Hey guys! So I have another tee project for you guys today. This one was actually a request I got a few weeks ago, on how to turn a tee into a pillow. Well, I had been holding off on it because I didn’t have a shirt to use and I hadn’t had a chance to get to a thrift store to find one, but then I got a shirt in the mail from Taco Bell? I don’t remember ordering it, but maybe I did. Either way, thanks, Taco Bell!
Besides the shirt, I used a sewing machine, a 16”x16” pillow form and some velcro. You can hand sew or use gluing options here, and you can also substitute snaps for the velcro or just choose to have it not open at the back if you don’t mind not being able to wash it.
To turn your tee into a pillow, start by turning the tee inside out, and then putting a pillow into the shirt. I decided to use one of the side seams of the shirt and have the print be off-centered, but if you’d prefer to have the design centered, just center the pillow form inside the shirt instead of pushing it to one side like I did.
With the pillow form inside the shirt, go around the top and side(s) pinching the fabric and pinning close to the pillow so you know where to sew onto the shirt. I recommend doing it this way instead of just measuring inches or tracing the pillow because the added bulk of the pillow form means you’ll need it to be a bit bigger than just the 16”x16” or whatever size your form is.
Once you’ve pinned all around the sides, go ahead and sew that up. Make sure that you leave the bottom open so that you can, uh, you know, put the pillow in! Be sure that you back stitch.
Go ahead and put the pillow form back into the shirt to make sure that it’s the right size BEFORE YOU CUT. Seriously, You don’t want to cut and realize it’s too big or worse, too small. Once you know it’s the right size, you can trim off the excess around the top and sides. Don’t trim anything off of the bottom yet though.
Now, I want to be able to take my pillow out and wash the case if I spill something on it or if it gets dirty or whatever, so I’m going to make mine so that the flap will close on the back. If you don’t want to do that, you can just sew up the bottom here and have a finished pillow. However, I’m both a slob and a neat freak simultaneously, so washing needs to be an option.
To do that, I’m going to flip the pillow over and trim off the back half of the extra fabric on the bottom. Cut up the side seams and almost all the way to the pillow form, but leave just a little bit hanging over. I love sewing with tees because the fabric is amazing. It doesn’t unravel, or fray or anything so there’s no need to hem anything when you sew with it. So, I’m just leaving that bit unhemmed. Feel free, but you won’t see it when the pillow is closed up.
Pin one side of your velcro onto the back side of the front flap of the tee. I stayed right inside the original bottom hem of the shirt. You want it pinned so that you can fold it over to the back and velcro it in place. If you’re confused here, check out the video right here to see exactly where I’m putting my velcro.
Then, fold up the flap and use chalk or a crayon to mark on the back of the pillow where the other side of the velcro should be. Do this with the form inside so that you can keep track of how it should sit with the added bulk of the pillow. Once you have it marked up, go ahead and pin the other side of the velcro along that line.
Then, sew both sides on. Make sure that you’re back stitching at both the beginning and end here because you want the velcro to stay on securely. I just sewed a line directly through the center of the strip, but if you’re worried you can sew an outline around the entire piece. Once it’s sewn on, go ahead and close it up, and you’re done!
Here it is finished, both front and back. As you can see it is flat in the front and then has the closure flap in the back. You can kind of see the white velcro a little bit, so it that bothers you, you can get a dark colored velcro at most fabric stores.
If you turn any of your old tees into pillows, I’d LOVE to see them! Send me a picture on instagram or twitter @techni_moments!