©Jess Abbott

Jess Abbott

Sofa Accessories

Upcycling T-shirts into pillows is a fast and easy sewing project that anyone with beginner-level sewing skills can handle. This tutorial works best with knit T-shirt fabric (fabric that has a bit of stretch to it).

Step 1


Cut the Two Back Pieces

Based on the pillow measurements, cut the back pillow pattern pieces first. There will be two pieces overlapping (envelope-style) in the middle of the pillow. The preexisting hem on the bottom of the T-shirt will serve as the ends. Cut the front and back of the shirt’s hem the same width as your pillow, and three-quarters the length of the pillow.

Step 2


Cut the Front Piece

Cut the remaining top of the shirt (the graphic), the same exact measurement as your pillow (length x width). This will be the front of your pillow. You should now have three pattern pieces: the front of the pillow (the graphic) and the two back pieces (the hems).

Step 3


Place the First Back Piece

Place the front pillow piece (the graphic) right-side up. Then place one of the back pieces on top of it, right sides together. Match up the three raw/cut edges.

Step 4


Place the Second Back Piece and Secure

Take your other back pillow piece and place it on top of that, right side facing down. Place this on the opposite raw edges of the pillow, so that the hems overlap in the middle. Pin around all four edges and then sew. Use a zigzag stitch on your machine to avoid the knit from stretching.

Step 5


Flip It Around

Turn the pillow cover right-side out.

Step 6


Fill It

Stuff the pillow through the back envelope opening.

Step 7


Fold Over and Smooth

Pull both of the back pieces over the pillow form and smooth. The form should now be safely enclosed inside the pillow cover.

Step 8


Cushy Memento

You now have a perfect pillow for your child's bed, couch or anywhere else you want to put this comfy keepsake.