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Redress: Pillows Part II: Recycled Stuffing Material

Last week I posted about my fight with pillow stuffing and how I’ve gone on a quest to figure out what works best.


Shredded Paper


Shredded Fleece


Plastic Bags


All Sorts of stuff – bits of yarn, thread, fleece, paper, and dryer lint.

After making 4 small pillows and stuffing them, I think I’ve finally got it down. Here is what I found out.

1. No matter what you are using as a recycled material, shredding it up is the best way to go.

2. Fabric DOES NOT shred well in a paper shredder. Trust me, don’t do it. That’s right, I tried it. I thought “this is going to be so awesome” but in fact it was a bit scary. Imagine grinding wheels not stopping and the whole thing convulsing and buckling like an alien was going to pop out of it.

3. Don’t use anything that will rot. Stay away from things with moisture in them.

4. Be mindful of noise. While shredded paper was the most easily sourced + most easily shredded material, it’s noisy. It crunches around and eventually flattens out and compacts. I think it would be great for things like floor pillows or decorative pillows.

pillowpunchout05Then from that, I decided I really liked paper and fleece the most. What would that be like together? Perfect.

I’m okay with the noise of it. For the pillow I’m planning (the one with the woven top), I’m going to make two pillows in one. It will be a floor pillow to sit on. So the bottom part I’ll hard pack with shredded paper. And then the The 2 inch thick “pillow top” will be over stuffed (but not quite hard packed) with shredded fleece.

There are a lot of options for decorative pillows (any of the above will work great), but for comfort I found fleece and (oddly enough) plastic bags work the best for over stuffed big comfy pillows. Shredded paper adds great structure to any pillow.

The batting over it all really opens up the options because it gives a nice smooth surface to your pillow.

I’m excited to get started on the pillow form for my big pillow project. :)


ps – I labeled all my pillows and I’m keeping them around for reference for all my future pillow projects. I think some fun little slipcovers will be fun to make too.

pss – Pillow Redress Part I

8 thoughts on “Redress: Pillows Part II: Recycled Stuffing Material

  1. The paper and fleece combo sounds great but what about when one needs to wash the cushion? Maybe this is an idea for another quest. Thanks for a great post.

  2. Good point! I forgot to link up to part two. All this experimentation is the end result of deciding to go with a slip cover over these pillow forms.

    Also, this brings up an interesting point, can you wash a pillow? I googled it and the answer is for the most part yes. I just never really thought about. It totally makes sense now that I think about it. I would say, that would be another interesting experiment for sure. Mostly I can guess that shredded fleece, most fabrics, and yarn would be fine, but things like paper, plastic bags (hard to remove all the moisture), and the all sorts (because you just toss whatever in there) would not work out so well washing and drying by machine.

  3. What a brilliant idea! I keep thinking I want more pillows but don’t want to pay for the pillow form. Thank you for giving me my next home project!

  4. Definitely no to that one. Yeah, that is one of the downsides of some of the recycled stuffing choices. I use the newspaper/paper shreds for things I know won't need more than spot washing.

  5. HI
    I was wondering if you are able to wash the pillow with the newspaper in it??

  6. Definitely no to that one. Yeah, that is one of the downsides of some of the recycled stuffing choices. I use the newspaper/paper shreds for things I know won't need more than spot washing.

  7. Hello,

    I am heading an event and we are recycling un-used t-shirts for an Earth Day craft. I love your options very helpful. I do have a few questions. Do you know the out come for all times of stuffing after they have been washed with teh exception of the paper. I would assume not washing the plastic bags either…? How long does the paper stuffing last for confort? Thanks for any thoughts and suggestions. Stacey

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