I made this pillow out of 3 old shirts that I found at the thrift shop. I had an old throw pillow that I used the stuffing from. I wanted to personalize it so I measured the old pillow and calculated how big each letter would be. This could also work for a name with 4 or 5 letters if you rearrange them. I think the piping and the red border frame the letters nicely. 

Step 1: Supplies

You will need, sewing machine, matching thread, scissors, measuring tape, either store bought piping or cotton cord to make your own, 3 cotton shirts and fusible bonding.

Step 2: cut up the shirts

cut up the shirts along the seams. throw away the collar and cuffs. remove the buttons and save in button jar.  Iron each section.

Step 3: cutting out the letters

Either purchase a pillow form or re-cover a throw pillow you already have. Once you have the measurements, then you can calculate the size of the letters. My pillow was 18" x 18", so I subtracted the 2" border leaving it 16" x 16". each rectangle is approximately 5-1/3" x 8". plus 1/4" seam allowance around each rectangle makes each one 5-1/2" x 8-1/4". Cut the letters out of paper for the patterns.

Step 4: Sew the letters onto rectangles

Iron the fusible webbing onto the wrong side of the fabric pieces that will be used for the letters. Cut the letters out and peel the paper backing off. Iron the letters onto the rectangles. With the sewing machine, zig-zag around each letter. 

Step 5: Sewing rectangles together

stitch the 3 top pieces together. stitch the 3 bottom pieces together, then sew the 2 rows together. Press the seams open.

Step 6: Adding the border

cut strips for the border 2-1/2" wide. stitch around all 4 sides. Press.

Step 7: Piping

Piping is optional but I think it adds a nice touch. Cut bias strips 2" wide. Since my pillow was 18" on each side, I needed a total of 72" plus a couple of inches for overlapping the ends. sew the strips together until you get the length you need. Press the seams open. fold over cording and pin. Using a zipper foot, sew the fabric around the cording. 

Step 8: Back of pillow

Cut 2 pieces of fabric for the back. the blue is overlapping the red so that the cover can be removed for washing. Pin the front of pillow to the back, right sides together. placing the piping in between. Stitch all around all 4 sides. Turn right side out.

Step 9: Finished pillow

There are several options that can be done with this name pillow. You could place all the letters together in one row and divide the area into 3 rows, making the top and bottom row out of contrasting fabric. Or if the name has 5 letters in it, use the 6th rectangle to sew a heart or flower. Just remember to add 1/4" around each piece for a seam allowance. 
It's a pity that the three beautiful shirts were gone...but the pillow is beautiful too

About This Instructable


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Bio: I have been sewing and crafting for many years, my children are grown so I have lots of time to be creative. I enjoy photography ... More »
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