Repurposed Mardi Gras Sh….TUFF!

Installment #1 – The Bed Buddy

Mardi Gras festivities often leave us with broken beads, t-shirts that don’t fit and scraggly feathery boas. Before you toss those in the trash consider repurposing them. Sure those beads won’t stay around your neck anymore, but it doesn’t mean they’ve stopped being pretty. That feather boa may look like a plucked chicken after the Grand Parade and disco music got ahold of it, but its not done partying yet.

A challenge was given to us to find new and inventive ways to let our Mardi Gras treasures live on, no matter what small flaws they may have. After some tinkering and thinking, we’ve got a full half dozen projects you can do with a few minutes, a little crafty skill, and the inclination. We also believe a glass (or three) of wine wouldn’t hurt.

This first project may be the easiest, but it’s also probably the most useful. Introducing The Bed Buddy (not that kind, naughty ). Our Bed Buddy is your very own Mardi Gras themed body pillow to snuggle with while reading, drinking, sleeping, or ordering next years’ throws. This is the perfect use for those t-shirts caught at the parade that refuse to fit or for the vintage ones you just don’t wear anymore.


The Bed Buddy

For this project you’ll need:


An old sleeping pillow (Standard works best for most shirt sizes)



Iron inside out shirt

A sewing machine (or needle and thread)

A ruler


1. Lay your shirt on a flat surface. Iron if necessary to remove most wrinkles (some are okay).



2. Starting at the bottom of the sleeve, measure a straight line up the side of the shirt. Cut sleeves off on this line to create a (mostly) rectangular shirt.



Cut off arms & pin closed


3.Turn the shirt inside out. Use straight pins to hold sides of shirt closed.  Pin neck hole closed along a straight line just below the collar.



  4. Stitch along sleeve line of shirt and neckline. I used a double zigzag stitch, but your preference is fine.



5. Turn shirt, now a mostly closed rectangle, right


Stuff w/pillow & sew closed

side out. Stuff with bed pillow.



6. Pin bottom hem closed and sew (carefully) using machine or hand stitch.



7. Sit back and relax with your new fluffy companion. (This technique would make an excellent dog bed too if your canine is an honorary Krewe member!)




Enjoy your bed buddy or pet pillow

Check back next month for a look at our next magic

repurposing trick. We’ll be showing you a truly artistic use for the bane of any Krewe members existence: the broken beads.


About paradepeople

We are the bead ladies behind Pensacola Parade People, llc. Our family knows parades and we LOVE spreading the Pensacola parade fever! Drawn to to the Pensacola Bay Area by the glittering, white sands and her retired military parents, Terry quickly took to the Pensacola parading traditions and has been active in various Krewes since the 1980s. Introducing 'newbies' (visitors, transplants, and natives) to Pensacola Mardi Gras has always been her favorite part of the festivities. When there's not a parade to be had, a rare occurrence for sure, you'll find her following her favorite blues and zydeco bands. Raised on king cake and moon pies, Audrey's had the "bon temps" spirit since she was in diapers. As a native Pensacolian, she believes "a parade ain't a parade without beads!" Audrey honed the fine art of arriving early and staking out the best bead-catching spot until she was old enough to join her mother's Krewe as a "floater in training"...aka a sober safety walker (a path her younger sister also took.) Floating with Krewe friends, new and old, is her favorite part of the festivities (followed closely by the Krewe Balls.) When the floats have been parked in their barns and the streets have been swept, you'll find her kayaking or playing with her Great Danes.

Posted on August 25, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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