I don’t remember how or when the idea occurred to me, but then my friend Dianna mentioned it, and then I started seeing samples online.
I’m talking about turning shirts into pillows. I pinned it when I came across a couch full of them—and a great tutorial—on Country Living.
In the tutorial they used adult shirts and cut them down to fit pillow forms of a specific size. But the shirts I planned to use were big-boy plaids for little boys. And the toddler-size didn’t give me room for wide seam allowances and top-stitching and other edge treatments.
All I could do was turn the shirts inside out and sew side seams as close to the sleeve as possible without infringing on the little pockets on the chest. The woven plaid made it easy to stitch in a straight line.
Next I cut the shoulders away from the body just below the yoke and that became the seam along the top of the pillow.
Since Poly fill is so expensive these days, I’m a big fan of recycling old pillows. I’m not talking about old stained, sweaty, smelly pillows, just pillows that are out of style. They’re usually only a dollar or two at garage sales and worth the trouble to recycle.
First thing is toss them in the washing machine, and then put them in the dryer. No matter what the fabric content, all of them have come out looking amazing, but alas, they’re still out of style.
Lightweight cottons and polys can be covered as is, but you’ll want to remove the outer pillowcase on heavier fabrics or if there are embellishments or textures that might show through.
To fill the pillows I performed surgery on a couple of small clean old pillows. One pillow form was ready-made and it fit nicely into the red plaid. The other pillow was naked inside, so I had to make a lining for it. I found a scrap of white lining fabric which fit the bill.
The final step was to turn them inside out and make the final seam across the bottom.
Then I unbuttoned the shirt, turned them right side out and crammed the forms inside. Then I smushed and pushed and prodded and smashed everything around to fill in the corners and voila! Two pretty cute little pillows.
I haven’t measured these, but they’re just the right size for little naps. What do you think? Do you have a special spot for a couple of casual little pillows?
By the way, this project is 100% recycled.