I’m not sure why I’ve had pillows on my mind. Maybe because the sun has been hiding behind the clouds for too many days to count? Maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling under the weather? Maybe it’s because the holidays are fast approaching and I need some gift ideas for the guys in my life? Whatever the reason, I’ve been having fun. These are really easy. I know you’ll have fun, too.

remote control pillow


  • Remote Control Pillow v 2.0 is for those who only have one tv remote or are using a universal remote for all of their equipment. If you need a multi-pocket pillow, check out my Remote Control Pillow v 1.0 pattern.
  • Most likely, your pocket will have to be flipped and moved to accommodate a remote control. If your shirt doesn’t have a pocket, you can easily make one out of the sleeve or a contrasting scrap fabric. Be creative! Try a denim pocket from a pair of jeans.
  • Some men’s shirts don’t have buttons past the belt line. You can take one from the collar or cuff and stitch it on the band.
  • If you are using a smaller shirt, simply use a smaller pillow form. I usually sew the cover 1″ smaller than the pillow form size so the final pillow will be nice and firm.

denim pocket men's shirt pillow

1 – large men’s button shirt with pocket
1 – 18″ pillowform
seam ripper
matching thread

Step 1
With the shirt buttoned, cut a 17 1/2″ square out of the front of the shirt. Cut another 17 1/2″ square out of the back of the shirt.

Step 2
Carefully remove the pocket using a seam ripper. Spritz shirt with water and steam press to close up any holes. Reposition the pocket and topstitch in place.

Optional Step 3
If your holes don’t close, if you accidentally rip your fabric, or you are using a shirt like corduroy and the nap won’t fluff back up, you’ll need a patch. Just cut a square from the sleeve and topstitch it over the original area.

Step 4
Lay the pieces together right sides together and sew around the whole square with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Make sure to undo one or two buttons before sewing so you can turn it right side out afterward.

Step 4
Clip your corners, turn right side out and press.

Step 5
Insert your pillow form and button it up!

affordable decorative pillow button down shirt

This is an easy way to make decorative pillows, too. If you go to Goodwill on 99 cent day, this becomes a really affordable project. Plus, they organize their clothes by color, which makes it easy to find shirts that match your fabric. I used a little less than a fat quarter of fabric for the decorative pillow.

home decor pillow on a budget

recycle: Before you head out to the thrift store, check your own closet. All three of these shirts came from my husband. In fact, I have him trained now to ask me first before donating any of his clothes!

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16 Responses to how to sew a remote control pillow in five easy steps

  1. Stephanie says:

    This is my kinda project girl!!! So simple and effective… that’s why I love your blog!!

    xo Steph

  2. Angela Pak says:

    Brilliant! Thanks – I’ll make one for my husband for Christmas.

  3. ginger says:

    Great gift for kids that cant find there game controls.
    Thank you so much for the idea!

  4. […] Julie Kundhi from julie-k shows how she made these fabulous pillows out of old button-down shirts.  The pockets get repurposed as remote control pockets.  Brilliant!  Get the how-to. […]

  5. Anne Weaver says:

    Love it!!! Not only is my husband trained to not throw anything away without checking with me first – so are my mother, my mother-in-law, my sister, etc…

    Anyway, posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  6. […] Button Down Pillow from Julie K {via Craft Gossip} […]

  7. Rachel says:

    That is such a fun idea, we could really use this in my house! Thanks so much, I’ll be linking.

  8. […] hubby is definitely getting this for Christmas – Remote Control Pillow by […]

  9. Lisa Ashby says:

    I absolutely love this! I included it on my blog for Tutorial Tuesday since it would make a great holiday gift. :) My husband will definitely be getting one.

  10. […] else? Oh, did you know I wrote a tutorial on how to make one of these pillows? Check it out! Category: all posts, giveaway, recycle, sewingTags: control > cushion > giveaway > pillow > remote […]

  11. […] Remember all of the pillows I was making with men’s shirts? This was a great way to use the sleeves! Pattern is from the […]

  12. […] Remote Control Pillow from Julie at julie-k […]

  13. jojoebi says:

    great tutorial, thanks for sharing. I have added it to me ‘Christmas Gifts to Sew’ round up post, I just wanted to let you know.

  14. These pillows are so cool! What a creative way to keep track of your remote too. Surely people will be doing a double-take when they see these. Neat post.

  15. Awesome. I look forward to upcycling a few shirts to cushion covers. Thanks so much for this simple and helpful tutorial.