How to Make T-Shirt Pillows When You Can’t Sew

Making fun pillows is easier than you think. Even if your scouts can’t sew, they can, with a bit of patience, knot a personalized pillow by recycling a favorite T-shirt.

How to recycle a T-shirt into a pillow without sewing.How to Make a T-Shirt Pillow Without Sewing

Making T-shirt pillows is a simple project on its face:

  1. Lay out a clean T-shirt on a table. (See notes below)
  2. Pin the sides together and cut it into a square or rectangular shape.
  3. Cut 2″ strips, about 1/2″ wide,  along the perimeter of the T-shirt square. Keep the sides pinned together!
  4. Knot the strips just as you would a knotted blanket.
  5. Use Poly-Fil or other stuffing to stuff the pillow. (This is more cost-effective for troops than buying individual pillow forms.)
  6. Continue knotting strips until the entire pillow is complete.

My Junior whipped up several dozen T-shirt pillows as part of our troop’s bedtime bags project for our Bronze Award this spring. Here’s a few things we learned along the way:

T-Shirt Type Matters

Spare yourself stress by getting the right kind of shirt. Trust us, we tried all the shortcuts.

  • Don’t use T-shirts smaller than a youth large. Ideally it would be an adult size T-shirt.
  • Don’t use shirts made of stretchy fabric. It will make you insane. Trust me.
  • Avoid tank tops. If you must use tank tops, make sure they are of T-shirt fabric rather than the ribbed stretchy fabric, which seems to create more gaps between your knots. You’ll also need to allow  for more “space” for the wider sleeve holes and often lower necklines.

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upcycled no-sew pillows.jpg
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  1. Fun project! I like that they’re no sew and they’re a fun decoration for a young person’s room. Thanks for sharing with us at Creatively Crafty #ccbg. Have a great week!


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