What To Do With Old Pillows?

Published Categorized as Bedding, Pillows

Are you wondering what to do with old pillows?

Instead of tossing them away, why not explore some creative ways to repurpose them and give them a new lease on life?

In this article, we will explore sustainable options for repurposing your old pillows.

👉 You Might Also Enjoy: Why Do Pillows Turn Yellow?

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1. Turn Them Into Floor Cushions

what to do with old pillows

Floor cushions are a fantastic way to repurpose old pillows and create comfortable seating options for your home. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Gather your old pillows and inspect them for any damage or stains. If they are still in good condition, they can be transformed into floor cushions.
  • Measure and cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover the entire pillow. This fabric will serve as the new cover for your floor cushion.
  • Place the old pillow in the center of the fabric and wrap the fabric tightly around it, securing it with pins or sewing it together.
  • To add an extra layer of comfort, you can stack multiple pillows on top of each other before wrapping them in the fabric.
  • Once the fabric is secured, you can personalize your floor cushion by adding decorative elements such as buttons, ribbons, or embroidery.
  • Place your newly created floor cushions in your living room, playroom, or any other area where you could use some cozy seating.

2. Make Them Into Pet Beds

what to do with old pillows

Old pillows can make perfect sleeping spots for your furry friends. Instead of buying expensive pet beds or a dog bed, repurpose your old pillows and provide your pets with a cozy resting place. Here’s how:

  • Clean the old pillows thoroughly to remove any dirt, allergens, or pet hair. You can use a vacuum cleaner or toss them in the washing machine if the care instructions allow. Read for more pillow washing tips: How To Wash And Dry Bamboo Pillows
  • If your pet is small or medium-sized, you can simply place the pillow in a pet bed cover or use a large pillowcase to encase the pillow.
  • For larger pets, you can repurpose an old suitcase or a sturdy box. Remove the lid or the front side, place the pillow inside, and secure it with some fabric or a strap.
  • You can also get creative and decorate the pet bed with your pet’s name, paw prints, or other embellishments to make it even more personalized.
  • Put the pet bed in a quiet and comfortable area of your home, and watch your pet enjoy their new sleeping spot.

3. Fluff Up Another Pillow

If your old pillows are still in decent condition but have lost some of their fluffiness, you can use them to revive other pillows. 👉 Find out: Why Do Pillows Go Flat?

Here’s a simple way to do it:

  • Open up the pillow that needs some extra filling by removing a small portion of the stitching or opening the zipper.
  • Take the filling from the old pillow and add it to the pillow that needs more fluff. Make sure to distribute the filling evenly to achieve a consistent shape.
  • Once you have added enough filling, carefully close the opening of the pillow using a needle and thread or by re-zipping it if it has a zipper closure.
  • Give the revitalized pillow a good shake and knead it gently to evenly distribute the filling and restore its original shape.
  • Enjoy your renewed pillow, now plump and comfortable once again.
  • Read more: How Do You Fluff A Bamboo Pillow?

4. Turn Them Into Throw Pillows

what to do with old pillows

Old pillows can be transformed into stylish throw pillows that add a touch of coziness to your living space. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Check the condition of your old pillows. If they are still in good shape and clean, they are perfect for this project.
  • Choose a fabric that complements your home decor and matches the desired style of your throw pillows.
  • Measure and cut the fabric into two equal-sized squares or rectangles, depending on the shape you prefer.
  • Place the two fabric pieces together, with the right sides facing each other, and sew around three sides, leaving one side open.
  • Turn the fabric right side out through the open side, making sure to push out the corners for a crisp finish.
  • Stuff the fabric cover with the old pillow, ensuring it fills the corners and edges evenly.
  • Finally, hand stitch or use a sewing machine to close the open side of the fabric, sealing the pillow inside.
  • Voila! You now have a beautiful throw pillow ready to enhance your sofa or bed.

5. Create A Knee Pad With Them

Do you often find yourself gardening or doing household chores that require kneeling? Repurposing your old pillows into knee pads can provide much-needed comfort and support. Here’s how to do it:

  • Clean your old pillows thoroughly, removing any stains, dirt, or allergens.
  • Measure and cut two rectangular pieces of fabric that are large enough to comfortably fit your knees.
  • Place the fabric pieces together, with the right sides facing each other, and sew around three sides, leaving one side open.
  • Turn the fabric right side out through the open side, ensuring the corners are pushed out.
  • Take the old pillow and cut it into two smaller pieces that match the size of your fabric covers.
  • Insert one piece of the old pillow into each fabric cover, ensuring they are well-distributed and provide sufficient padding.
  • Finally, hand stitch or use a sewing machine to close the open side, securing the pillow inside the knee pad.
  • Enjoy the cushioned support of your homemade knee pads while engaging in various activities.

