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Superhero T-Shirt Quilt Made From Old Kids Shirts

Updated on February 11, 2014

A Gift Made For Dad From Recycled Materials And Lots Of Love

Our t-shirt superhero quilt has become the focal point of our living room. My boys love it because it is full of their favorite superheros: Spider-man, Superman, The Incredible Hulk, Batman, Power Rangers and Transformers. My husband loves it because it was made from love by his boys, just for him.

The superhero t-shirt quilt first came about when I was talking to my boys about what they wanted to get their dad for Christmas. My middle son promptly went and got his favorite old t-shirt that he just outgrown and planned to wrap it up for daddy. Then my other two boys went to get their old superhero shirts to give to daddy, too. At that point it obvious that we had many old superhero shirts that the boys had outgrown.

Together it was decided that since they could not wear the shirts, we would make something out of them that Dad would like. Thus the superhero quilt made from old comic t-shirts was planned out and made.

Make Your T-Shirt Quilt With Love

Tshirt Quilt For Dad
Tshirt Quilt For Dad

I am not a great seamstress or any sort of quilter, but the quilt was put together with love and will be cherished for years to come. So if you want to put your own quilt together do not worry about not being able to do it perfectly, its all about the love you put into it.

Make A T-shirt Quilt In One Day - How I Learned How to Make A T-Shirt Quilt Fast

Quilt in a Day T-Shirt Quilt Pattern by Eleanor Burns
Quilt in a Day T-Shirt Quilt Pattern by Eleanor Burns

This is my favorite book about making a t-shirt quilt. I am not a quilter nor do I expect a museum worthy master piece. This book was a great help in teaching me how to make my quilt fast and effectively in less then a days time. Very much worth the small cost.

 

It Takes All Kinds To Be Superheroes - Don't Leave Out The Little Guys

Tshirt Block Quilt
Tshirt Block Quilt

With my kids being superhero fanatics we had no trouble finding lots of old shirts to recycle to make a superhero t-shirt quilt. Although we did add a few characters that my kids thought their dad would like, superhero or not. If you lack in superhero t-shirts consider sewing in blank squares or using other fun old shirts that might tie in with your theme. You could also draw on blank quilt blocks or use sew on patches.

Things You May Need To Make A T-Shirt Quilt - Superhero T-Shirt Quilt Made From Old Kids Shirts

  • Old T-shirts (At least twelve, but it really depends on how large you want to make your blanket.)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Pins
  • Thick Thread
  • Non woven fusible interfacing.The interfacing is to make the t-shirt material easier to work with and makes the quilt withstand washing a lot better.
  • Piece of fabric for back of quilt. Needs to be a little longer and wider then quilt. Flat sheets that are in good shape and match design works great.
  • Quilt batting. This is to help make the quilt comfy, I use a thin old blanket instead of buying quilt batting.

All Ready Made Super Hero Quilts And Blankets

Get creative when designing your quilt. Add patches, draw your own superhero or use iron-ons.......

How Many Shirts Do I Need?

12 t-shirts can make a throw size.

20 t-shirts can make a twin size.

30 t- shirts can make a full size.

36 t-shirts can make a queen size.

42 t-shirts can make a king size.

(All sizes of quilts will vary based on size of blocks and borders used)

(Quilts without borders may use twice as many t-shirts)

How To Make A T-Shirt Quilt - Free Basic T-Shirt Quilt Instructions

There are so many ways to make a t-shirt quilt. A t-shirt quilt can be a simple square quilt or it can become a work of art with various sizes of "blocks". The directions below or for a very simple block pattern and can be tweaked to create many types of t-shirt quilts.

