Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Favorite T-Shirt Toss Pillow Tutorial : :

T- Shirt Pillow -- Finished Front

Today I'm sharing an up-cycling tutorial with you for a simple pillow cover using an old, favorite t-shirt  -- My Favorite T-Shirt Toss Pillow. A project designed to save your favorite t-shirt by turning it into a new pillow! It's a great up-cycling/recycling project, perfect for a favorite shirt that has sadly been stained, torn, or just doesn't fit anymore, or if you have the sweetest brother-in-law, who's in need of a new pillow before heading back college, that happens to have brilliant ideas for his sewing sister-in-law (as the case would be for me)!

What you'll need : :

  • 1 - Pillow Insert in the size you plan your pillow to be finished at
  • any old T-Shirt with a great screen printed or appliqued design
  • cotton fabric for framing the T-Shirt design (I am using Metro Circles)
  • Coordinating fabric for the pillow back (I am using Kona Solids)
  • Heat-n-Bond or Fusible Interfacing
  • cotton muslin (if using Heat-n-Bond, like me)
  • Rotary cutter, mat, and straight ruler
  • Note * Click on any of my images for a larger picture 

Cutting and Piecing the Fabrics : :

1. Choose a shirt that has a design you love 2. Cut out the design, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance the entire way around the design. This will be the center of the pillow. 3. Square up the sides of the design 4. Save those scraps, too -- they'll make great dust rags!
T-shirtCutting T-shirt
Square up T-shirt designT-shirt scraps = great dust rags

Layering Materials : :

5. Cut Heat-n-Bond or Interfacing to be just slightly larger than the T-shirt design 6. Layer onto Heat-nBond, press, trim away excess using a rotary cutter. (If you are using a fusible Interfacing you are done, if using Heat-n-Bond cont.) 6. Peal away back of Heat-n-Bond. Layer onto cotton muslin piece and press again.
Cut T-shirt and Heat BondLay T-shirt on to Heat Bond
press layerssquare up layers
T-shirt to muslinpress layers

Add Framing Fabric : : 

Note * This will vary depending on what size T-shirt design is being used, as well as what size pillow is being made. 7. Cut cotton fabrics including a 1" seam allowance for the framing fabrics. Measure your t-shirt design, what size fabric will need to be cut to create the finished pillow size? Using those measurements, cut fabric for the top, bottom and sides of the t-shirt design. 8. Layout your design with the framing fabrics 9. Mark a 1/2" seam allowance with each framing fabric facing right side down onto the T-shirt design 10. Following marked seam lines, sew 11. Press seams well 12. Repeat with all four framing fabrics
cut fabric piecesFramed with Fabric
mark 1/2" seamsew on framing fabrics
press frontmark 1/2" seam

After these steps, the pillow top should look like this. Size will vary depending on the size of the T-shirt design, as well as the size of the finished pillow you are creating.
finished pillow front

Sewing pillow together : :

Prepare back pieces. (These measurements are for a 12"x16" pillow) 13.Using the 9" x 12.5" fabric pieces, fold over one of the sides measuring 12.5" just a 1/2", press, fold over again, press. Sew along inner folded edge and along the outer edge, staying close to the fold. This will create the double seam finish. 14. Place pillow top piece RIGHT side up on your work surface. Place both backing pieces RIGHT side down on top of the pillow top piece. Pin and sew along entire perimeter using a 1/2" seam allowance. 15. Zig zag stitch around the entire perimeter, as well 16. Trim all four corners
fold and pressdouble seam finish
right sides togetherpinning
zig zag stitch aroundtrim away corners

17. Turn pillow right side out (You can see here that I added a stripe of grey fabric just for something different). Press well 18. Insert your pillow form and now you have your very own Favorite T-Shirt Toss Pillow!!!
finished backfinished
finishedfinished front
finished back
Finished front!!!
T- Shirt Pillow -- Finished Front

Enjoy! Be sure to let me know if you give it a go!!!


  1. Love it! How are your bottled rainbows coming on?

  2. Great finished product and wonderful tutorial Maureen!!

    Great job!

  3. Thanks for sharing this great idea. I shared this post on my blog.

  4. Clever, clever! I will have to remember this. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Love this! It just turned out beautiful. I love ways to reuse t-shirts as well!!! I have one that this would be perfect for something like this!

  6. This is fab. Just found your site, love it!

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