6. Seal Up Drafty Doors

Do you have drafty doors or windows that let in cold air during the winter months? You can repurpose your old pillows to create draft stoppers and keep your home cozy. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Clean and dry your old pillows, ensuring they are free from dirt and allergens.
  • Measure the width of your door or window, and cut a piece of fabric that is slightly longer than the measurement.
  • Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, with the wrong side facing outwards.
  • Sew along the long side and one short side, leaving one short side open for filling.
  • Turn the fabric right side out through the open side, creating a fabric tube.
  • Stuff the fabric tube with the old pillow, ensuring it is filled but still flexible enough to block the draft.
  • Hand stitch or use a sewing machine to close the open side, securing the pillow inside the draft stopper.
  • Place the draft stopper along the bottom of the door or window to prevent cold air from entering.

7. Fix Up A Stuffed Animal With Them

what to do with old pillows

If you have children or love stuffed toys yourself, old pillows can be transformed into soft and cuddly companions. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Inspect your old pillows for any stains or damage. If they are clean and in good condition, they are perfect for this project.
  • Choose a stuffed animal pattern or template that you like. You can find free patterns online or create your own.
  • Trace the pattern onto a piece of fabric and cut out two identical pieces for each stuffed animal you want to make.
  • Place the fabric pieces together, with the right sides facing each other, and sew around the edges, leaving a small opening for stuffing.
  • Turn the fabric right side out through the opening, and stuff the pillow filling from your old pillows into the fabric shell.
  • Use a needle and thread or a sewing machine to close the opening, ensuring the stuffing is securely contained.
  • Add eyes, a nose, and other details using buttons, embroidery, or fabric markers to bring your stuffed animal to life.
  • Your old pillow has now been transformed into a lovable companion for you or your little ones to cherish.

8. Get Some New Rags Out Of Them

Old pillows can be repurposed into reusable cleaning rags, providing an eco-friendly alternative to disposable paper towels. Follow these simple steps to create your own cleaning rags:

  • Clean your old pillows thoroughly and ensure they are free from any dirt or allergens.
  • Cut the pillows into smaller pieces, about the size of a washcloth or slightly larger, depending on your preference.
  • You can use pinking shears to cut the fabric to prevent fraying, or you can sew a zigzag stitch along the edges to achieve the same result.
  • Now you have a set of soft and absorbent cleaning rags that can be used for various household cleaning tasks.
  • These reusable rags can be machine-washed and reused, reducing waste and saving money on disposable cleaning supplies.

9. Repurpose Them Into A Tote Bag

If you’re looking for a creative way to repurpose your old pillows while also being environmentally conscious, consider turning them into a reusable tote bag. Here’s how to do it:

  • Choose a pillow that is large enough to provide sufficient fabric for your tote bag.
  • Carefully open the pillow and remove the filling, setting it aside for other projects or discarding it responsibly.
  • Lay the pillow fabric flat and cut it into two rectangular pieces of equal size. These will be the front and back panels of your tote bag.
  • Cut two additional strips of fabric for the handles, ensuring they are long enough to comfortably fit over your shoulder.
  • Fold each strip in half lengthwise, with the right sides facing each other, and sew along the long edge and one short edge.
  • Turn the fabric right side out and press it flat. Topstitch along the sewn edges for added durability.
  • Place the front and back panels together, with the right sides facing each other, and sew along the sides and bottom, leaving the top open.
  • Attach the handles to the top edges of the tote bag, aligning them with the side seams.
  • Turn the bag right side out, and you now have a stylish and eco-friendly tote bag made from your old pillows.

10. Compost The Feathers

If your old pillows contain feathers, you can compost them to create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. 👉 Find out: How To Stop Feathers From Coming Out Of Pillow

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Remove the feathers from the pillows by carefully opening the seams or using scissors to cut them open.
  • Collect the feathers in a compostable bag or container.
  • Add the feathers to your compost pile, ensuring a proper balance of carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich materials.
  • Turn the compost regularly to aerate it and speed up the decomposition process.
  • Over time, the feathers will break down and contribute to the overall quality of your compost.
  • Use the compost to nourish your plants, helping them thrive in your garden.

