corners out with a pen and press the seams if desired. You’re done!
You’re done! Fluff that pillow and get cozy with it.