Monthly DIY: No Sew Tshirt Pillows

no sew tshirt pillow (1) copy

This Month’s DIY is one of those projects I’ve been dying to do for over a year and just never done, a no sew tshirt pillow. I’ve had the stuffing for this project for almost a year and half now, I even packed it when I moved so it’s really due. The reason it’s taken me so long to get around to making these is I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do a no sew method or sew them but I finally realized that a sewing machine is not really high up on my list of things I need. So I thought I’d make a few of these no sew pillows in the meantime and check it out. It’s a super simple project and beginner level so if you have any old t-shirts around this is a great way to reuse them and add some comfy additions to your couch or bed.

What You’ll Need:no sew tshirt pillow

  • Old t-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Crayon or chalk
  • Stuffing
    *I bought mine from a local fabric store for $5 for 1lb.


  1. Lay t-shirt out flat on any surface, make note of where the design of the t-shift is and then turn inside out and lay flat again.
    *I turn the t-shirt inside out so the lines will not show up on the finished pillow, you can skip this step if you are using fabric chalk that will rub off afterwards
    no sew tshirt pillow (2)no sew tshirt pillow (3)
  2. Iron the shirt if it needs it.
  3. Take chalk and ruler, then draw the largest possible square the t-shirt  can do.
    no sew tshirt pillow (4)no sew tshirt pillow (5)
    *15in by 15in is what I used on the medium men’s t-shirts
    *I like my square to be as big as possible but you can do any size or shape
  4. Now draw a smaller square inside the original square making it 2 inches less in size.
    no sew tshirt pillow (6)no sew tshirt pillow (7)
    *I would advise not making it less than 2 inches as it will very hard to tie up and for large t-shirts you will want to do 3 inches
  5. On the back of the t-shirt outline a square that is the same size as the large square on the front. You can skip making the outline for the smaller square.
    no sew tshirt pillow (8)
  6. Taking the scissors slowly cut out the larger square from the front side of the shirt while hold the shirt taut. Repeat to back side and discard the left over t-shirt.
    no sew tshirt pillow (9)
    *Be careful to not cut the other side of the shift as the squares may not line up.
  7. Line up the squres and make sure the one with the smaller square outline is on top. Now cut stripes into all sides of the square up to the line of the inner square. The 4 corners will be completely cut off.
    no sew tshirt pillow (10)no sew tshirt pillow (11)
    *1 inch width for the stripes works great. To measure I simply line up the ruler below the side I am cutting and then line up the scissors to be 1 inch away from the corner mark and cut. Repeat until side is complete then flip the square around and line up again to ruler and repeat.
  8. Flip the t-shirt so it’s the right way around, thus covering the marking you made the fabric. Line up the sides.
    no sew tshirt pillow (12)no sew tshirt pillow (13)
  9. Now double knot tie the stripes on the 3 sides of the square.
  10. Stuff the pillow with the stuffing.
    no sew tshirt pillow (14)
    *for this type of stuffing I like to take it and pull it apart for awhile to make sure it isn’t clumped up and nice and fluffy before putting in the pillow
  11. Now that the pillow is stuffed tie the last stripes on the open side.
    no sew tshirt pillow (15)
  12. The pillow is complete and if you use washable stuffing all you need to clean it in case it gets dirty is put it directly in the washer.


This for me was a kind of a failed DIY project. I do like the end product and think they are cute but there is a few things that ultimately made me decided to only make 3 and save the rest of my t-shirts for another type of pillow making method. Firstly it toke me an hour roughly for each pillow and that seems like a lot of time for a single pillow and it’s a project I think only suited for extra-large or large t-shirts. You can see mine are very small and have small tassels (which is a pain to tie up) and that’s because me and Victor both wear medium or small size which is just not enough fabric for this project. I do think this would be a great project for larger t-shirts though so if you have a lot of those this method would definitely work for you. As well after seeing them on my couch I realized I’d like a much cleaner style, so I will be waiting to pick up or borrow a sewing machine before I make any more pillows but definitely would recommend trying this out if you have a spare t-shirt and are curious to try.  I’ve given them to Victor to use on his office chair and he really likes them. It should be mentioned they are super soft, the stuffing I picked up is great and I only used about 15% of my big bag so plenty leftover. Also a neat idea is trying different shapes – doesn’t have to be a square. Let me know if you had better luck than I did making these or any tips for people who want to try them out in the comments below.


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