Upcycled Paris T-shirt Pillow

Over the last coupld of weeks I've been working my way through my stash of t-shirts to be upcycled. Last week I made a t-shirt quilt with most of the t-shirts I've kept belonging to my daughters.
However, this pink t-shirt that my elder daughter recently grew out of was a little bit special so I saved it to do something different with.

I had the idea of a pillow in mind, so found some old sheeting from my stash and an old squished pillow.

The pillow was torn and lumpy. So I took the stuffing out, fluffed it up and made a new pillow just the right size for putting inside the t-shirt.

Then I simply turned the t-shirt inside out, stitched across the top of the design on the t-shirt and cut off the neck and sleeves.

Then all that remained was to slip in the pillow and add fastenings.
I found these stitch on press-studs in my stash, that my mum brought out from the UK several years ago from her stash.

A nice simple project, to preserve one of my daughter's favourite t-shirts.

A simple upcycle and more of my stash used up!

Do you have any t-shirts in your stash?
What are you planning to do with yours?
Maybe you can find some inspiration on my

And for lots more upcycling ideas, please take a look at my Upcycling Tutorials Page

Upcycled T-shirt Rag Rug

After making a t-shirt quilt last week, to make a start on using up my t-shirt stash, I was still left with a large pile of t-shirt fabric - since the quilt only used the pretty logos and pictures from the fronts of the t-shirts.
I still had all the t-shirt backs and scraps to use up.

I decided to use them to make a rag rug - something I've wanted to try for a long time - and finally I got A Round Tuit! 

I used a great little tutorial that I found via Pinterest from 
Proverbs 31 Living. She used denim scraps for her rug, which looks great, but I figured it would work just as well with t-shirt scraps.

So I cut my remaining t-shirt fabric into rough squares.

Now when I say 'rough' I really do mean it. They were lots of different sizes and some were square, some rectangles, some neither - but they did have 4 sides!

For the backing I used part of an old towel - another thing used from my 'to be upcycled' stash.

For the design, I did consider keeping the colours together and making a rainbow design, but in the end decided it was easier to just mix them all together.

So then it was just a matter of folding each 'square' into a kind of triangle and placing them on top of each other, then stitching in rows onto the backing towel.

I stitched row after row of these triangles, overlapping each other, and each row was about 1' (2.5cm) apart.

Once I'd used up all the t-shirt pieces, I trimmed the edge of the towel and finished the edge off with a double folded hem to stop it fraying.

I love how my new rag rug looks, and feels.

All I have to do now is decide where to use it.
Both of my girls tried to claim it when they came home from school and saw it, but I think I might keep it in the kitchen, to keep my feet cosy when I wash the dishes!

Have you ever made a rag rug?  Did you make it like this or a different way?

I love how this turned out so much that I'd like to make more - and I know I have plenty of fabric in my stash. Next time I'd try a different method though - I'd love any suggestions.

So that's a whole box of t-shirts from my stash used up, into a quilt, a mini quilt, a balloon dog and a rag rug.

Not only have I used up a whole box from my fabric stash, I've also completed three projects that I've had on my to try list for a long time! It feels good to be actively doing, instead of just planning.

Time to look in my stash and see what to use up next - in my bid to 'use up all of my stash'.

How about you? Do you have things in your fabric or crafting stash that you need to or want to use up?  Do you have many projects on your 'to try one day' list?  Why not get started on something today?

If you need some inspiration, why not check out my free sewing tutorials. There are over 100 to browse through, for all levels of sewing ability and a large variety of projects.

Upcycled T-shirt Balloon Dog

I'm currently decluttering and working my way through my fabric and clothes to be upcycled stash.

Last week I opened a box of t-shirts I'd kept and made a simple t-shirt quilt for my girls. 
You can find more pictures and a tutorial to make your own t-shirt quilt here.

Although this was a great way to use up the front pictures and logos from all those t-shirts. There are still the t-shirt backs and scraps left over. Really so far I've used up less than half of the t-shirts from my stash in term of volume of fabric used and left over.

First I played around a little and made a mini t-shirt quilt, using the back of one of the t-shirts and smaller squares cut from the scraps of others.

Whilst this was nice and cute, and my younger daughter will happily claim it for her teddies, I'm not sure that making more of these is the answer to using up those last scraps.

Another thing I found on Pinterest and have been wanting to try making for a while is this t-shirt balloon dog.
The tutorial, from Little Inspiration is nice and clear and can be found here.