  1. Determine how large of quilt you want to make. Figure out if you want your t-shirt quilt to go on a specific bed, be a throw or be a wall hanging.
  2. Gather all t-shirts and material you want to use on your quilt. Wash them but forgo the fabric softener. Make sure to mend any shirts as needed before it becomes part of a quilt. Back of shirts should be separated from front of shirts and ironed as needed.
  3. Stack the old t-shirts you plan to use by shape and size. If your mixing adult t-shirts with child size t-shirts it is possible to cut one adult block to the size of two child blocks.
  4. Determine is you want to add a border around your t-shirts. I only sewed a boarder around the middle image and just sewed the other t-shirt together. Figuring out your borders and where you want them will help you determine how many t-shirts you need for your quilt.
  5. Cut out cardboard template that matches the square size you want to use, if using squares.
  6. Cut you squares and shapes carefully. Use the template as a guide, but remember it is better to measure twice and cut once.
  7. Apply fusible non-stretch interfacing under each T-shirt image so the edges does not curl. Cut the interfacing about two inches past the quilt square. Be aware when using interfacing to get all wrinkles out before it drys, afterward it will not come out.
  8. Before sewing everything together lay it on the floor to get a good look on how it will turn out.
  9. Sew each square to the next one, forming rows. Add border if desired.
  10. Prepare the backing by cleaning it and cutting it to size. I used an old sheet but you could also buy fabric to match your quilt. Sew the quilt top to the backing but leave top open.
  11. Put your batting into your quilt. I used a old thin quilt instead of the usual batting to avoid cost and to teach the kids about recycling and reusing.
  12. Finish your quilt. You can use a tying method or u can quilt it together. The most popular method is tying but if your looking for a quilt that will last many years to come you may want to consider having it quilted by a professional.

Iron On Super Hero For Quilt
Iron On Super Hero For Quilt

Use Transfer Paper To Add Photos or Drawings To Your Quilt

On my next quilt I plan on adding a few more personal touches on the quilt such as adding photos of my boys dressed in their super hero costumes and their drawings of their own super heroes.

This can easily be done by printing the image you want onto print on transfer paper and ironing it onto the material you are using for your quilt.

Pick The Right Center Piece For Your Quilt

Center Tshirt Quilt Block
Center Tshirt Quilt Block

My boys may have many heroes but their dad is their number one hero of all times. For my boys it made sense to add their dad to a quilt made of superheros and make it the focal point of the quilt.

Fun Fabric Backing For A Superhero Quilt

I used a old blanket for my quilt but you can also use fabric. Below is some cool fabric that would look awesome on the back of a superhero quilt.

What Do You Do With A T-shirt Quilt?

Using The Superhero T-shirt Quilt
Using The Superhero T-shirt Quilt

This Superhero T-shirt quilt gets lots of use on a daily basis. It's home is on the couch and it is everyone's favorite blanket to use for any occasion. When talking to other crafters or do it yourselfers they suggest hanging the quilt on the wall or put it somewhere where it will not be used, so it will last longer.

While this quilt will be used till its beyond rags, I do see the advantages of keeping the memories preserved.

If you made a quilt out of your kids old t-shirts what would you do with it?

See results

More Superhero Quilt Ideas

Super hero quilts can be a great gift from a kid to a parent or it can be a great gift to a kid. There are tons of superhero t shirt quilt and block quilt ideas out there that even a new seamstress could tackle. Below are a few links to articles that showcase other superhero blankets and throws.

After having such a great time with this project and have fellen in love with doing craft projects with old t-shirt, I have searched with other projects to do. My next project in mind is the Patchwork T-shirt Scarf.

What Are Some Other Projects You Have Done Or Seen That Is Made From Old T-Shirts?

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    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

      What a special gift for Dad! Very creative and something that will be cherished for generations.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I never heard of a T-Shirt quilt. I think they are great!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      Very practical idea... Thanks

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Such a great idea! I made an afghan from a stockpile of yarn I had, and had my daughter, young at the time, pick out the next color to add. It was one big colorful square and one of her favorite coverings for her bed.

    • profile image

      Stinkerbelle 5 years ago

      Great lens it's so fun making keepsakes

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love this quilt made out of old T-shirts. Wonderful. My sister had a quilt made out of our aunt's cashmere coat and another sister created a lens about it. This is so great! Love it.

    • Othercatt profile image

      Othercatt 5 years ago

      By the time my 4 kids were all in school, I had an absurd amount of clothes that they'd outgrown. I didn't want to throw them away because each piece had a special memory attached. So instead, I cut them all up into squares for a quilt. I haven't actually sewn them together yet (it's only been 7 years. I need a little more time) but when I do finish the quilt, it will be one of my most treasured possessions.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      This is such a wonderful idea and can hold a lot of memories. Blessed!

