by contributing writer Jackie
I am in the process of making my husband a T-shirt quilt. That means I have a lot of T-shirt scraps lying around. I decided to turn a few of those scraps into a pillow for my son.
How to Make a T-Shirt Scrap Pillow
- 2 Colors of T-Shirt Scraps (at least 12″ x 3″ each)
- Rotary Cutter & Mat
- Hand Sewing Needle
- Sewing Machine
- Pins (optional)
1. Lay out the T-shirt fabric on the cutting mat and use the ruler and rotary cutter to cut and measure the following pieces
Color #1: Cut 4 strips that are 12 inches by 3 inches. Cut 5 strips that are 12 inches by 1 1/2 inches.
Color #2: Cut 4 strips that are 12 inches by 3 inches. Cut 5 strips that are 12 inches by 1 1/2 inches.
2. Lay out all of your strips in two rows, alternating colors and sizes of strips like in the picture below.
The method I chose to use to sew all of the strips together was an assembly line style.
I basically matched up strips and then sewed them all at once before cutting my thread and moving on the the next step.
That is the way I am going to show you how to sew the strips together.
3. Place one 1 1/2 inch strip on top of a 3 inch strip of a different color with right sides together.
4. Sew along the right side of the strips using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Note: I like to use a triple stitch or even a serger for a project like this.
This is what your 2 strips should look like when you are finished.
5. Continue sewing the strips together until you have sewn 8 pairs of wide and thin strips together like in the picture below.
You will have one thin strip of each color that aren’t in a pair. Leave them alone for now.
6. Next, take two sets of paired strips and place them on top of each other, with right sides together, so that a wide strip is on top of a short strip and a short strip is on top of a wide strip.
7. Sew the two pairs together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance along the right side.
8. Continue sewing the sets of pairs together as in step 7 until you have four groups of four strips. You will still have two thin strips left.
9. Now, take two sets of four strips and place them on top of each other, with right sides together, so that a wide strip is on top of a short strip.
10. Sew the strips together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance along the right side.
11. Sew a thin strip to the end of the group of 8 strips that will complete the pattern. Do the same with the other thin strip.
If everything went correctly you should end up with two rectangles with nineT-shirt strips in each.
12. Place the two rectangles on top of each other with right sides together.
13. You can pin the pieces together if you like. While I didn’t end up using pins it would have been helpful to make sure that the seams were all lined up evenly.
14. Sew around all for sides of the pillow using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Leave an opening of about 2-3 inches on one long side to allow for turning the pillow right side out and stuffing it.
15. Turn the pillow right side out and fill with enough stuffing so that it is full but not so full that it is hard or seems to be bursting at the seams so to speak.
16. Once the pillow is stuffed you will need to thread a hand sewing needle and make a knot in the end.
17. Use the needle and thread to sew the opening of the pillow closed.
You don’t have to be great or perfect at hand sewing to do this. Just get the pillow closed by going through both layers of fabric. Be sure to finish off the end with a knot so the stitching doesn’t come undone.
When you have finished all of the steps you will have a fun, striped, upcycled T-shirt throw pillow.
Don’t want to go to all the trouble of making a patchwork pillow like this?
Bonus Idea: Pick a T-shirt with a design on the front that you like and determine how large your pillow will need to be to include the design.
Use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut through both layers of the T-shirt.
Follow steps 12-17 from above to complete the pillow.