Up-Cycled Pillowcase to Tote Bag

The horror!  As I went to put a new set of sheets on my bed today I found this:

I’m not sure if the photo accurately depicts it, but somehow (and I’d assume its from old age) my pillowcase was ripped to shreds all down the one seam.  I’m fairly certain this pillowcase has been around for as long as I can remember.. so I was hard pressed to just toss it away.  There had to be a way to upcycle it, and I was sure to find it.  After realizing that all of my eco-friendly grocery bags were also on their last leg, I decided that this pillowcase could have a fantastic new life as a tote bag!  So here’s how..

First I cut handles off the open end.  The manufacturer had already put a lovely hem there, so I just followed along the side of it.

Once you’ve cut that top hem, fold it in half and cut.  Two perfect straps and no extra sewing! (Love that!)

Now, cut off the bottom seam so that you have two open ends.  At this point, only the sides should be sewn together.

Here’s the tricky part!  I liked the blue flowery part of the fabric so I wanted to have that cuff around the outside.  I turned the pillowcase inside out and laid it down flat with the flowery part on top (farthest away from me).  Then, I began brining the “right side” of the pillow case up to the flowery part.  (Further instruction: this is creating the outside of the bag so I am basically bringing the “right side” of the fabric to the outside of the bag.  It is folding the fabric on itself to make a double layer.)  I brought the bottom of the case up to where the flowery stuff began.  Then, I folded the flowery piece down onto the rest of the bag

So here it is so far.  The bottom and top are still open, so I have pinned the bottom folds together just so they don’t move.  The top blue piece has been folded over the rough edge of the striped fabric, and I pinned it down at a uniform length of 4.5 inches.  This should be how your bag will look-  The inside and outside should both have the “right sides” out.  Off to the sewing machine!

Sew the flap down, which will secure the bag. (its sewing all of the pieces in place.. inside, outside, and pretty accent flap)

Now turn your bag inside out and sew together the bottom folds to make your bottom seam

When it comes to attaching straps, I like to keep my bag turned inside out and fold it in half.  I then pin one end of my strap wherever I like, and can easily line up the other strap underneath.  I sew the straps on with an “X” pattern for extra durability

And its all done!  I was able to fit quite a few boxes in it from my shopping trip!  Comment with any questions or anything that might not be clear!

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2 responses to “Up-Cycled Pillowcase to Tote Bag

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