    • LooLooBird profile image

      LooLooBird 5 years ago

      I've mostly seen just quilts, and in fact, I am currently working on making a quilt out of several wool, long sleeve shirts and I am excited to create a lens once my experience is done. Some other items you could make could probably be draft stoppers for doors, throw pillows for a kids room, and maybe stuffed animals, like a bear, where the belly has the main picture or logo of the shirt, that would be super cute.

    • mimthemom profile image

      mimthemom 5 years ago

      great ideas!!!

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 6 years ago

      i'm going to have to try this. it looks like it would be easy and inexpensive. some quilts are just really expensive to make.

    • profile image

      greenearthy 6 years ago

      I'm making a t shirt quilt right now very helpful ideas here. I like the recycle blanket as a batting and the patches.

    • profile image

      DoubleDD 6 years ago

      What an absolutely fantastic idea, plus i'm a mega Marvel fan. I will have to nudge this lens the wifes way and see what i get for Xmas ;)

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 6 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Thank you for this lens! My daughter is going to make a t-shirt quilt this semester for a 4H project. I really appreciate your tips. (In fact, I had thought of making a lens on this. You beat me to it.)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Shucks, I missed all the excitement of your Lens of the Day. I was offline due to the hurricane for 3 days. Congratulations!

    • profile image

      debsgreatfinds 6 years ago

      I love to make a Qult out of t-shirts if I can ever figure out my new sewing machine!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I loved this a while back and just had to come back to congratulate you on this very creative and innovative LotD, sweet!

    • maraju lm profile image

      maraju lm 6 years ago

      I just finished myy 6th I spy quilt for the grandchildren, all by hand, this would have been a much faster option, well done, interesting concept.

    • profile image

      Runnn 6 years ago

      I like the idea of recycling. Great lens and congratulation for making to LOTD.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I used to quilt with my mum. Every winter she had a quilt or two on the frames. Some of the quilts were made from dresses and shirts. I love the one you made for DAD! Well deserved purple star AND LOTD!

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 6 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      What an awesome and unique idea! My grandmother made quilts for us when we started our family. They are pretty good but not as cool as yours. Well done and congrats on LOTD.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! great idea for a quilt... I always wanted to make a horse theme quilt with items I have saved for years...well that's never going to happen.

    • profile image

      dilipsvarma 6 years ago

      interesting idea

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 6 years ago from California

      Excellent idea and lens. Congrats on a well-deserved LOTD. Blessed. Bear hugs, Frankster

    • profile image

      Marelisa 6 years ago

      Well, I don't have a crafty bone in my entire body; but if I did, I'd definitely want to make something like this for my nephews. And I think that it's a great idea that you let your family use the quilt.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      What a unique and thoughtful gift. Congratulations on LOTD!

    • Mishael A Witty profile image

      Mishael A Witty 6 years ago

      This is such an interesting idea. I love it! Wish I could sew ... Oh well. Congrats on your well-deserved LotD!

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 6 years ago from WNY

      This is a great idea. A wonderful activity to do with children -- I would consider making one out of all my old rock band t-shirts. :) Congrats on your LotD!

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 6 years ago

      What a cool idea! And I loved the photos. It's always so helpful to have pictures to help visualize the concept.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 6 years ago

      Such a lovely idea. Congratulations for LOTD.

    • akumar46 lm profile image

      akumar46 lm 6 years ago

      Congratulations for LOTD. Very interesting and lovely lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love this. Dad must have been so pleased to receive the super hero quilt from his boys!! Congratulations on Lens of the Day!

    • VBright profile image

      VBright 6 years ago

      I've always admired quilting. You did a wonderful job!

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      Great keepsake for your little ones. I am saving some t-shirts to make a quilt from myself from events I have participated it. I need a lot more to make it though. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • profile image

      termit_bronx 6 years ago

      @Bercton1: I agree, It's really a great idea! Congrats on LOTD.

    • Bercton1 profile image

      Bercton1 6 years ago

      Very innovative! Congratulation on LOTD!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 6 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Love it! Now if I could just get my daughter interested in recycling her old t-shirts ...

    • profile image

      quicpost 6 years ago

      What a great idea for being green and recycling! Thanks for such a wonderful lens!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 6 years ago from Concord VA

      Congratulations on a well deserved LotD!!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      What a fabulous idea! Blessed and featured on my frugal living lens.

