January 15, 2012

Toddler Pillow and Stay-Put Pillowcase

Envision an old lumpy-dumpy pillow shoved at the top of the linen closet - that's how this project began. Add to the picture a young toddler who's ready for her first pillow. This is the story of how I made a toddler pillow and a stay-put pillowcase, from an old pillow and a t-shirt.

I found this awesome t-shirt (representing my alma matter) on the clearance rack at TJ Max. Not willing to cut up one of my own MIZZOU t-shirts, I knew I just had to buy it for this project. Plus, for only $3, it was cheaper than buying fabric from the craft store.

Because the size of my project would be dictated by the amount of fabric available on the shirt, I began with the pillowcase, saving the pillow creation for the end.

Stay-Put Pillowcase
1. First, I cut along the sides to separate the front from the back of the shirt. Then I straightened up the sides and top. Don't cut the bottom of the shirt.

Before I continue, let me explain the "stay-put" part of this pillowcase. This type of case is less likely to slip off during the night because of its non-traditional opening. Two partially overlapping pieces of fabric create the opening along the backside of the pillow, not the edge of the pillow. 

We will not be cutting the bottom edge of the t-shirt because this nice hemmed edge will wrap around to the back side of the pillow.

Anyways, back to the project...
2. Fold the bottom edge up over the front until the shirt's logo is centered on the remaining fabric underneath.

3. Measure the distance between the top of the shirt to the point where the two layers begin. Add 3-5 inches to that number (depending on how much of a fabric overlap you want). This is the length you will cut the second piece of fabric. The width of the second piece will equal the width of the first.

4. Using the other half of the t-shirt, and starting at the hem, measure and cut your second piece of fabric. 

5. Layer and pin the two pieces of fabric with right sides together. The two pieces should have at least 3 inches of overlap. 

6. Sew along three pinned edges and invert.

The pillowcase is finished!

Toddler Pillow (made from old lumpy pillow)
1. Cut open your pillow and remove the filling. Save the filling.

2. On the fabric of the old lumpy pillow, roughly trace a rectangle approximately the size of the pillowcase you just created. 

3. (Note: Because the pillow will always be hidden inside its case, I took the easy route and didn't worry about appearances or hiding the seems. Feel free to modify this step if you desire a more cosmetic look.) 
Pin and sew with your stitches landing right on top of your traced outline. Leave a generous opening for restuffing the pillow. 

4.  Cut excess fabric from around pillow. Refill the stuffing. Sew shut.

You're finished! Now go put that pillowcase on!

Linking up at Lines Across My Face


  1. What an adorable pillow. You are so creative - your father-in-law even commented about how clever you are! Really cute! I am sure the Bean Sprout will love it too!

  2. Hi Shelby, what a fabulous job you did on the pillow. There's not a little boy alive who wouldn't love a pillow like that. Thanks for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  3. Follwing you from linky party! i am also a Mizzou grad and i LVOE this tutorial. i will have to make one of my own!!!

    just four sisters blog

  4. Great tutorial! I'll have to make some of these for the girls. And of course, great t shirt ;)