Introduction: From Pillowcase to Handy Tote

About: I'm an avid crafter who dabbles in just about every medium possible (can you say ADD?). I love inspiring and getting inspired by fellow crafters, and am on a mission to help revive the lost art of handmade liv…

Working on a budget means finding ways to recycle old items in my house is a must. One piece that seems to follow me from house to house has been my old pillowcases, which inspired this crafting how-to. Here's an easy way to reuse those old pieces of cloth into a neat, pretty tote! 

What you'll need:
*An old pillowcase (I used a standard size)
*Needle and thread, or sewing machine
*A pretty stamp (I used VersaCraft’s fabric stamping pad), or some sort of embellishment of choice
*Pins and a pair of scissors

Step 1: Creating the Bottom of Your Bag

Begin by laying your pillowcase flat. Find the bottom corners of your pillowcase, and fold it into the bottom edge of your case, creating a triangle shape. Do this on both sides, and pin flat as shown. Sew along the pinned portion.

Step 2: Cutting Your Pillow to Size

Next, cut your pillowcase as high as you would like your bag to be. Fold the top about 1.5” down, pin securely, and sew this part to create a nice hem.

Step 3: Adding Straps

With your discarded fabric, cut out two strips (I recommend using the thick, hemmed portion) to use as straps. Turn your bag inside out and pin your straps into place.

I had my straps reach nearly 7” down into the bag to make sure that they would stay put, and add a little more structure to it. Sew together once it has been placed to your satisfaction.

Step 4: Embellish Your Bag

Next, I used a pretty floral stamp to create my own pattern on my bag. Once you’ve stamped your pattern, heat set it by placing a towel over the ink and ironing it on a medium heat setting.

You can use beads, fabric paint, trimming ,etc. Have fun with it and let your creative juices flow! Don’t worry too much about it being perfect, that’s what adds character to your piece!