    • tomtaz517 profile image

      tomtaz517 6 years ago

      This is awesome! I do have a few superhero t shirts too! But I think I only have enough to make maybe a pillow..

    • profile image

      DoraExplorer 6 years ago

      I have wanted to do a tshirt quilt for a long time and you supplied the missing link for me: the fusible interfacing. I know that's what will make it work!

    • sandyjunep lm profile image

      sandyjunep lm 6 years ago

      What a great idea, as I was reading it I was thinking of my grandsons t-shirts and what he has grown out of, that I can nw use. What an inspiration. Thanks

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      I've made quilts and other small items from recycled clothing but never had enough shirts to make a tee shirt quilt. Perhaps I can talk hubby into making a comfy quilt from his collection that's in a bag right now ... nice work, and congrats on this LOTD. What a great Dad's day gift this would make!

    • profile image

      dfishbac 6 years ago

      Great idea! Congrats on your LOTD! I first thought it said quilt t-shirts, a little dyslexia this morning. What a wonderful way to preserve the those old favorite t-shirts. Very informative lens. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Great lens...congrats on LOTD.

    • Txmom87 profile image

      Txmom87 6 years ago

      Awesome idea!

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 6 years ago from Central Florida

      What a great idea! So sweet that your boys wanted to give hero shirts to their biggest hero. :)

    • profile image

      Ruthi 6 years ago

      Great quilt idea for dads! Congratulations on Squidoo Lens Of The Day! Decades ago I made a few road racing tee-shirt quilts for my family to record all the miles we were jogging. They are so comfy.

    • MelissaRodgz profile image

      MelissaRodgz 6 years ago

      congrats. this is such a creative idea. Thanks for sharing.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I love the idea of a superhero t-shirt quilt, and love your results! Congratulations on the Lens of the Day!

    • profile image

      MinRu 6 years ago

      no wonder your lense is LOTD ! by the way, I think quilting cotton shirt as a blanket are better as they much more comfortable. Still, congrats :)

    • nabsy lm profile image

      nabsy lm 6 years ago

      you're very creative! and congrats on being picked as LOTD :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Congratulations on Lens Of The Day.

    • catherinelovestv profile image

      catherinelovestv 6 years ago

      cool quilt, congratulations on making lens of the day, love the idea!

    • pramodbisht profile image

      pramodbisht 6 years ago

      Nice Idea. Congrats on LOTD

    • Wendy Leanne profile image

      Wendy Leanne 6 years ago from Texas

      What a wonderful idea! I'm guessing that pajamas would work too. My son has a lot more super hero jammies than he does tees.

    • grannyann lm profile image

      Ann Scaling Tucker 6 years ago from Enid, OK

      I love this lens. I have an 8 year old granddaughter whose other grandmother is helping teach her to sew and I think she will love this idea. I am sending her your url for this. thanks

    • BuddyShearer profile image

      BuddyShearer 6 years ago

      Awesome! I have a closet full of a themed T-shirt. Maybe my family should do this for me. Cool lens and congrats on page 1 and LOTD.

    • profile image

      JennySui 6 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD!

    • profile image

      Pete Schultz 6 years ago

      congrats on LOTD, I know nothing about quilting....but I've got the old t-shirts for several!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Congrats on LotD! The bests gifts are gifts of love. What a special heirloom.

    • profile image

      zaptrollwen 6 years ago

      Brilliant lense! Love the idea!

    • collierlewisjew profile image

      collierlewisjew 6 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD!! This is such a precious idea, thank you for sharing!!

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 6 years ago

      Fantastic lens. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 6 years ago from Northern California

      What a fun idea. I don't know how well it would work if you just have girls, but we might be able to reuse their peace, love and girl character shirts and create a family quilt.

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 6 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      A great idea Amy! I may do a quilt instead of using old T-shirts as scrub rags :)

    • GoAceNate LM profile image

      GoAceNate LM 6 years ago

      Ha great lens. Love the quilt. I would have been all about this when I was a kid.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      YES, yes, yes! I love to see things "re-purposed" into awesome new ideas. This is a great idea and a great lens, very deserving of LotD! Congrats!

