Recycling An Old T-Shirt Into A Cushion

I think we’ve all experienced that dreaded moment when you try on your favourite top only to discover that the last wash definitely made it more of a crop top, and not a well-fitting one either. I actually have so many tops stored up in a little box with cute prints or bands on them that I just can’t bear to throw away. Cue the home-made cushion – the perfect way to recycle an old t-shirt, and spruce up your bedroom/lounge whilst you’re at it!

Making a t-shirt into a cushion

So to make your own cushion, you will need:

+ An old t-shirt
+ Scissors
+ Needle/thread
+ Pins
+ Stuffing (I actually used toy stuffing here)

Making a t-shirt into a cushion

1. Lay out your t-shirt, making sure it’s all flat and with the seams matching up on both sides.

2. Cut around the edges. You want to make it a little bigger than your preferred cushion size, as you will lose a couple of centimetres from each edge. This is hard to judge though and I just do it randomly – maybe not the best method, but hey, it worked!

Making a t-shirt into a cushion

3. Next you will want to place the fabric face-to-face, so the pattern is on the inside. Pin the pieces together to make it easier to sew, and because of my horrendous cutting (maybe I should have used a ruler?) I drew on the lines where I would be sewing – with a ruler.

4. Start sewing! If, like me, you are sewing by hand, this bit can take a while. I watched a few youtube videos whilst sewing, which was actually a nice start to my day. If you’re lucky and have a sewing machine, this bit should be a doddle! Now I’m not an expert, but I’m pretty sure I was doing a basic running stitch here. Make sure you leave a gap at the end so you can stuff the filling into the cushion – we’ll close that up in a bit!

Making a t-shirt into a cushion

5. The fun part – turn your fabric back the right way, and you should hopefully see a square cushion (or close enough), ready to be filled! I actually cut some of the edge off my fabric because I had so much extra on some sides, and cut the corners too. This just means there’s less fabric on the inside. Now grab that stuffing and fill to your heart’s content. I found that rubbing the filling back together inside the pillow stopped it from being lumpy.

6. Now we’ve got to close that gap. I tried to video this bit, but of course I set everything up perfectly, and then got pins and needles in my leg and moved out of shot – forgetting about the camera. Here I used a slip stitch (or a blind stitch). You need to make sure the ends are folded in, pin them together for ease, and then put your needle through the top of one of the folds, then do the other side and keep alternating until it’s done. If that sounds confusing (I’m sorry, I wish I knew more about sewing!), have a look at this page, because it has a good image.

7. To finish, tie a knot, and then I just poked the needle and thread through the pillow, pulled it out and cut the thread. The thread gets stuck inside the pillow then.

Making a t-shirt into a cushion

And there we have it! Hopefully you find these instructions understandable, and put some of your old t-shirts to good use! I’d love to see them if you do.

Mine have never turned out properly square, but I think that adds to the whole home-made style eh? I like knowing that I made it myself, and it’s great to see those t-shirts coming back to life. Next on my list is to be properly fancy, and try one with a zip ;)