DIY Boardshort Pillow

When I was young,  I would bug my patient grandmother to teach me to sew. She was a talented seamstress, and sewed for me the most beautiful dresses when I was younger, one of which I still keep with my wedding dress and formal wear.

Back then, I also remember her making me the coolest “Jams” out of ANY wacky printed cotton combo fabric I wanted in Hancock’s Fabrics. I loved my crazy ass pairs of Jams, and even today, I find myself wearing boardshorts with crazy prints just about every day. Honestly, they’re coastal Florida’s version of sweatpants.

I’ll totally admit that most of my boardshort collection is storebought, since surf companies use this schweet, stretchy, silky material that an average home sewer like me can’t get reasonably. Fortunately, most boardshorts like these are fairly long-wearing if you don’t put ’em in the dryer after washing. Good, since you may need to skip a car payment to buy some of these pairs lately…yikes.


Loved these

One of my favorite pairs of boardshorts was ready for retirement, but I loved the surfboard print, and wanted to hang on to it in a unique way. So I made it into a squishy pillow that I could use indoors or out.

The stitching is pretty straightforward, I attached the inseam of the shorts up about 2″ from the bottom to make the pillow look more square after stuffing, but the legs are still somewhat distinctive.


Stitching the inseam up to the mark



2” of inseam sewn together

After this step, it’s a matter of closing up the holes. Just leave the top middle section open to stuff, OR you could stuff through the fly, then sew those openings up. The fly section was going to be too bulky for my machine, so I hand sewed the opening shut.



Sewing the fly shut on the machine was tricky!

You can handstitch this Pillow or machine stitch it, neither way takes very long. Just make sure it’s stitched up tightly enough to be moderately stuffed, and machine washable. Don’t overstuff this, or it might start looking too much like an ass pillow.


Stuff a little at a time



Handsewing the top shut





Husband calls it the Butt Pillow


Another I made for one of my BFFs


I like my Ass Pillow


I have the awful feeling the pillows only get bigger from this point on though….



Yeah, hold da meat



Surf Toys!

So, I’ve noticed there’s not a lot of toys out there for the kids of the surf obsessed. I read once that the late great Hawaiian longboarder Rell Sunn would always take a new board to sleep with her on the first night she got it, but fiberglass seems awfully hard to snuggle with.
I really like fins, so I thought making some soft plush fins from recycled felt would be fun and could be enjoyed by kids (and maybe even adults- we won’t tell).
First, I just took one of my larger side bite fins, laid it flat side down on a sheet of paper, and traced around it to make a pattern. I cut that shape out, and pinned it down to a sheet of felt, and cut two fin pieces (front and back) out with a pair of utility scissors:

One side of the fin being cut out

Next, I wanted to add a fun little face to the fin, so I needed to go ahead and sew that now on one of the fin sides. I picked one of the sides, used black heavy embroidery floss and a sharp tapestry needle, and made a few stitches by hand on top of each other to make one eye:

Starting to make the eye

Next, I’ll move over an inch or two and do the same thing to make the other eye. In between, I’ll come up and make a few stitches in an upside down arc for a little smile:

Forming the rest of the face

After the face is completed, hold the wrong sides together (you are not going to be turning the piece inside out- the seam will be exposed) and begin on the bottom side edge base of the fin with a blanket stitch by hand (I also used blanket stitch in this project), stitching around the entire fin, but leaving the bottom edge of the fin open for stuffing:

Blanket Stitch

Sew all around, leave bottom open for stuffing

Keep the thread attached, and stuff the fin a little. There’s no need to overstuff the fin since you mostly want it to remain flat. You can also use PVC pellets and make bean bags out of these too, if you would like- no more than 1/4 cup and a little stuffing. Finish sewing up the bottom of the fin using the same blanket stitch and knot the thread ends together for security.

Happy little fin!

You can go crazy with these and make different styles, colors, and even style your own soft boards!

Happy little surf toy family!

These may be the only fins that will make you smile if you get chucked in the head by one!