How To Make A Pillow Out Of A Shirt

Hi everyone!  It's Jann from Newton Custom Interiors again.  Today, I'm going to share another cute pillow idea.  I'll be showing you how to make a pillow out of a shirt – with some special added details!

Everyone knows how expensive fabric can be.  That's what is so great about this type of pillow.  You can use a shirt that you already have, or you can go to Goodwill, like I did, and find some great shirts to make your pillows.  The added bonus is that the buttons and buttons holes on the front of the shirt make your closure.  No need to hand-sew or insert a zipper to close your pillow!

Easy way to make a pillow out of a shirt - already has a button closure ready to use for the back!

I loved finding this bright pink men's shirt at my local Goodwill.  I think I paid $3.00 for it.  It was an XL, so there was a lot of fabric to work with.


Since the fabric was pink, I decided to use some of the extra fabric from the shirt to make fabric flowers for the front side of the pillow.  I love how the flowers add a little whimsy to the pillow!  I've included a video in the tutorial that shows how to easily make the flowers.

fabric flowers

How To Make A Pillow Out Of A Shirt

Materials needed:

  • Shirt
  • Pillow form
  • Thread
  • Buttons


  •  Make a paper pattern that is the same size as your pillow form, and lay it on your shirt.  My form was 12″ x 16″, so that's the size of my pattern.  (I don't like to add in seam allowances when I make pillows – this makes for a snugger fitting pillow.)pattern on shirt
  • Cut out both layers of fabric.  This will give you the front and back sides of your pillow.back and front
  • Cut out strips of fabric for your flowers.  I had one large flower, and the strip of fabric was cut at 3″ x 21″.  For the two smaller flowers, I cut my fabric strips at 2 1/4″ x 15″.  Here's my video showing how to make the fabric flowers.

  • Hand-sew your flowers to the front side of your pillow fabric.  Arranging them however you on shirt
  • Hand-sew the buttons onto the centers of the flowers.buttons on flowers
  • Pin the front and back sides of the pillow fabrics together – right sides together.pinned right sides together
  • Sew around all four sides of the pillow fabric, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.sewing seam
  • Clip your corners, and turn the pillow cover right side out.  Insert your pillow form, and button the closure.
  • back of pillow

I hope have enjoyed this pillow tutorial!

Easy way to make a pillow out of a shirt - already has a button closure ready to use for the back!

I've also made a shirt pillow in which the button closure is on the front of the pillow, instead of the back.

make a shirt pillow

How To Make A Shirt Pillow

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Introducing Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

Hi!  I'm Jann Newton, and I blog about home decor, sewing tutorials and DIY projects at Newton Custom Interiors.

Recently, I was asked to teach a class for Craftsy -  Custom Bedding - Decorative Shams & Bolsters.  So Sew Easy readers enjoy a discount on my class!

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t his is awesome


Hi. This is great! Do you have a pattern for using a T-shirt (so no ‘natural’ opening to insert pillow)? Thank you.


Fantastic! Next shirt I find, watch out!


this is such a great idea. love it. thanks for sharing.

Lyn Heine
Lyn Heine

I like this


so where is the collar? why did you not put that on?


SEW Awesome!! What a simple idea, thank you!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Chelle

Thanks Chelle! I’m so glad that you liked this tutorial.