DIY: Concert Tee to Softie Pillow

band tshirt to pillow

It’s the little gestures that are important in a long distance (or any) relationship. I’ve got a pretty great boymanfriend. We live 3 hours apart and both have children, jobs, and all of that in our respective cities. We get to see each other often, but not nearly as often as we’d like. He loves live music and is super sweet to always pick up a t-shirt for me at shows that we can’t see together. It’s thoughtful and pretty adorable. But because the most of the smaller venue bands he sees only carry men’s sizes, I’ve a large collection of night shirts.

I decided that I’d love to find a way to look at these little tokens more often. So I thought a softie or little pillow would be ideal!

I picked one of my favorites to start – Dear Rabbit. Amazing one-man band with a fantastic logo.

Dear Rabbit / When The Well Dries Out from HISTORIAN SESSIONS on Vimeo.

I was pretty nervous to cut this one in fear of distroying something I loved. But then I decided that my intentions were good so it’d be okay.

dear rabbit tshirt

First I cut around the rabbit logo on the front, leaving about a half inch all the way around.

diy pillow from tshirt

Then I ironed the back of the cut-out, logo face down, to (sort-of) keep the edges from curling up. Careful not to iron the front because a lot of these images can stick to your iron.
iron knit fabric for sewing

I chose a remnant piece of fabric that I had for the back. But you could use fleece, another t-shirt, or even leather for the back.

pillow backing fabric

I pinned the cut-out face down onto the backing fabric and cut around the shape. I left a little extra just in case (my stictching isn’t always the best and I sometimes, still, struggle to catch both pieces of fabric when I’m sewing them together). Note: I forgot to snap a pic of the logo face down on the fabric before I cut. So this is face up, but be sure to turn over before you cut the bottom layer.

up on fabric

After I had both pieces cut out, I placed them right sides (the picture and the print) together. While I’m normally too lazy to pin, I did leave these two together pinned together to keep the t-shirt edge from rolling too much. Remember to leave an opening when pinning/sewing to be able to stuff your pillow.

logo on fabric

Then off to the sewing maching. Now, I’m sure there are suggested tensions and sewing instructions for knits, but I don’t know ’em. So I just did the best I could. I removed the pins as I went, using my fingers to hold the t-shirt in place – it wanted to roll in and move quite a bit. I left a reminder pin near the bottom so I wouldn’t sew the whole thing shut.

diy softie pillow

The sewing went great. Probably my first real sewing success ever!

Now, turn the two pieces right sides out by placing your hand inside the opening that you left.

turn pillow right sides out

I decided to use the remaining t-shirt parts to stuff the pillow. But I didn’t quite have enough fabric to make it as full as I’d like, so I used some quilt batting that I had, too. You could stuff this guy with poly-fill, old t-shirts, or even plastic grocery bags.

old tshirt as pillow stuffing

Once you’ve got the pillow stuffed to your satisifaction, you can hand stitch the bottom using an invisible stitch or blanket stitch – or you could even do this whole project no-sew with hem tape. My invisible stitch isn’t that invisible – but it stayed together so that’s all that matters.

hand stitch pillow opening

I love the way this little softie pillow tuned out. It’s a great memento and makes me happy everytime I pass by it.

diy pillows

And I keep finding him having adventures all over the house! It got me to thinking that this would be a cute way to make use of the kid’s old character and sporting t-shirts. So stay tuned for all things stuffed t-shirt Hello Kitty, Sporting KC, and The Jayhawks (sorry Riley – I know the Oregon Ducks are your team).

dear rabbit pillow

How have you repurposed old or favorite tees? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to know!