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Project

Blue Shirt Pillow

Introduction

With this project, you can transform a button-down shirt with a torn sleeve or stained collar into a decorative throw pillow. Just create a square paper pattern, cut out the shirt material, sew the pieces together, and insert the pillow filling.

Materials

  • One shirt with a button placket
  • Seam ripper (optional)
  • Measuring tape
  • Paper, for making pattern
  • Scissors
  • Roll cutter
  • Pillow filling

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Using a seam ripper, remove any shirt pockets.

  2. Step 2

    Determine the size of the pillow by laying the buttoned-up shirt out flat and measuring the width. The larger the shirt, the more options you will have.

  3. Step 3

    Cut a paper pattern 1/4 inch larger than the pillow on all sides. (For example, a 16-inch square pillow will need a 16 1/2 inch square pillowcase.) To make a pillow with a decorative flange, simply add the desired flange size to your pattern on all sides. Using a roll cutter, cut down the center of the pattern, stopping and starting about 1/2 inch from the top and bottom.

  4. Step 4

    Place the pattern over the placket so that the buttons poke out through the center cut. Slide the pattern up and down until the buttons are centered from top to bottom.

  5. Step 5

    Using the roll cutter, follow the pattern, and cut out the front and back pieces of the shirt. Pin the pieces right sides together. Sew the front and back together, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. (There's no need to leave a space for turning, since you will turn through the placket opening.)

  6. Step 6

    Turn the pillowcase out, and press. The front of your shirt should now be the front of the pillow. If you're making a flange, topstitch a border around the edge of the already turned and pressed pillowcase. Insert pillow.

Source
Martha Stewart Living Television

Reviews (22)

  • 20 May, 2010

    MONEY SAVER: Polyfil is $4 - $5 for a medium-sized bag and pillow inserts cost even more. So I buy bed pillows when they go on clearance. I work at Belk and sometimes they are $3.00. Then I can use to make 2 pillows.

  • 5 Feb, 2009

    My dad recently passed away and this will be a wonderful to use some of his shirts as memory pillows for grandchildren and great grandchildren.

  • 18 Jun, 2008

    its great idea,i have lot t-shirts that i dont know what to do ..but now i know.. thanks martha ..you are the best..

  • 18 Jun, 2008

    Great idea and easy too.

  • 18 Jun, 2008

    missed out on the pillow shirts ...does anyone know if this is on one of her video's

  • 17 Jun, 2008

    WOW....it's a great idea. I have lots of unused shirt but never think about reuse them this way. Thank you!!

  • 17 Jun, 2008

    WOW....it's a great idea. I have lots of unused shirt but never think about reuse them this way. Thank you!!

  • 16 Jun, 2008

    LOVE this! How absolutely genius!

  • 16 Jun, 2008

    How about Hawaiian shirts for the summer on a sun porch, and flannel ones for the family room for winter. Maybe a grandson's first "Easter Shirt" complete with the tie! Cute!

  • 16 Jun, 2008

    How great is this idea?!?! And it couldn't be any greener unless you used a green shirt, another super way to re-use things we all have that are a little too good to toss but not quite good enough to wear. These masculine pillows would be great in a teen boy's bedroom, comfort without frill. Thanks again!

  • 16 Jun, 2008

    And a great way to save and display some your little ones shirts that you just "loved to see them in" (now, they might be smaller pillows but would make cute accents in a kids room)

  • 16 Jun, 2008

    I love it. And since I've saved up all my husband's shirts (because i love the subtile patterns) I am SO making this! It's a great idea!!!!

  • 15 Jun, 2008

    I made one of these years ago. It's really fun for kids if you leave the arms/sleeves attached. It's more fun to hold/hug with the arms left on. Kids love it! : )

  • 15 Jun, 2008

    This is a great accent yo our t-shirt quilts! Thanks

  • 15 Jun, 2008

    favorite t-shirts can be used for making small pillows also.

  • 15 Jun, 2008

    The first time you did this on your TV show, I helped my granddaughters make a pillow for their dads. What a wonderful Fathers day gift. Then when my dad died, I took his many flannel shirts and made a pillow for each of us kids and several for my mom. Thanks for such great ideas

  • 15 Jun, 2008

    Thanks Martha for another great tip! Now I know what to do with all of those expensive shirts in the drawers since my husband retired.

  • 15 Jun, 2008

    I just love Martha! She's da' woman ! Watch out old shirts, here I come!

  • 15 Jun, 2008

    Great idea!

  • 15 Jun, 2008

    Great idea!

  • 15 Jun, 2008

    Great fun! I have done this using Tuxedo Shirts, colored ones, ruffle-ly ones, etc. Usually the Thrift Stores have them for a pittance!! You can even put a bow or black tie at the neck as an added feature.

  • 15 Jun, 2008

    It is a wonderful idea very useful especially for teen agers they could keep the shirts they like for a longer time