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New Pillows From Old T-Shirts

October 31, 2012 – Got a favorite QMx T-shirt that’s seen better days? If the printed design is still good and you hate the thought of throwing it away, you can make something awesome: a T-shirt pillow!

Here’s how:



  • T-shirt (any kind will do)
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors or a rotary cutting tool
  • Fabric marker, pattern drafting paper or regular paper
  • Straight pins
  • Wire or a stick
  • Polyester fiberfill stuffing



  • Your pillow might be square or rectangular, depending on the shape of the design. The shirt in the example is cut to 8” x 14”, for a finished pillow that will be approximately 7” x 13”.
  • Pro Tip: Once you’ve decided on your pillow measurement, make sure to account for a seam allowance of at least 1/2”.



Mark & Cut

  • Use a ruler and a fabric pen to outline the cut you need to make, or cut a piece of pattern drafting paper (or just regular paper) and pin it to your fabric.
  • Using scissors or a rotary cutter, cut along the edge of the pinned paper or on the outline.
  • Pro Tip: Cutting the front and back of your pillow at the same time will ensure that both pieces are the same size, and it will save time!




Prep for Sewing

  • Pin the two pieces together along the edge with the right sides facing each other.
  • Pro Tip: If you are a beginner, you might want to use more pins as you become accustomed to your sewing machine, as well as sewing stretch fabric.





  • Keeping your seam allowance in mind, sew along the edges, removing pins as you go. Leave an opening on one side (the bottom side is recommended) that’s large enough to fit your hand through. This opening will be used to turn the fabric right side out and to stuff your pillow.
  • Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble with the stretchy fabric, you can try using a walking foot attachment or iron-on interfacing (fusible interfacing) to help reinforce the shape of your pillow.




Turn Inside Out

  • Clip the corners of the pillow to remove excess bulk and ensure a sharp, 90-degree corner. Then turn the pillow right side out.
  • Pro Tip: Once you’ve turned you pillow right side out, use a stick or wire to help make sure you have perfect corners!





  • Tease the stuffing with your fingers, stretching it out a bit to make sure it is as fluffy as possible. Otherwise, your pillow may be lumpy.
  • Start stuffing the corners first. Once the corners are filled, you can fill the rest of your pillow.
  • Pro Tip: Stuff your pillow tightly. This gives the polyester fiberfill less room to shift, which will help maintain the shape of your pillow.





  • Pin the opening closed.
  • Hand sew along the edge using a simple slip stitch or the sewing machine.



And you’re done!  You can now save that shirt you’ve always loved. This is an easy project for beginners and a great way to show off your T-shirt collection without taking up any extra closet space!

We hope to see some of your pillow masterpieces on the QMx Facebook page or on our Twitter feed.

– Beth Nelson




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