Monday, July 20, 2020

DIY "No-Sew" Shirt Pillow

Do you like to decorate with pillows? Here's an easy, low-cost way to make pillow covers from shirts that you can change with the seasons! DIY and photos are included in this post, and No-Sewing is involved! They go great with the "Farmhouse" look!

Here's how the pillows looked "before". 

They were $5.00 outdoor decorative pillows left from "Staging" at my previous home. While I am not a fan of orange for decorating, I didn't have much of a selection when shopping, and they did look nice on a bench outside my then terra cotta brick home. I don't like to store a lot of pillows, and I didn't want to just get rid of them when I moved, so I decided to cover them the easy way!

I searched my grandson Alex's closet for shirts he had outgrown and/or would not wear. I also bought the pin-striped shirt at a thrift store for $1.00! My pillows are about 14-1/2" square, about 17" from seam to seam. 

Make sure the shirts are about the size of your pillows! I always keep a small retractable measuring tape in my purse for times like this!

You could also easily make a pillow form if a pillow is not available.
*See photo and link to a Memory Pillow from a Shirt and pillow form at the bottom of this post.


Here's how to make your own "Custom" pillow covers!


Pillow or pillow form
Boys Button-up shirt - short sleeves or long sleeves (A boys small worked well for my pillows.)
Safety Pins
2 pieces of fabric, about 6" x 6" each


First, choose your shirt! 

Make sure the shirt is buttoned up. Turn the shirt inside out.

Insert the pillow into the shirt. 

Use safety pins to pin the shirt across (below the pillow), being careful not to pin the pillow!

Unbutton the shirt and remove the pillow from the shirt.

Turn the pillow right sight out. Tuck the sleeves into the shirt. Re-insert the pillow into the shirt with the sleeves in the back. Put your hands in the sleeves to smooth them.


Cut a 6" x 6" piece of fabric. Tuck it inside the neck of the shirt to cover the pillow. I used white to look like an undershirt, but any color will do!


Optional: For a fake "hanky", cut a 6" x 6" piece of fabric. Tuck the raw ends in the pocket and adjust until it looks like a handkerchief.

And now, you are done!

I used a pin-stripped shirt to cover a second pillow the same way. I also used a different "hanky" fabric.

The pillows look great on my bench on the front porch of my log home!

Other Options: 

Here's the same pillows covered with flannel shirts for Christmas and winter. The shirt on the left is a pajama shirt.

Again, same pillows, but this time covered in shirts for fall.

Ms. Nancy's Quick Tip: If you don't care if your pins show, you can put the shirt on the pillow, tuck, and pin from the outside.

Thanks for stopping by!

If you want to do a sewn shirt, check out this post. It contains directions for a Memory Pillow from a Shirt sewn from one of my Dad's shirts along with easy-to-follow directions and a template for a pillow form.

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