Skip to main content

«  View All Posts

Graduation T-shirt Quilts

Reasons to Have a T-shirt Pillow Made

June 27th, 2022

By Andrea Funk

T-shirt pillows

What is a T-shirt Pillow?

Definition: A T-shirt pillow made from T-shirts, sweatshirts and other clothing items.

Pillows - 3 kidsSurfing the Internet, you will find many different styles and qualities of T-shirt pillows. These range from a T-shirt just slipped over a pillow form to a fully quilted, multi block pillow.

Too Cool T-shirt Quilt’s, puzzled style layout allows you to use a variety of block sizes. You can have a pillow made from just one T-shirt or from up to 10 T-shirts. We long-arm quilt our T-shirt pillows. This adds texture, stability, and uniqueness to our pillows.

To keep our pillows simple, we avoid zippers. Rather, the pillow has an overlapped opening in the back. This makes it easy to make and to get the pillow form in and out of the pillowcase.

Our pillows are machine washable. We suggest you don’t use these pillows for your sleeping pillow. Over years of use, the T-shirts will wear out. T-shirt pillows are a step-up from a decorative pillow, but not an every-night sleeping pillow.

Below are several possible reasons you might have a T-shirt pillow made rather than a quilt. 

graduation T-shirt pillow front graduation T-shirt pillow back

Why have a T-shirt pillow rather than a quilt made?

Below are several possible reasons you might have a T-shirt pillow made rather than a quilt. 

1. Too many T-shirts for a single quilt

If you have over 100 T-shirts, you probably will have too many for a king size quilt. Your extra T-shirts can be made into a pillow.

You may want a smaller, more functional quilt made and have too many T-shirts for the size you want. Putting some of these excess T-shirts into a pillow is a perfect solution. You use all the T-shirts and get the quilt the size you would like.

2. Not enough T-shirts for a quilt

You might just not have enough T-shirts for a quilt. To celebrate the T-shirts you do have, a pillow is the solution. 

3. A few odd colored T-shirts that would look bad in your quilt.

missed matchedFor example, your grouping of T-shirts is of one color theme, except for a few odd balls. These wrong colored T-shirts can create an odd-looking quilt. Read more about monochromatic quilts here.  

By removing those odd ball T-shirts from your quilt, you will have a better-looking quilt and an awesome pillow.  

The photo here shows a perfect example of when some T-shirts would ruin a quilt. 

If we would have added the neon T-shirts into the quilt here, they would have made the quilt look awful. 

By separating the neon T-shirts out, we kept the quilt to the traditional Texas colors. 

4. Budget Constraints

graduation T-shirt pillowIf your budget prevents you from purchasing a quilt, consider a pillow.

Carefully choose T-shirts to represent the story you want to tell in T-shirts.  Avoid duplicate topics if you have way too many T-shirts. Careful planning will help you create a pillow that is as special as a quilt.

5. Special Topics

T-shirt quilts tell a story. If you add T-shirts into a quilt that don’t relate to the story, it’s odd. Read more about that here.

For example, all the T-shirts in the quilt are about high school. Except four T-shirts from 5K races run in grade school. Those four shirts don’t belong in a high school themed T-shirt quilt. Those T-shirts would be perfect candidates for a pillow.

6. You Have One Special T-shirt

chicken pillow.jpeg

When you have a very special T-shirt that you want to highlight, a T-shirt pillow might be the perfect solution. 

  • Are you a military family who has someone you love overseas on deployment? Take a single T-shirt of your loved one and make a pillow out of it so you can snuggle until they are home safe and sound.

  • Gift for a coach. Example – your daughter’s swimming team won the state meet. Purchase an extra T-shirt from the event and have all the girls sign the T-shirt. Then have the T-shirt made into a pillow for the coach.

  • Family gift – I found the chicken T-shirt at Goodwill when I was searching for other T-shirts. I loved the T-shirt, but didn’t really have a reason to buy it.
    My husband saw me looking at it and said, “That’s my mom.” Light bulb moment – make it into a pillow for Christmas. It was a hit!

Read more about single T-shirt pillows here.

7. They are just fun!

Finally, T-shirt pillows are just fun. You might want to consider having a quilt and pillow made for from your T-shirts. 

To learn more about having a quilt made from your T-shirts, download our free T-shirt Quilt Buyer's Guide. 
It's a great place to learn about the different styles and quality of T-shirt quilt.

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide

How many T-shirts can you use in a pillow?

Dance T-shirt pillow A One T-shirt Pillow

If you have one special T-shirt, consider having it transformed into a T-shirt pillow.

There isn't much to planning for a One T-shirt pillow. You simply pick your favorite T-shirt and have it made. Read more about pillows made with just one T-shirt here.

More than one up to 10

You can use perhaps up to 10 T-shirts for your pillow. It will depend what is on the T-shirts and how much we use from each T-shirt.

We suggest numbering your T-shirt’s from 1 to 10. As we work with your T-shirts, we will start with number one. We then build the pillow until we run out of room.  We will return any unused T-shirts with your pillow.

Other Non-T-shirt Items You Could Consider

Don’t let the term “T-shirt pillow” fool you into thinking that you can only use T-shirts. We can use anything that is machine washable in a pillow. This means you can get creative and use what’s important.

But!!!! Remember, your face may be on your pillow at times. So please consider how each item you include feels against your face.

Below are just some of the items have used in a quilt or a pillow.

  • Murphy_pillowBlue jeans
  • Plaid shirts
  • Socks
  • Hats
  • Dance outfits
  • Sports pendants
  • Dance tutus
  • Aprons
  • Football jerseys
  • Patches
  • Leotards
  • Shorts
  • Gymnastics outfits
  • Girl Scout sashes
  • Bandannas
  • Scarves
  • Bike jerseys
  • Backpacks
  • Goggles


T-shirt pillows are as much fun and as usable as a T-shirt quilt. Below are some photographs of just a very few of the pillows we have made. 

Pillow - 3 memorial

Pillows 1jpg

Girl scout pillow

Pillow 5

Pillow 2

Pillow 3 

Andrea Funk

Andrea Funk is the inventor of T-shirt quilts made with multiple blocks sizes. The modern method of making T-shirt quilts. In 1992 she founded Too Cool T-shirt Quilts. Her life has been immersed in T-shirt quilts ever since.