Pillows From T-Shirts and Scraps

Out of the blue the other day, my six year-old, Isaac, said that he “needed” to make a pillow for his buddy, Cash. He was holding a piece of brown kraft paper that he wanted to sew into a square shape and stuff with cotton balls. It just so happened that Nana Sue would be coming for a visit the very next day, so I told him that perhaps she could help him with this project (since I don’t really use the sewing machine). And when she arrived, Isaac immediately asked her to teach him how to sew…so he could make a pillow for Cash.

After convincing him that a paper pillow wouldn’t hold up very well, we looked for old t-shirts and fabric scraps.┬áRemembering I had fabric swatches saved (for over eight years) from when we were designing Mason’s nursery bedding…and a few of my favorite t-shirts that the boys wore when they were babies/toddlers, I gathered a bunch of material for the project. Now, with Nana here and motivated by Isaac’s idea…they would be made into adorably cuddly, decorative pillows!

After choosing the shirt he wanted to make into Cash’s cuddle pillow, Isaac and Nana set out on a pillow-making extravaganza!

Nana and Isaac preparing to cut the old t-shirt into a rectangular pillow shape.

The boys (and our friend, Riley) learning how a sewing machine works, demonstrated by Nana. And, yes…Mason’s wearing the cut-up t-shirt…silly boy!

Nana guided the fabric through, while Isaac was in charge of the pedal. He was so intrigued that he wanted to stay up past his bedtime to practice on some t-shirt scraps.

This “tooth fairy pillow” is my favorite! Isaac’s baby shirt was turned into a pocket for the front of the pillow, more room for dollar bills!

Fun shape pillow…Chewbacca! Isaac helped stuff the pillows to make sure they met the “cuddly” quota.

All of these pillows (except the red striped one in the back) were made of designer fabric swatches and old t-shirts. They are the perfect size for a boy’s room and I love the mix of colors and patterns.

Nana even made a pillow for us using a tapestry we brought back from our honeymoon in Venice, Italy, ten years ago. It’s just been sitting in the cabinet with our sheets and bedding. For the backing, she used a leftover piece of an olive green velvet panel that was made into a curtain to hide toys in the playroom years ago. Now it’s on display in the family room where we can enjoy it as a reminder of our amazing trip.

And here’s the finished pillow for Cash, which Isaac was so excited to deliver to his friend…along with a hand-written note. I hope the boys learned what a great feeling it is to be able to make a gift for someone…just as it’s so wonderful to receive something that a friend made by hand.