    • Luminosity LM profile image

      Luminosity LM 6 years ago

      I have added them to other clothing or made them into patches, posters or wall hangings.

    • SheilaVine LM profile image

      SheilaVine LM 6 years ago

      How fabulous

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 6 years ago

      I am collecting T-shirts to make my own quilt. Thanks for the instructions. I'm almost there. Congratulation on LOTD! Great lens.

    • profile image

      aussieremovals 6 years ago

      Very nice! great idea and cool and dashing lens.

    • profile image

      yinrunner 6 years ago

    • Ladybeth LM profile image

      Ladybeth LM 6 years ago

      What a wonderful lens!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 6 years ago from USA

      Congratulations, this lens is LotD today! You can read all about it here: http://www.squidoohq.com/2011/08/29/superhero-t-sh...

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      Super cool idea.

    • pangaloon profile image

      pangaloon 6 years ago

      I make hair clip flowers from strips of old t-shirts. Recently, I have been making a circular rug for my daughters play room out of old t-shirts,

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love this quilt idea so much, my son is nuts about superhero's. This project will keep me occupied whilst he's at school....

    • profile image

      helloboya 6 years ago

      good

    • profile image

      helloboya 6 years ago

      Dr. Martens Sale

    • profile image

      amber24paige 6 years ago

      congarts for sharing such information..

      Windows 8

    • profile image

      amber24paige 6 years ago

      congarts for sharing such information..

      Windows 8

    • profile image

      mrducksmrnot 6 years ago

      Wow, What a great idea. My Aunt makes quilts using the old quilting frames all the time. Can't wait to get her to make me one from my old T-shirts. Ever make one with the pockets still on them? Congratulations on LoTD and a very worthwhile lens.

    • Showpup LM profile image

      Showpup LM 6 years ago

      Congratulations on getting LOTD today!!

    • Showpup LM profile image

      Showpup LM 6 years ago

      My mom's friend made her a small quilt made from some of my Dad's t-shirts and sweatshirts after he passed away. It is a great way to keep those clothes but 'not' keep the clothes.

    • profile image

      computer_repair 6 years ago

      My projects have been mostly computer related, since I've been in the IT field for several years.

    • profile image

      WhitePineLane 6 years ago

      Excellent and helpful lens! I want to make one for both of my kids, so I've bookmarked this!

    • profile image

      mumsgather 6 years ago

      What a fantastic looking quilt and idea. Well deserved purple star. Congrats.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 6 years ago

      What a great idea! We have outgrown t-shirts that my kids don't want to part with. I guess I need to make a quilt. Congrats on the purple star too!

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      Oh, how neat. I'm not very crafty myself but very much admire other people's creative ideas and crafts. Great lens. Blessed! :)

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      This is great! I have been saving my daughter's elementary t-shirts as she outgrows them to make a t-shirt quilt for her, but I wasn't sure how to go about it. I can see now that I may need to fill in with some other favorite shirts. I hope I will have enough! Wish now that I had saved more.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Congratulations on your purple star. This is one of the most unique ideas I've seen, and your lens about it is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

    • decembermorning profile image

      decembermorning 6 years ago

      Love it! Great idea!

    • Teddi14 LM profile image

      Teddi14 LM 6 years ago

      I am so excited that Janelle Kleppin posted this lens on the Squidoo - Facebook Community at http://www.facebook.com/groups/15945307607/?notif_... I have been saving shirts for years to do this for my son and now I have to place that shows me how to do it. Thanks!!!!! I am blessing your lens too.

    • LakeMom profile image

      LakeMom 6 years ago

      What a great idea! Thanks for the detailed directions!

    • profile image

      Joan4 6 years ago

      When our daughter finished high school, she had a quilt made from her favorite tees worn through those special high school years. The quilt is a real treasure, even 20 years later!

    • profile image

      Joan4 6 years ago

      Tee shirt quilts are super keepsakes too - and your super hero idea is so special!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I wish I could quilt. Well ... I suppose I could if I just sat down and learned and had the patience. I really love handmade quilts, and I think this is a great idea. I'd love to make something similar for a friend who has lots of old event t-shirts from races and other things she's participated in.

    • profile image

      mockingbird999 6 years ago

      Really cool. I've got some shirt I've wanted to do that with. Maybe I'll get around to it one day.