My daughter, Ashley, was very sad when she outgrew her favorite dog t-shirt. Since the shirt was still in great condition, I offered to upcycle it into a crochet pillow for her. This was a fun, quick project. We are both very happy with how it turned out.
- G/4mm crochet hook.
- Red Heart Super Saver in White, Petal Pink, Turqua & Pretty N Pink
- pillow insert
- tapestry needle
- locking stitch markers
- blocking boards
- quilting pins
- rotary cutter
- cutting mat or Fiskars 3 Piece Rotary Cutting Set
- skip rotary cutting blade
Choose the shirt that you want to upcycle.
Use a pair of scissors to cut along the side and shoulder seams to separate the front of the shirt from the back. You can discard the piece that you don’t need. Place the shirt on your cutting mat and using your rotary cutter, carefully cut around the image leaving a 1-2 inch border.
Now you will need to use your skip rotary cutting blade to create the holes for your stitches. Make sure you don’t place the holes too close to the edge.
Continue to crochet around until you have reached the desired length/width. I made hdc’s but you can really use any stitch that you like. In each corner I made (hdc-ch 2-hdc). The pillow insert that I purchased was 16″ x 16″ so I crocheted around until my piece measured 15″ x 15″. You will want your pillow insert to be approximately 1 inch larger than your pillow cover. I ended up with 12 rows of hdc.
I highly recommend you block your work. I used these foam blocking boards and quilters pins to block mine. I like that the boards have the straight lines that are spaced 1 inch apart. This helps you make sure you block your work to the correct size and ensures your sides are straight. The quilters pins are thicker than regular push pins and didn’t bend on me.
Now that the front of your pillow is done, it’s time to crochet the back. Since the shape of the pillow is a square, I simply made a granny square and increased the size until it reached 15″ x 15″. I ended up with 19 rounds. If you choose to make a rectangular shape pillow, you could simply make two granny squares and sew them together to form a rectangle. My granny square ended up with very straight edges so I didn’t feel the need to block. If yours isn’t straight enough though, I’d take the time to block it.
If you don’t know how to crochet a granny square, you can follow along to my video tutorial. Just make sure that you are using a G/4mm crochet hook. The reason I used a smaller hook for the pillow cover is because you don’t want the spaces (or holes) to be too large and have too much of the pillow insert visible.
Now that the front and back of your pillow are done, you need to sew them together. Lay your pieces with the wrong sides facing each other (the right sides are facing out) and sc around the right, top and left sides (make 2 sc in each corner).
I apologize for the lighting in some of these photos. Ashley was eager for me to finish her pillow so I was working in the evening.
Insert your pillow. You will be sewing it closed so take the time to adjust the pillow now.
Continue to sc along the bottom to sew your pillow shut.
You are done! Now you can enjoy your upcycled pillow! I’d love to see pics of your creations. Please tag me on Instagram lovable_loops if you make your own!