I cut two strips from the back of one of the left over t-shirts and sewed them together to make a tube long enough to try one.
 I used old stuffing from squished pillows that when pulled and tugged apart comes up nice and fluffy again for a second use!

The dog is made from stuffing and stitching your t-shirt tube in sections, twisting and stitching the sections together as you go, just as a balloon animal is twisted together!

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out!

I know my daughters are going to love this little doggie! It was fun to make and has inspired me with more possibilities yet!

Do come back again to see what I do with the remaining t-shirt scraps...

How to make a super simple T-shirt Quilt

I've had a box of t-shirts sitting in my cupboard for a few years now, saved with the idea of one day making a t-shirt quilt with them.

Well, this week, I decided that it was time to just do it! 

I read plenty of blog posts from other people who had made t-shirt quilts, and listened to various pieces of advice, then launched into trying it out for myself.

I decided to go the simplest way possible. I only used the t-shirts and a large piece of knit fabric I had in my stash for the backing. I chose not to add any 'extras' like batting, interfacing or sashing.
I used the current needle in my sewing machine - which I found by checking after I made the quilt was a denim needle!
And I cut the t-shirts with just regular dressmaking scissors and sized the pieces by eyeballing them, no measurements.

The quilt turned out the size of the t-shirt pieces I had, finished - roughly 1 m  x 1 m 60 cm (39 x 63").

So here is how to make your very own super simple t-shirt quilt in  10 steps.
There are no measurements in this tutorial. The size of your quilt will depend on the number of t-shirts you have, and the size you cut them to with the logos and designs you have!

I made my first ever video tutorial for this t-shirt quilt. You can watch this, or scroll down for the photo tutorial.

1. Collect your t-shirts

2. Cut the logos/ designs out from the front of the t-shirts, leaving as much space around them as you can. 
Lay them out flat. Do this often to see what you have and get an idea of your layout, size and order.

3. Now take each piece in turn and trim to make the edges straight and the corners square.

Note - I had a piece with a rounded top as it was from a singlet.

You can still use pieces like this - I simply laid this on top of the piece above it and ran a tight zig zag stitch around the edge to hold it in place.

4. Lay your pieces out again, this time matching them up by width. Try to make each row using pieces of a similar width.  You can do this either down or across. I went down here.

5. Shuffle and move your pieces around until you're happy with where they are. I moved mine lots, added and took away pieces until I was happy with the layout and it looked even.

Then trim each row of pieces to make them all the same width.
You can see in this picture I have 4 rows (going downwards) each row being the same width.

6. Now pin then stitch the pieces in each row together one at a time, right sides together.

Once you have all of your rows finished, then you join these rows to each other one by one. Simply pin and stitch.

When stitching with t-shirt fabric, use lots of pins and don't push or pull the fabric through the machine. Hold your work loosely and let the machine feed it through.

7. Now lay your backing fabric flat on the ground face up. Smooth out any wrinkles. 

 Then lay your t-shirt quilt top face down on top of the backing and smooth out any wrinkles.

8. Put plenty of pins around all four edges - but leave a gap of about 30 cm (1') to turn the quilt right sides out.
Roughly trim the edges of the backing and stitch around your quilt edges, remembering to leave that gap!

9.  Turn your quilt right sides out through the gap, then top-stitch all the way around, closing that gap with the edges folded inwards.
I used a dark thread for the top and a purple thread for the bobbin to match the backing fabric.

10. To finish off your quilt, stitch around the edges of your t-shirt pieces. This is called 'stitch in the ditch' as you're stitching along previous lines of stitching, which provide your guide-line!

All done!

Now you can admire your super simple t-shirt quilt!

So do you have a pile of t-shirts saved?  Is it time you jumped in and made a start on that quilt?

You could choose to add batting to make the quilt warmer, or interfacing to make the t-shirt fabric firmer, or to add sashing or binding. There are so many ways to make a quilt - but this is the easiest method I found and I'm really happy with how my little t-shirt quilt turned out!

My daughters love it - it's made from their t-shirts, and my youngest daughter asked me to show me how to make one so she can start saving her clothes to make herself one!

For the free downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

If you liked this tutorial, I have over 100 free sewing tutorials here for you to browse through. They are for making all kinds of things and for all levels of sewing abilities. Do go and take a look at:

And I'd love to know what you think of the video. I'm just learning and playing around with this at the moment!