Make an Upcycled STAR WARS T-Shirt Pillow for May the 4th

It’s that special time of the year again, when there’s magic in the air, a small helper with pointed ears giggling with glee, and glittering light(sabers) sparkling… That’s right, it’s May the Fourth, a.k.a.  Star Wars Day!

If you’re the type who loves to decorate for the holidays, this DIY Star Wars throw pillow can be set out for this special day every year. And even better, you can use the flip side of the pillow to show off your love of a galaxy far, far away year-round. You just have to be willing to turn a beloved ratty Star Wars t-shirt (or, if you can’t part with it, just buy a new one on clearance) into a one-of-a-kind pillow. And if you’re not into sewing, don’t worry, because you can make this with hot glue.

What You Need

  • Star Wars t-shirt with a design on one side, preferably size XL
  • Canvas throw pillow cover (16″ x 16″)
  • Throw pillow insert
  • Shiny silver fabric
  • Black fabric paint
  • Small paint brush
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia (optional)

Get Started!

Step One: Begin by cutting the front and back of the T-shirt apart along the stitching on the sides and sleeves. Set aside the back piece of the shirt for now.

Step Two: Next, place the canvas throw pillow cover on top of the front piece of the T-shirt, centering the design as best you can. Cut around the pillow case, leaving a small amount of space between the case and the edge you’re cutting. It’s okay if it’s not exactly straight.

Step Three: Repeat on the back piece of the shirt. If the shirt has a Star Wars logo label, cut it out and set it aside.

Step Four: Flip the front piece of the shirt and place it on top of the back piece, so that the design is on the inside. Align the edges as closely as you can.

Step Five: With the hot glue gun (watch those fingers!), fold up and glue about a centimeter of the fabric on the two bottom edges to create a hem where the inside of the pillow case will be. Line up the two hems as best you can.

If you’re more comfortable with a needle and thread or sewing machine, you can of course use those instead to make the hem and pillow.

Step Six: With the hot glue gun, glue the two t-shirt pieces together a few inches at a time along the edges. Try to make the glue lines as straight as you. (And again, watch those fingers!) Let the glue cool.

Step Seven: Flip the pillow case inside out again. The front of the T-shirt design should be on the front of the pillow case. Gently slide the canvas pillow case inside the T-shirt pillow case, pulling it into the edges and smoothing it out.

Step Eight: Use the ruler on the silver fabric to cut three long pieces. It’s easiest to just trace the ruler itself, giving you three strips about 12 inches long and 1.5 inches wide.

Step Nine: Arrange the three strips in a “4” shape, and trim the left strip to line up and complete the shape. Hot glue just the ends of each strip.

Step Ten: Slide the pillow insert into the pillow case, and straighten the edges and corners. Now glue the rest of the silver strips down, along the curve of the pillow. (Otherwise they may stretch or not lay smoothly if you glue them before the pillow is inside.)

Once the glue cools, remove the pillow insert and smooth the case out flat.

Step Eleven: Use a pencil to lightly write the word “MAY” in Aurebesh inside the “4”. Use the image above or the guide in Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia for the correct lettering.

Step Twelve: Go over the lines you made with the pencil with the black fabric paint. Use a paint brush to smooth out the paint and to create thicker, straight lines. Let the paint dry completely.

Step Thirteen: If you were able to save it, glue the small Star Wars label to the bottom corner of the pillow.

Step Fourteen: Slide the pillow insert back into the pillow case. Glue the hem you made along the two bottom edges of the canvas pillow case, keeping them separate so that you can still unzip and remove the pillow insert later if needed.

Step Fifteen: Your May the 4th pillow is complete! Display it all year or just on the days when you need a little Star Wars in your life. (Wait, isn’t that every day?)

What are you doing for May the 4th this year? Tell us in the comments.

Images: Kelly Knox

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