A Quick DIY Summer T-Shirt Pillow Project

I ran across a sweet little summer t-shirt that my daughter outgrew. She loved this one so much that we saved it, intending to do something fun with it. Well….today was the day. Summer is slipping by. Truth be told, fall is my favorite season, BUT that means that our oldest goes back to college and our other two are in school all day. So….I am going to continue to hold on to summer as long as I can. I will turn my head when I walk by the back-to-school aisles at Target, and I will savor the little seasonal touches in our home….including my darling new pillow creation. It started with this tee.

Summer t-shirt

Five Simple Steps

1: Mark

Fabric Marking Pen

This marking pen works great! The purple end contains disappearing ink. The blue end contains ink that is easily removed with a damp cloth.

Marking the shape

First, you need to mark the lines where you want to sew. I used a square tool from our garage and a ruler to mark a perfect rectangle close to the design to allow excess fabric around it. (You will see why in a minute.) 🙂

2: Sew

Sewing the Pillow

Using a basic straight stitch, follow your marked lines and sew through both layers of the t-shirt. Make sure to leave a few inches open at the bottom to allow for stuffing. I used a thread color that matched the color of my shirt.

3: Stuff

Fill your “pillow.” If your design allows for a standard-sized pillow form, by all means, use that. Mine did not, so I used Poly-fil fiberfill. Make sure you aren’t skimpy with it. Keep stuffing until it feels like you can’t, and tuck that filling into the corners. This bag came with a little corner stuffing tool that helped with that.

4: Close it Up

(I failed to take a picture of this part because, honestly, it was a little tricky, and I forgot.) Using straight pins, pin your open bottom shut and sew along that line to close up your pillow.

5: Trim Your Edges

Use good, sharp fabric scissors to trim around your pillow. I left a nice inch or more all the way around mine because I love the way the raw t-shirt material curls a bit. If you look closely, you will see that there are even a couple of seams showing from where the arms were attached and a little smidge of the collar is still there.

Now for the fun part

I found the perfect seagrass-inspired companion to my pillow at Hobby Lobby. (Well, actually my momma spotted it when she was with me.) Did you know they have great, inexpensive pillow covers? This one was less than $7 with my coupon!! I already had a pillow form for it at home. Perfect!

QUICK TIP: Buy pillows for different seasons in the same size. You can pull the forms out and switch them to different covers. This makes for very easy storing of the flat covers!

Seriously…How cute is this?

Garage sale chair

This chair was a $5 garage sale find! This will be a fun addition to our cabin.

A Couple More Summer Touches

I thought I would share a couple more ideas with you for adding summer decor to your home. You might be surprised at what you already have.

Our daughter did this painting in her art class last year. I decided to have it framed because it makes my eyes so happy. Let your kiddos create some summer art or create some yourself! The little driftwood boat was $3 at Goodwill. Scout your local thrift shops often to find treasures!

We brought sand and seashells home from a couple of our beach trips. They make a fun summery display in jars on our bathroom counter. Even sand from your sand box or your local lake can tell a story. 🙂

I hope some of these ideas inspired you to celebrate the remaining weeks of summer. How do you add summer touches to your home? I would love to know! Comment below, and don’t forget to subscribe to my email list to receive new posts as I write them!!

Have a wonderful day. God bless!!




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  1. The pillow turned out darling! I love the inside out look you did with the seams!

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