T-Shirt Throw Pillow Tutorial

Last week during my series on hoarding, I mentioned that I’d turned one of Tyler’s old t-shirts into a throw pillow. Here’s how I did it:


Since I was working with a well-worn knit fabric, I decided to use a pillow form. Not only does this make the finished product look nicer, the form can be re-used with a different t-shirt later. I already had an old sheet I picked up at Goodwill, as well as a bag of stuffing.

You could, of course, buy an inexpensive pillow form – 12″ x 12″ is probably best for this project.

If you are stuck making your own, you’re going to want to measure and cut out a roughly 12″ x 12″ square and sew it up, leaving a 6 inch gap so you can turn it inside out and stuff it later.


Nope, I didn’t even iron it.

It doesn’t matter whether you put the right sides together or not – again, this is going inside another pillow. If your cover fabric is light, you may want to put wrong sides together so the finished form is lighter, but in my case it didn’t matter.


So once you’ve got your form sewn (but not turned or stuffed), flip your t-shirt inside out, lay the form over the t-shirt, and pin it down. I’d already clipped the corners of the pillow form, which will give you nice clean corners when it’s flipped right-side-out. Nope, I didn’t iron my t-shirt, either.


Using a flake of soap, or a fabric pencil, or whatever, draw an outline around your pillow form. Using a soap flake is my favorite – it makes a nice bright line and washes out easily. (By “soap flake” I mean “the tiny sliver of soap that ends up getting tossed out of the shower.”)


Remove the pillow form and pin the front and back of the t-shirt together. See how the seam on the pillow form is about 1/2 inch from the soap line? That’s about where you want to sew. Again, be sure to leave a pretty big opening on the fourth side so that you can put your pillow form inside your cover.

Move the pillow form to an undisclosed location, and pin the shirt front to the shirt back. Sew inside the soap line, leaving a big gap to insert the pillow form.


Remove the pins and cut away the excess t-shirt just outside the soap lines.


Now you’re ready to finish your pillow form. Stuff it to your heart’s content. I used a mixture of fabric scraps and polyfil. I didn’t need it to be super-stuffed. Then slip stitch the opening on your pillow form closed. I used this tutorial, which was very helpful.


“Oh, hai!”

Finally, clip the corners on your pillow cover, flip it right side out, shove the pillow form inside, and slip-stitch THAT opening closed.

Shazam. You’re done.


I’ve already received requests from the other two kids to turn old t-shirts into pillows, so I will call this project a success.

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