November 25, 2013

From Flannel Shirt to Pillow Cover - A Tutorial

I'm a big fan of flannel.  
I've talked about it before.  Lately I just can't seem to get enough of it. I have a flannel shirt that I wear on a daily basis, it's become my version of a hoodie.

It's not surprising at all that I'm always on the lookout for more to add to my closet.  Just last week while at the thrift store I stumbled across one that had very pretty colors but sadly was not the right size.

I brought it home with me anyways!  
Silly I know, since it didn't fit but I loved the colors and decided I was going to make it into a pillow slipcover instead.  I have always liked the look of pillow covers fashioned out of men's dress shirts so I figured I would like the look of one made out of a flannel shirt also!

And boy do I,  take a look.

Cute Right?

Want to make your own?

Good, I just happen to have a quick tutorial for you . . . follow along!

Before you begin, lay your flannel shirt on a flat surface and smooth it all out nice and flat with all the seams lined up.

Step 1:

Trim off one sleeve by following the seam.  Repeat on remaining sleeve.

Step 2:

Trim the side seams of the flannel shirt from the bottom up to the trimmed arm holes.  Repeat on other side of shirt.

Step 3:

Trim the collar off by following the shoulder seams across the top, and then continuing around the yoke of the front collar.  Flip the now loose collar cuff up and out of the way.

Step 4:

Determine the size of your pillow and cut the flannel shirt to the corresponding size.  You will cut through both the top and bottom layer of the shirt at the same time.

You will then have two rectangles cut to the same size.

To figure out the right size, I simply laid the pillow on top of the flannel and eye-ball the size (making sure to add a little extra on all side for the seam)  Because I wanted to keep the pockets, I laid the pillow centered over the pockets to make sure I had plenty of room on all sides before I cut the shirt to size.  As for the pillow, I used a travel sized pillow that I bought at Target.  They make a great accent pillow size and their cheap too!

Step 5:

Layer the two cut pieces of flannel on top of each other.  Making sure to place right sides together.

Step 6:

Pin the two layers together and sew all the way around  with a straight stitch.  Before you begin sewing make sure that your seam line won't hit any buttons.  If need be, remove any buttons in the way.

Step 7:

Check for fit.  
Simple unbutton the front and slip your pillow insert inside.  If it all looks good finish your seams with a zig-zag stitch to prevent fraying.  Turn the pillow cover right side out, insert pillow, button up the front and your done!

The whole project was so easy and fast I felt a little cheated out of sewing time!  The size of the flannel shirt I used was large enough(I think an XL) to use the bottom part of the shirt for an additional pillow cover.  Now I have two pillow covers, one with pockets - one without pockets, both with button down fronts. 

Lovely right?

Have a great day!


Linked to:

Knick of Time Tuesday
Amaze Me Monday
The Scoop
Tweak It Tuesday
Give Me The Goods
Homemade Mondays
Monday Funday


  1. Oh my word, how cute and adorable is this. Love your tutorial, super creative and fabulous. I would love for you to link up to Inspire Me this afternoon. Hugs, Marty

  2. I love flannel too! It just so happens that I am wearing a flannel shirt as I type this. It's purple, black & white and one of my favorites. I have been planning to make new pillows for our couch and flannel pillows would be the perfect thing. Thanks for taking the time to make the tutorial and post it for us.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. flannel . . . red, white and blue . . . pillow . . . all wonderful.

    I would never have thought to make a pillow out of a shirt. Now you have given me an idea. We found a vintage Reyn Spooner Hawaiian shirt on the beach. When we got it home it turns out that it had been ripped right down the front. We wondered if someone had gotten in a fight on the beach. Anyway, I kept it because the fabric pattern was so nice. I think I see a shirt pillow coming up, but not 'til spring.

  4. Those are sew cute :) I'd say I am running off to Goodwill to find a cute patterned shirt to make one, but I still need to make my cubby shelf! Thanks for the tutorial.

  5. Absolutely adorable and fabulous for the holidays Robin!!!!! you make me wanna sew! Love this idea, I think you should sell these in etsy! Hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving dear!

  6. omg this is so cute!!! I was going to make some little throw pillows for our porch furniture for christmas and these would be perfect. I also have a whole box of flannels that are triple Xs because my Grandpa lost a bunch of weight and gave them to us. This will be perfect and free!

  7. That is just too adorable. I love plaid. I'm a new follower. Thanks for the tutorial.

  8. Oh my, I LOVE this and I have a perfect shirt for this as well. :-) Thanks so much for sharing and have a great Thanksgiving.

