T-shirt Patchwork Pillow // +tutorial


I realized that over the years I’ve aquired lots of shirts from Threadless. I found myself not wearing them–for some reason graphic tees don’t really leave my closet. I really like the designs on my old shirts, so I wanted to put them to good use & decided on making some pillows!


Pick out a couple different fabrics. I used 4 pieces of vintage fabric that weren’t big enough for a project, you can use more than four if you want it extra patch-y. This is super great for using up fabric scraps.

Lay your shirt flat & cut off the sleeves and a straight line under the neckline. Then figure out how big you can/want to make your pillow image. Pin & cut a square around your t-shirt image, use the same width and height. Mine was 11.5 inches–leave 1/2″ for seam allowance.

Cut strips of fabric that are 3 inches tall, at varying lengths. Use less than 3 inches if you want a smaller border/pillow, or more for larger. Lay out the strips so that each side has that 3 inches overhanging on one end–Except for one side.

I messed this part up at first! Arrange the strips something like this, I made my pattern reversed on opposite sides. **One side needs to be just the same size as the t-shirt side, with no extra–this is #1. Trim extra fabric that’s on each side.

Once you have it all figured out, sew or serge the patches to each other making a strip for each side. Sew to the t-shirt starting at #1–the strip with a bit less fabric. Then sew strip #2 and so on. Hopefully that wasn’t too confusing :)

Now that the front of your pillow is all done, use it to trace around some fabric or t-shirt material for the back. My finished pillow front was about 17″. Sew the front to the back right sides together, leaving a few inch gap on one side. Turn right side out & stuff or use a pillow form. Admire your pretty pillow!


The shirt I used is called, ‘A day in the life of a decadent designer.’ Isn’t the design rad? This is what my mother had to say about the image–“It’s like a mess, just like you!” Uhh..thanks Mom? Hah. I prefer to call my messes ‘Hodgepodges of creativity.’ ♥


  1. The pillow is adorable!!! I just got a sewing machine for christmas and ::kinda: know how to use it. The pillows I made before were actually by hand. It is so hard not to get lazy when hand stitching :)

  2. I like your idea very much, I rarely have t-shirts, but I will consider the idea as I have a sweatshirt from a vacation….I have made many pillows and I prefer the folded back-side that over laps itself so you can remove the cover from time to time to wash…just a good idea for households with kids and pets.
    Thank you for sharing this, great idea.

    Amie Reply:

    Thanks Suzanne! I wanted to use a pillow form so the cover could be removed, but I didn’t have any on hand. Next time I’m definitely going to change it up.

  3. Maybe try two tees one on each side. I have a lot of volleyball tees from high school, this would be perfect! Thank you for sharing you great idea!

    Amie Reply:

    Love that suggestion!

  4. THATS AWESOME… I love my threadless shirts too but I rarely where them because they are not “work appropriate”. Super soft and comfy… and you sew? I’ve had this sewing project I wanted to have done for the longest time, can’t find anyone for the job. I tried to find someone on etsy… if you’re interested let me know?

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