When I was checking to make sure these things are actually called "pillow shams," I discovered they are also known as "cushion covers." Whatever they are called, I'm talking about making something to put over the little square pillows on chairs/beds/couches that always seem to be more about decor than about comfort.
I'm not a big wearer of T-shirts, but the boyfriend is really attached to his collection of band T-shirts. When I moved in, he valiantly cleared out half his closet, but couldn't bear to part with his old riddled-with-rips-and-holes band T-shirts. I am not a brute--I understand nostalgia (even if it's around a T-shirt... I guess...); I didn't make him throw them out. But they were not wearable, and therefore had no place in our closet. Then again, my slightly ugly throw pillows didn't have much of a place on the couch. So! A compromise: I turned the most ill-fitting of the boyfriend's T-shirts into pillow shams for our slightly ugly pillows (the riddled-with-holes ones became patches for his messenger bag).
Before I show you how I did this, I want to let you know that I am not a seamstress. I have no idea how to use a sewing machine, I don't know the names of stitches, I can't even sew or cut a straight line very well. But these pillows are so easy and forgiving that as long as you know how to wield a needle and thread without hurting yourself (often), you can make them.
A throw pillow
A T-shirt (size Medium or larger, for a normal-sized square throw pillow)
A crayon or piece of chalk
Needle and Thread
two buttons (optional)
Put the pillow on top of the shirt, right over the graphic you want to preserve. With the crayon or chalk, trace a line around the perimeter of the pillow, adding an extra inch to each side (up to two inches if it is a very puffy pillow).
Anyway, buttons or no, you're done!
These covers are easy to take care of. When they start getting misshapen (as well-used pillows are wont to do), just take them off the pillow, toss them in the washing machine and dryer, and they're back in shape. Because they're made from T-shirts, they are totally machine washable.
Note: This isn't the best way to preserve a shirt with a large graphic on the back, since you'll end up cutting the image in half. If the image is 6 inches or shorter, though, you can use it in the top back panel, like this Haujobb pillow.
By the way, Happy New Year! I don't do resolutions, because I try to make short-term goals for myself all year round. But I love hearing others' resolutions! Anything you want to share?