DIY: Make a Souvenir T Shirt Pillow

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I'm not sure who said it first but I've always agreed with the adage of adding something unexpected to a room's decor. What better way to repurpose some souvenir tshirts than turning them into little personality pieces in the man room?

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This has certainly been done before but I've put my own twist on it by using souvenir shirts picked up while traveling as well as adding interfacing to make the flimsy tshirt material a bit sturdier for use.

If you are already a pillow making pro, feel free to skip right to the end. But if you want to know the details read on...

Start off with a few of your favorite travel tshirts. I used XL shirts to make 17 inch square covers for 18 inch pillow forms.

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Cut the front of the t-shirt to 17.5 inches square. If you want to make a standard pillow, just cut an equal sized piece of material from the back of the tshirt. But if you would like to make an envelope style pillow cover (as I did), you'll need two pieces: one strip made from what is left over of the front bottom hem as well as a larger piece cut including the back bottom hem. Specifically, I cut a 17.5 x 6 inch piece from the front bottom hem and a 17.5 x 15 inch piece from the back. Using the already hemmed bottom band of the shirt will save you on some sewing to form the finished edges of the envelope closure.

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Ok, the math part is now over! Phew. Next, I ironed-on interfacing (I happened to have medium weight handy but heavy would have been even better) to the wrong side of all three pieces of fabric. This did two things: it gave the material more weight as well as negated some of the stretchy quality of the t-shirt fabric so it would be easier to sew.

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Now that was done, all I had to do was pin the cushion together wrong sides together, sew it up and flip it outside in.

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Voila! One conversation starting, memory jogging pillow cover.

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Meet your new life partner, 18 inch pillow form.

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It was so easy, I even made two!

It should be noted that I can not cut nor sew a straight line to save my life and this project is quite forgiving. Very good for any novice.

Now wouldn't one of these make great personalized gifts? Maybe a tshirt of an alma matter for a new graduate's first apartment? A honeymoon location for newlyweds? An ironic saying tee for your favorite hipster? The possibilities are endless.

Have you ever cut up a favorite souvenir for a good cause??

28 comments:

  1. Absolutely LOVE this!

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  2. Macarena9:22 AM

    Super cool idea! XoXo

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  3. Susan Ator9:33 AM

    Using the iron-on interfacing is brilliant. I've seen pillows done from t-shirts before but they skipped that step and the pillows never looked that good. Great job.

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  4. I love this idea and have tried to talk my husband into letting me do a quilt or something with his (many) old concert T-shirts, but he always resists, telling me their "collector's items." Collector's items shoved in a laundry basket somewhere. Awesome.

    ~Stop Me if You've Heard This One

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  5. What a fun fun idea! I love it and will have to try this next time I travel.

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  6. Caitlin @ Hardly Housewives10:02 AM

    Nice - I'll keep this in mind as we plan our mancave :)  My husband has about a million old T-Shirts and this could be a great way to keep and use some of them that are past their prime!  Thanks!

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  7. I love this idea! I have a few signed tee shirts from concerts from a good 15 years ago that are just sitting in a closet.  This is such a smart idea to bring them out to display!

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  8. I couldn't agree with you more on adding something unexpected to every room. One of my favorite items in our home is an antique oyster basket that houses my husband's baseball collection. (http://www.oldtownhome.com/2011/5/20/My-Design-Philosophy-One-Unique-Item-in-Every-Room/index.aspx)

    These pillows turned out great, and I can't wait to see your finished man cave. Oh, and I had a good laugh at your "ironic saying tee for your favorite hipster" line. Hilarious.

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  9. Blanka Chocova12:16 PM

    Ha... What a lovely idea!
    I have so many T-shirts which I don't wear
    they are usually too large for me... so, they are perfect for making a pillow.
    Some old Rolling Stones T-Shirt, T-shirt with Peruvian theme, etc.
    Lovely idea! Thanks

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  10. Aimee@ the Functional Space12:34 PM

    Thank You!!  You have solved a huge problem for me.  My musician husband has an inordinate amount of t-shirts and he needs pillows for his music room sofa that don't look like he pinched them from a frat party gig!  Seriously this is going on my to do list now. 
    LOVE your pillow choices!!

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  11. Becky5:03 PM

    Good idea! I have tons of t-shirts from college that would be great for pillows
    to put in our basement. I'm hoping to turn it into a sports bar/lounge
    area...eventually! Thanks for the idea :)

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  12. Janell Beals5:15 PM

    This is such a clever idea...love it! Janell

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  13. Katrina Sullivan5:49 PM

    great idea!

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  14. Nantucket Daffodil6:45 PM

    I love these! Whimsical comfort.

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  15. very cool

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  16. Kelsie1:26 AM

    I love this!! 
    PS - I'm ready to hear about India! 

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  17. What a great idea!  LOVE this for a man's or a boy's room!

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  18. Jordan@the2seasons9:24 AM

    This is a great idea.  When I travel I always see some amazing t shirts but have no idea what I would do with them.  Now I know.  Can't wait for my next trip!

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  19. What a great idea - thanks for sharing!!!

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  20. MrsLimestone2:16 PM

    Thanks Kelsie. Im so behind on going through my photos but Im determined to get to that this weekend. Fingers crossed, I'll start my India recap next week.

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  21. Samantha2:22 PM

    I made a quilt out of old t-shirts! I like these projects because they are simple, but are really sentimental.

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  22. Stitchordye6:34 PM

    I did a project like this but mine has the abdicated king george on standing in a doorway in a tweed suit. Looks quite cool.

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  23. I like this idea. The problem is finding a shirt that I don't mind tuening into a pillow.

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  24. Jamie8:17 AM

    What a cute idea!! We have a few souvenir t-shirts. They never get worn but I don't want to toss them. This is perfect. I love your blog. I'm your newest follower. Would love to see you DIY Home Sweet home.
    Jamie
    http://diyhshp.blogspot.com/

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  25. Why would you have a cushion with Mao's face on it? He killed more people than Stalin!!
    Otherwise interesting idea

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  26. MrsLimestone2:03 PM

    If it makes you feel any better, I'd have a pillow with Stalin on it if I had purchased that tshirt while in Russia. Since i purchased the tshirt at a respectable place in China I assume that aren't that offended at the idea.

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  27. Mao? Really? Perhaps if you were of Chinese descent you would remember his was a brutal reign of terror And ruthlessness that was responsible for more than 40 MILLION deaths of his own people! Why not Hitler? Or Che? My hope is that you honestly have no clue who he was. Think about why certain things are 'allowed' to be sold (promoted) in China.

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  28. I don't know how I missed this, but I love this idea! Super fun and super personal! Mrs. Limestone does it again! : )

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