Tuesday, July 6, 2010

DIY :: Repurposed Clothes Collage Pillow

Several months ago I shared a tutorial over at Ready, Set, Craft! and wanted to share it here as well :) This tutorial is great for recycling/repurposing old clothes that are no longer wearable for whatever reason - too worn (like threadbare in places :)), rips or tears that aren't mendable, stains that even oxi-clean won't get out... you get the idea :). So, if you have clothes like this up in your closet, but can't bear to throw them out, this is the project for you! :) All of the clothes I used have some sort of special meaning/significance to myself or my hubby, so this was a fun project to develop! :)Supplies:
- Pillow form (whatever size you prefer, I used an 11"x16" form)
- Buttons (optional- if you want to embellish- I ended up not using any buttons, but they're pictured below ;))
- 2 pieces of plain fabric (or more clothes pieces!), each 11" x 11½" (this is for the back of the pillow)
And of course,
- Your old clothes

- Thread
- Ruler, cutting mat and rotary cutter
- Sewing Machine

First, I took apart the clothes by cutting them up into pieces I wanted to feature in the collage (I have strategically avoided showing you the awful rust and/or marinara sauce stains on my white shirt below ;)). I used the majority of the necktie (never knew what the inside of a tie looked like!), the sleeve of a white shirt, a big plain area of one of my hubby's shirts, the cuff of some PJ pants (which I'm making into PJ shorts!), and the buttoned up section of a floral shirt.I loved how the floral shirt looked buttoned up, so I decided I wanted to somehow incorporate the buttons into the collage. I cut a section out (while it was buttoned) and sewed a straight stitch by the buttons so it wouldn't come unbuttoned (although, it might be nice for it to be unbutton-able, you could stash little notes or such about the ingredients of your collage pillow! ie- what clothes you used and why they have significance, etc)Once I cut all of the sections out (make sure all your sections put together are big enough to cover the pillow- and don't forget to allow for seams), I arranged them to my liking on the pillow. Ready to start sewing some more? :)
Pin two sections and sew a straight stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Press the seams open with an iron and keep pinning and sewing the sections together.VoilĂ ! A nice collage! Now, trim off the excess - trim the collage down to the size of your pillow plus 1/4" on each side. For example, my pillow is 11"x16", so I cut my collage down to a 11½"x16½".
Now let's work on the back of the pillow. I used white linen fabric, but you could use more clothes or any other durable fabric. Press a 1" fold onto the long side (11½" side) of each of the back-side fabric pieces. Sew a straight stitch down the middle of each of the 1" folds
Now, with right sides facing up (flaps will be facing down on the table), layer the two pieces so that the sewn parts are overlapping (see picture).
Now, put the collage front facing down on top of the back pieces you just overlapped with right sides facing up. Pin this together so you have a sandwich (with no meat or cheese, just the bread ;)).Sew a straight stitch all the way around with 1/4" seam allowance.Now it's time to flip it! Pull the corners from inside the sandwich to the outside.You're almost finished! :)Now put your pillow form into the cover :)
VoilĂ ! A fun-repurposed-clothes pillow cover!


  1. Very, very cool I am looking for some scraps to do this.

  2. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [06 Jul 12:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  3. AMAZING. I LOVE IT! You are so gooood.

    I have a whole ton of onesies that a group of ladies decorated for my third son but he was born too big to wear any of them... I am thinking this would be a SUPER cute way to use them...

  4. I LOVE THIS!!!!!!! what a great way to reuse fabrics from old clothes! i have a bag filled with items that my kids outgrew or got stains on, but parts were so pretty or neat that i knew i wanted to hold on to them to make something. your collage pillow is a great idea! thanks ashley!!!!!

  5. wow, what a GREAT tutorial!! thanks for sharing!

  6. Wonderful pillow! Love it!
    And thank you for showing how to make it!