Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pinterest vs. Pillows

If you've been reading this blog for a while you have probably picked up on the fact that I frequently turn to Pinterest for inspiration.  I have a tendency to look for crafts or recipes that are most likely to be a success and pride myself on my ability to look at a pin and immediately think through all of the ways it could go wrong thereby avoiding the most fantastic of screw-ups.  Even with all of my careful attention it's inevitable that something will not work and I remember that I am not a professional seamstress, at least the process is usually entertaining for me.  This entertainment factor is the whole reason I find the Pintester on a short list of blogs to read when I'm looking for a laugh or quick pick-me-up.  If you've never read anything there go ahead, I can wait.

Back?  Laughed until you've cried?  Good!  There was recently a challenge put out to fellow bloggers to dig deep into our boards on Pinterest and find one that we've been meaning to attempt but haven't yet.  Without further ado let us join:

I have had this tutorial to turn a men's button up into a pillow on my mind for quite some time.  I don't even know why I hadn't attempted it before, it's not like I didn't know which shirt I was going to use (one that's been sitting in my closet with this express purpose for months) or that it would be too expensive ($10 for the pillow form which would have been less if I'd thought to grab it over the holiday weekend with massive sales going on).  No I think I was scared that it would be messed up and as this shirt once belonged to my dad I felt it incredibly important that the results be awesome the first time.  But of course, even with that slight anxiety, I never really thought through the fact that trying it on a shirt I cared less about first would maybe be a good idea.  Apparently when it comes to crafting I'm an all or nothing kind of girl, what can I say.

We begin with the shirt and a pillow, so far so good
According to the tutorial I should be able to button the shirt around the pillow, pin around the edges, sew , and voila...yeah, this is where you could say things started going a little haywire and I decided to make up my own way.
It was much simpler to simply cut a square the right size out of the front and back.
Place them wrong sides together and pin all the way around
Sew all the way around
Unbutton and flip so that the right sides are out
Stuff the pillow form inside and voila!
As an added bonus, if you choose a plaid shirt there are all sorts of lines to help you line the sides up!
Unfortunately that's not something I thought about until afterwards so my pieces weren't cut from identical stripe to identical stripe.
But there you have it, front...
...and back
This really is a super easy project to make, all in all it took me less than an hour even with the complete mess up at the beginning as I tried to follow the tutorial.  (To be fair there was a video attached to the tutorial that I did not watch as I felt it was more important to be watching Arrested Development while making the pillow...)

Don't forget to head on over the The Pintester Movement to see what other bloggers have tried and succeeded/failed at, you never know what sort of time it might save you!  I'd love to hear what projects have been sitting on your pin boards forever and what's been preventing you from tackling them!

Button Up Pillow

1 button up shirt
1 pillow form 
sewing machine
  • Unbutton the shirt and lay as flat as possible, if you want to cut off the sleeves and up the sides that may help although I was able to do it without the extra steps if you just want to get it done.
  • Cut a square from the back of the shirt that is 1/2" bigger than the pillow form you have.  (i.e. I used a 16" sq pillow so my squares were 16.5"x16.5".)
  • Button the shirt up and using your back square as reference cut a front square.  Make sure you take into account where buttons and the pocket, if there is one, will end up.
  • Place your two squares together so that the wrong sides face out and pin all the way around.
  • Sew all the way around approximately 1/4" from the edge.
  • Unbutton the buttons and flip the shirt so that it is right-side-out.
  • Stuff the pillow form inside taking care that the corners line up and are filled out.
  • Button the buttons and immediately place it on your favorite seat so that the admiration may begin!
Thanks for reading and happy crafting!


  1. Oh, that is really cool! Would be awesome at a lake house or on a porch or something. Love it!

    1. Thanks! It's currently lending a rustic air to a living room with a tent currently in it...almost like a lake house, or something.

  2. That came out great! Well done!

  3. I remember that shirt well. What an awesome way to feel close to, and remember, your Dad! If he were here, I think he would have stolen it from you :)...the pillow that is, not the shirt sewing idea!

    1. Haha, yes! I do very much enjoy the reminder of him on our couch every day. :)

  4. I love it! Kudos for pulling out a sewing machine!

    1. Thanks, I do like finding the projects that involve a machine, although sometimes they need only happen infrequently. :)

  5. That is awesome. Great job on the pillows.

  6. I glad you did not make a HUGE mistake.

  7. Aww, that looks really cute! And what a sweet sentimental touch :) For the first several paragraphs when you said you were going to make a pillow out of a man's shirt, I was super afraid you were going to make a boyfriend arm. I'm glad that did not turn out to be the case.

    1. Haha, definitely not. Those boyfriend pillows have always weirded me out!