How To Make A Pillow Out Of A Shirt – DIY Memory Pillow

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Do you have an old button-down shirt from a loved one that is no longer with us? Or maybe you just have a shirt from your own past that you have loved and are having a hard time letting it go? Today on Beginner Sewing Projects, I’m going to show you How To Make A Pillow Out Of A Shirt – DIY Memory Pillow! This is a fun and simple sewing project. Memory Pillows take these old garments and repurpose them into throw pillows that can be cherished for many more years. The memory pillow in this tutorial was created for my toddler out of one of my old button-down shirts. I created the pillow for her to hold on to while I was out of town for a weekend. If you are using a men’s shirt the measurements will most likely be a bit larger. This is a great way to use up a shirt that you no longer wear but want to repurpose for a cute project like this. This was my first time making something like this and I think I turned out great. I’m going to make one of these for each of my kids. You can use any kind of shirt for this project, so have some fun.

I liked using a button-up shirt so I could have the buttons centered in the middle of the pillow. Gather up your supplies from the list below and let’s get started!

What You’ll Need:

pillow out of a shirt supplies

How To Make A Pillow Out Of A Shirt – DIY Memory Pillow

Step 1: Cut Shirt

The first step in this how to make a pillow out of a shirt sewing tutorial is to cut down the shirt to make it easier to work with. Start by cutting off the sleeves of the shirt.

cut off sleeves of shirt

After, use scissors to cut the inseam on each side of the shirt: Start at the waist area and work your way up the shirt to the armpit seam. Last, cut the shirt in half by cutting at the shoulder seam. You should now have two pieces: the front of the shirt and the back of the shirt. You can discard the arms as they will not be used.  

pin shirt button placket together

Step 2: Sew the Button Placket Together.

Before constructing the pillow, take the front of the shirt and sew the button placket together. Make sure the front is buttoned up and pin the placket together.

sew shirt button placket together for pillow

After, sew a straight stitch from one end to the other. Make sure to avoid hitting the buttons with the needle. 

cut shirt fabric so that your pillow is square

Step 3: Cut Extra Fabric Off the Top and Bottom of the Front Piece 

Next on this how to make a pillow out of a shirt sewing tutorial, we will make sure our pillow is square. To have a perfect square pillow, you will need to cut off extra fabric from the top and bottom of the front piece. Using a straight measuring tape, cut a straight line from the top of the curved hem on one side to the top of the curved hem on the other side.

cut again under arms

Afterwards, place the measuring tape right below the armpit seams and cut a straight line across. 

cut out front piece of shirt pillow

Step 4: Measure and Cut Front Piece into Square

The fabric right now may be more of a rectangle shape. To make it a perfect square, measure the shortest side, whether that is the width or the height. In my case, the height is shorter. My height is measuring 13.5”, but yours may be different. You are going to want to make the other side the same length. I wanted to make sure the buttons were in the center of my pillow, so I divided the height in half, which was about 6.75” and made sure the buttons hit that measurement. This meant I had to cut a little off each side of the width. 

use front of shirt to cut out fabric for the back

Step 5: Cut Back Piece of Pillow

To cut the back piece of the pillow, simply lay the front piece on top and cut around the edges. This will give you two pieces that are the same. 

Step 6: Pin Pieces Together

Now on this how to make a pillow out of a shirt sewing tutorial, we just need to put it together. Place the piece’s right sides together and pin them around the edges. 

Sew shirt pillow together, leaving 2" gap

Step 7: Sew Pieces Together 

Head over to your sewing machine and sew a straight stitch around the edge of the pillow using about a ¼” inseam. Make sure to leave about a 2” opening at the end so you can turn the pillow right side out and stuff the pillow. 

turn shirt pillow right side out through opening

Step 8: Flip Pillow Inside

Using the opening, pull the pillow right side out. 

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Stuff pillow with scrap fabric or stuffing

Step 9: Stuff Pillow

Next, stuff the pillow with filler. You can use poly-fill or some other filling. I like to upcycle my scrap fabric and use that as stuffing. Put as much stuffing as you desire in the 2” opening.

fold in raw edges and sew closed

Step 10: Finish Pillow

For the last step in this how to make a pillow out of a shirt sewing tutorial, we just need to fold the raw edge of the 2” opening in and then sew a straight stitch as close to the edge of the pillow as possible. 

completed shirt into a pillow project

That’s it! Now you know how to make a pillow out of a shirt! You now have a pillow that you can cherish for years to come. 

Easy Sew Memory Pillow Tutorial!

If you liked learning how to make a pillow out of a shirt, make sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share it with friends on social media. If you decide to make this simple project on your own, be certain that you take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing the fabrics and color choices that people use!

Yield: 1

How To Make A Pillow Out Of A Shirt - DIY Memory Pillow

Pillow Out Of A Shirt Create Card

Turn an old shirt into a soft pillow! This is a great way to reuse items in your home.

Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost Less Than $10.00

Instructions

  1.  The first step of creating this memory pillow is to cut down the shirt to make it easier to work with.
  2. Take the front of the shirt and sew the button placket together. 
  3. Using a straight measuring tape, cut a straight line from the top of the curved hem on one side to the top of the curved hem on the other side. Afterwards, place the measuring tape right below the armpit seams and cut a straight line across. 
  4. To make it a perfect square, measure the shortest side, whether that is the width or the height. Make the other side match to have a perfect square.
  5.    To cut the back piece of the pillow, simply lay the front piece on top and cut around the edges. This will give you two pieces that are the same. 
  6. Place the pieces right sides together and pin around the edges. 
  7. Sew a straight stich around the edge of the pillow using about a ¼” inseam. Make sure to leave about a 2” opening at the end so you can turn the pillow right side out and stuff the pillow. 
  8. Using the opening, pull the pillow right side out. 
  9. Next, stuff the pillow with filler. 
  10. Fold the raw edge of the 2” opening in and then sew a straight stitch as close to the edge of the pillow as possible. 
  11. Enjoy!

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