Tattered towels can reincarnate as a pillow. For this easy sewing project, find the best parts of old, frayed, stained, or mismatched towels and washcloths and turn them into soft, fluffy, inviting pillows. Throw them on a chair next to the tub or use them to cushion a bench seat. We used a mix of Styrofoam peanuts, plastic shopping bags, and scraps of toweling to make an eco-friendly stuffing. (It’s not as soft as down, and it rustles a bit more than foam, but it’s waterproof, dries quickly, and lets you recycle and reuse waste materials otherwise fated for the landfill.) If you can’t bear the thought of sitting on peanuts, rest assured that at least you’re recycling your old towels while giving your bathroom all the panache of a spa.
1. Bring four washcloths together to make the front of a pillow cover. We sewed standard 5/8-inch seams throughout, then zigzagged and trimmed the edges to prevent fraying.
2. For the back of the pillow cover, we used a single hand towel cut in half. Overlap the two halves 3 inches to 6 inches (use the finished edge of the towel for less sewing), then pin them together.
3. Cut the pillow front to be of equal size to the back, then pin and sew them together. Remember that the right sides of the fabric should face one another.
4. For the pillow insert (the part that holds the stuffing), we used an old pillowcase cut to size. Once stuffed and stitched, it fits through the overlapping opening of the pillow cover. No need for zippers or buttons.