Hugs are the best! I am definitely a hugger. Are you? I love to give gifts that feel like a hug as well. This holiday season I wanted to come up with a project that would do just that. Can’t we all use a hug, especially from a loved one? It’s time to get the kids involved and create an upcycled shirt pocket pillow. Let’s get started on our Reduce, Reuse, REFASHION fun!
I’m adding a list of supplies, plus a step-by-step outline for you to follow. Keep in mind, it would be wonderful if you could use a loved one’s shirt or sweater to make this project even more fitting.
Tools & Materials:
- a small sweater or flannel shirt (preferred cotton or wool)
- coordinating thread
- sewing machine
- serger (optional)
- sewing pins
First, lay your shirt or sweater on a flat surface and tuck your pillow form up inside. When you have the pillow fitted as you like, pinch together the collar (if there is one) and pin. Take out the pillow form and then sew a basic stitch to close it up.
If you’re doing a sweater or shirt with no collar, just turn inside-out and stitch a straight edge to close it off. Then, trim off excess. I’ll show a separate pillow at the end.
Next, put the pillow back in and fit the sides with darts and pin. I used a medium-sized shirts, so the smaller the easier it will be.
When fitted, pull the pillow form out and and sew the darts.
In the next step, you can start with either sleeve of the shirt. Stuff the pillow form back in and lay one of the sleeves nice and snug across the chest. Pin down the bottom edge of the sleeve. Then, remove the pillow form, and stitch the sleeve down only on the bottom edge.
In addition, I even stitched the sleeve cuff around to the back side of the pillow stopping at the top edge of the cuff. We are forming our hug we are about to give.
Next, do the same with the opposing sleeve. Also, make the shirt snug at the bottom, and mark with a few pins in one layer. The stripes make it easier to differentiate.
Again, remove the pillow form and stitch down the sleeve at the bottom edge, same as the first. I will admit, this is the most contorting kind of sewing, but doable when you can remove the base of your sewing machine and use the sleeve extension.
Then, cut the bottom off the shirt. Using a ladder stitch, fold in and hand stitch the pillow closed. If you’re adventurous, you could add a zipper, buttons, snaps, or hook & loop to close too.
Finally, here is my upcycled shirt pocket pillow ready for giving a hug with arms full of fun.
Best part is that my kids didn’t know exactly what I was doing, and when they saw the pillows, they said, “that looks like a hug!” I’d say mission accomplished.
In addition to this upcycled skirt pocket pillow, I’ve also made a sweater version too.
Which version is your favorite? I’m torn the between the two. Both are super sweet and ready to bring smiles. Plus, I’m a bibliophile (an avid book lover), so I think this is a perfect gift for any age.
Also, I invite you to pin and share my upcycled shirt pocket pillow to inspire others to give a hug too.
Up next, these two thrifted pieces, will receive a new life by my two oldest daughters. Take a peek at their new look HERE.
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Absolutely adorable. Love the ‘hug’ pillows.
Such a great tutorial. Thank You
I had such fun with these. Thank you, Colleen! 😀
Rebecca - NC says
How cute!! Would be a lovely idea to do when a child loses a parent or grandparent by using something they identify with them.
Love the hugs!! ?
Yes! That’s the idea exactly. Or even a child who outgrew their shirt as a momento. So many uses. 😀
Amanda Pennington says
What a neat idea! I’ll bet if “sewed” with safety pins, it’d be a sweet way to give a new shirt as a gift, with a favorite book tucked inside. Or, if sewn using a shirt from a loved-one’s closet, a way to remember them when you’re apart. The possibilities are endless! Thanks for the inspiration! Blessings
Yes! I said that to my kids too. They were like…”why are you cutting up a good shirt?” haha.
Very clever!!! I’m not a hugger, but I’ll compete with you in book-loving any day. ? I do know a few book/hug lovers that would get a kick out of this though… ? Cute!
Thanks! I won’t hug ya then, haha. 😉
Marie-Interior Frugalista says
I made reading pillows for my grandkids last year for Christmas but I ❤️ how you made the pockets so much better than I did. So adorable ?
That’s awesome! I’ll have to check them out. I’m hoping to make these to give to those in need. We are sponsoring a family for the holidays this year.
Barbara Pelzer says
This is so sweet! I can see this going to college with a first year student along with some envelopes, stamps and letters of encouragement from family! Such a beautiful way to start a school year! ♥
Ooh…I just love that idea! Wonderful!
Kathy A says
These are so cute! I’m thinking on shirts I got grands haflway across the country for Christmas. I could stuff another shirt (or two!) inside for stuffing!
That’s a funtastic idea!! 😀