  9. Lovely indeed! I adore flannel and plaid shirts. My guys have lots but won't let me steal any. I may have to hit the after winter sales to stock up for next year. In the meantime I picked up some red and black buffalo check flannel and made new Christmas pillows.

  10. I love love it! Yes, that was a great idea. Good Will always has lots of good one... Great tutorial too. Have a great one. Blessings!

  11. Very cute.
    I have just made all my christmas presents with vintage thrifted flannels. They are perfect and have a ton of uses.
    I made amazing cowl neck scarves for all the boys in my family.

  12. Oh how I love this. I just stuck some pillows in a closet because they didn't match my decor anymore... guess who's going to the Goodwill to update them? Thanks for sharing!

  13. I am in love with these pillows! I need to make new pillow covers for the man cave, and what could be more fitting than flannel shirt pillows? Thanks for sharing the tutorial, Robin!

  14. These pillows are fabulous for this time of year! Love the plaid flannel!!
    Mary Alice

  15. This is SO cute, Robin...and wonderful that you can use the button opening to insert the pillow...genius! Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Robin!

  16. Oh...this is just adorable! I love it how the bottons open and you can remove it to wash it too!

  17. I <3 your flannel pillow! Pinned Happy Thanksgiving:)

  18. Love, love, love these pillows! I never would have thought of this, and I have some flannel shirts I could use right now. I popped over from the Knick of Time party and am now following you.
    Tuula :)

  19. Your pillows are beautiful, I love them both! I want to do this now, I will be on the lookout for a large red flannel shirt! Thank you for the tutorial, my friend.

  20. This idea is so clever , so different and ecofriendly ! Congratulatious ! I going to make a pillow cover with t - shirts. I think it"ll be nice ! A hug for you !

  21. Love this! You've been featured on Sunday Features {Give Me The Goods}. You'll also be on my FB page today ;)
    Jamie @

  22. Oh my goodness, how cute is that! Perfect look for the winter, but other colors and non-flannel would be cute for other seasons. I'm off to raid The Man's closet!

  23. Robin - I just discovered your wonderful post ... and have already shared your creative work with the people in my world.

    I know they're going to love meeting you!


  24. I had 2 flannel shirts from my late dad that were too big to wear. I thought of making pillows with them but still they sat around. I found your wonderful tutorial and this year those shirts became pillows for the 3 grandchildren, who absolutely loved them! Great idea and easy to follow tutorial - thank you! Happy New Year!

  25. Your tutorial was so easy to follow. I'm a beginner sewer I lost my Husband July 2014 I had the kids and Grandkids pick out a favorite shirt there Dad or papa wore and started making these they love them even made one for his mom and dad. It was fun and sad at the same time but we will always have papa around. Great idea. I put a little tag on each with a saying. We have flannel and reg shirts to. Love them

  26. this is a perfect pillow for my Granddaughter for her graduation as the shirt belonged to her Grandfather that is
    deceased few yrs ago she missed him so.....thanks for the idea!

  27. I am very much pleased with the contents you have mentioned. I wanted to thank you for this great article. I enjoyed every little bit part of it and I will be waiting for the new updates.
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  28. I recently used your tutorial to create a pillow out of an acu it turned out wonderful. Thanks

  29. oh, so much thank you, I received a shirt from a mom who's husband passed away to make the shirt into a cushion cover for her daughter so she will always remember him wearing it. I will try this it seems much easier than the way I thought it should be done. The rest of the pieces I will cut into pieces to make a teddy with for a extra keepsake.

  30. You have got some great posts in your blog. Keep up with the good work.
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  31. Looks soooo adorablee. I think that is a very interesting idea to creating flannel shirt to pillow cover. I think the cover would be as soft and warm as flannels shirt, i probably trying this in the future.
    Great post ! Thanks
    Btw, i am a big fan of flannels shirt, if you are interesting in buying flannels shirt, mind to come over ?

  32. Valuable information ..I am delighted to read this article..Thank you for giving us this useful information.

  33. This is an excellent idea, I love flannel and plaid shirts, and you can find my last article about warm flannel shirts and how to wash and dry them! I think the best plaid flannel shirts are buffalo plaid, I love to wear them in the fall and winter!

  34. My son passed away 16 yrs ago I have all his clothes but I don't want them sitting in a closet. So I'm going to try and make pillow covers for his friends and family..Just trying to stop crying and I think I can make them..Thanks for you help...

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  36. That is just too adorable. I love plaid. I'm a new follower. Thanks for the tutorial.

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