T-shirt Pillows


At a certain point in everyone’s life, they reach their t-shirt quota. For me, this happened in college thanks to all of the free t-shirts given away at any and all events. I mostly wear those shirts to work out, but a few are special to me. With a few of these special shirts of my own and from my boyfriend, I decided to make some throw pillows.


I started by buying some pillow inserts from Ikea for super cheap. I’m talking 3 inserts for $4 cheap. I then fiddled around centering the shirt’s design on the pillow. Once I was happy with the placement, I drew a square on the t-shirt using a pen and a ruler. The square was just a few inches larger than the pillow insert, to allow for the depth of the pillow and the seam allowance. I then cut out the square. For the back, I cut out two rectangles from the rest of the t-shirt, which together were longer than the pillow to allow for an overlap. One of the rectangles used the shirt’s hem as a side. This rectangles overlap one another, forming an envelope for the insert.


After all of the pieces were cut out, I stacked them on top of each other, right sides together, and sewed around the square. The overlap in the back pieces allow for the pillow to be inserted in the case. I wish I would have taken pictures of the in-progress cases so that this would make more sense. This process was loosely based on a compilation of tutorials that I found online and was super simple. Others have documented and explained it much more thoroughly.


The pillows look wrinkly here because they have been used. That is the point, after all, so I’m okay with that. I think that the pillows will look nice together on a soon-to-be-purchased leather couch. For now, they’re modeled in an arm chair.

I bet you’re wondering about the significance of these pillows. Let me indulge you. Brand New is one of my boyfriend’s favorite bands. He ordered this t-shirt from one of their tours online; but, unfortunately it never fit right. It was clearly meant to be a pillow instead…

IMG_2015The Mount Saint Mary’s hockey shirt is from my boyfriend’s days on his college hockey team. The purple pillow though, has an interesting backstory. This pillow used to be a one-size-fits-all nightgown given to me by my grandmother. Cozy Inn is a historic hamburger joint in Salina, Kansas where my dad grew up. They served sliders decades before sliders were a thing. My dad used to stop at Cozy’s on his way home from high school and buy a few burgers with friends. My grandmother couldn’t stand the smell of the burgers (admittedly, the restaurant smells like sweaty truckers), so they were never allowed inside the house. I can vouch, though, that they are delicious.

I’m quite happy with how these pillows turned out. I feel like they really personalize our space, much more so than any other pillows, even homemade ones would.

Pattern: n/a
Fabric: Upcycled t-shirts
Cost: Pillow inserts from Ikea = $4
Time: Approximately 2 hours

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