11. Donate For Reuse Or Recycle

Consider donating your old pillows to organizations or shelters that can reuse them or recycle their materials. Here’s what you can do:

  • Check with local homeless shelters, animal shelters, or charities to see if they accept old pillows.
  • Ensure that the pillows are clean and in good condition before donating them.
  • Some organizations may use the pillows as bedding for people or animals in need.
  • If the pillows are no longer suitable for use, find recycling programs or facilities that accept textiles and fillings.
  • Recycling facilities can often repurpose the materials into new products such as insulation or carpet padding.
  • By donating or recycling your old pillows, you reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable future.

12. Make A Gardening Cushion

Old pillows can be repurposed into comfortable cushions for your gardening activities. Here’s how you can create a gardening cushion:

  • Clean the old pillows and remove any stains or dirt.
  • Cut a piece of durable, water-resistant fabric to the desired size and shape for your cushion.
  • Place the old pillow inside the fabric cover and sew it shut, ensuring the pillow is securely enclosed.
  • Optionally, you can add handles or straps to the cushion for easy transportation in the garden.
  • Use the gardening cushion for kneeling, sitting, or providing support during your gardening tasks.
  • The cushion will help alleviate discomfort and protect your knees or back while you tend to your plants.

13. Use As Packing & Moving Material

Old pillows can serve as an excellent alternative to traditional packing materials when you need to transport fragile items. Follow these steps:

  • Clean the old pillows to ensure they are free from dirt and allergens.
  • Cut open the pillowcases or remove the pillow covers, leaving only the pillow filling.
  • Use the fluffy filling to provide cushioning and protection for delicate items during packing and moving.
  • The softness and flexibility of the pillow filling make it suitable for wrapping and securing breakable objects.
  • Additionally, the filling can be easily shaped and adjusted to fit different items and spaces.
  • By repurposing your old pillows as packing material, you reduce the need for single-use packaging and contribute to a more sustainable moving process.

What To Do With Old Pillows – Final Thoughts

what to do with old pillows

There are numerous options for what to do with old pillows, ensuring they don’t end up in landfills. By repurposing or recycling these household items, we can reduce waste and minimize our environmental impact. Here are some key takeaways to remember:

  1. Repurposing for Comfort and Style: Old pillows can be transformed into various items to enhance comfort and aesthetics. Whether you turn them into a cozy floor cushion seat, decorative throw pillow, or pre-made cushion cover for a piece of furniture, the possibilities are endless. Get creative and use colorful fabrics or waterproof materials to match your style and needs.
  2. Donation and Secondhand Stores: Consider donating unwanted pillows to thrift stores or donation centers. Many organizations accept gently used household textiles, including pillows, which can find new homes with individuals in need. Additionally, animal charities often welcome pillow donations for animal beds, ensuring both human and furry friends benefit.
  3. Textile Recycling Facilities: If your pillows are no longer suitable for donation, textile recycling facilities like the American Textile Recycling Service can handle their proper disposal. These facilities specialize in recycling various fabrics and fibers, including polyester and synthetic materials commonly found in pillows. By recycling, you contribute to reducing your carbon footprint and supporting eco-friendly practices.
  4. Proper Care and Hygiene: Remember to regularly clean your bed pillows and use pillow protectors to extend their lifespan and maintain cleanliness. Regular washing, following the manufacturer’s instructions, helps remove dead skin cells, body oils, and sweat that accumulate over time. This not only ensures a comfortable sleep but also keeps the pillows fresh and hygienic.
  5. Choosing Eco-friendly Pillows: When purchasing new pillows, consider options made from natural and sustainable materials. Eco-friendly pillows, such as those made from organic cotton, latex foam, or memory foam, provide support and comfort while reducing environmental impact. Look for pillows with eco-friendly certifications and choose the type of pillow that suits your personal preferences, such as firm, flat, or supportive pillows.

Remember, whether you repurpose, donate, or recycle your old pillows, you are taking steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle and minimizing waste. So, think beyond the traditional use of pillows and explore DIY projects, charitable donations, or proper recycling options to give these household items a new purpose and contribute to a greener future.