Back Pack From a Pillow Case





Introduction: Back Pack From a Pillow Case

About: I yam what I yam.

The idea behind this project is to add more functionality to a pillowcase. Adding four holes, cordage and two carabiners, a pillowcase can be used as a cinch sack, backpack or cross body bag. The finished backpack could be useful as a laundry bag or a beach bag.

This design is based upon my cinch sack project. This project uses the same methodology for creating the holes for cordage and for placing the cordage. Please take a look at Making a cinch string sack from a pillowcase is a cinch ( ) if you need more clarification than this Instructable provides.

The project also uses the Reinforced fabric hole which can be found at

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Sewing machine

Pillow Case
Extra material for eyelets

Step 2: Select a Pillowcase.

Ideally you want a pillow case that has a lot of the work done for you. Many pillowcases have a large fold on the open end of them. You will use the channel created by this fold to loop your cordage through.

Step 3: Open the Top Seam

Turn the pillow case inside out.

Open the top seam of the pillow case.

There are different ways a pillow case may be constructed. If you can not open the top seam all the way due to a seam running up the side of the pillow case then you will have to open the seam on the side and redo it so the case functions as you need it to. Details for how to do this can be found on the cinch sack tutorial

Step 4: Placing the Reinforcing Material for the Cinch String Holes

With the pillow case inside out, the top seam opened and the pillowcase laying flat, determine the placement of your holes.

I decided to place holes in what would be the top corners of the pillowcase.

Detailed Instructions for creating material reinforced holes is found at

Cut out your reinforcement material and attach it face down to the inside of the cordage channel. The image shows the proper placement of the reinforcement material but it is not sewn fast.  You will only sew through one layer of the pillow case to attach the reinforcement.

Step 5: Attach the Reinforcement and Cut the Holes

Sew your square of material fast to the pillowcase.

Cut the center "x" to form the hole.

Turn the pillow case right side out.

Step 6: Pull Reinforcement Material Through the Hole

Pull the reinforcement material through the hole you just cut.

Step 7: Finish Cinch String Holes

Sew the reinforcement material to the pillow case as shown and then trim any excess reinforcement material if necessary.

Step 8: Close the Top Seam

Re-seal the seam that you open in step 3.

Step 9: Create the Bottom Attachment Points

To the bottom and the 'back' of the sack, attach your reinforcement material face down.

Sew the reinforcement through both layers of the pillow case.

The goal is to have all the reinforcement material visible on one side of the backpack. Your finished backpack will look like a rectangle with a hole in each corner.

Finish off the hole as explained in the reinforced fabric hole tutorial.

Step 10: Add the Cordage

The length of cordage I used for this particular backpack was 59 inches (150mm). The length you use may be different depending on the size of the pillowcase you use.

Place the cordage through the end of a paper clip or safety pin, fold the cordage over and tape it fast.
Insert the paper clip into the hole and work it around the circumference until you reach the same hole you put it in.
Pull it out of the hole.
Remove the paper clip and tape.
Tie the ends of the cordage together. (see pictures)
Snap on carabiner.

Repeat this process through the second cinch string hole of the bag.

Step 11: Your Backpack Is Complete.

Your backpack is ready to use!

Step 12: Future Consideration

An addition to this project that I was considering but had not yet done is the addition of straps so the sack can function as a compression sack.



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    2 Discussions

    When I think of a pillowcase backpack, I think of the style used during WWII by the Russians--check out the "Veshmeshok."

    1 reply

    I've never seen one of those! I like it. I definitely wouldn't use the pillow case as my main pack for hiking. Mostly because it would be uncomfortable to use a long time and it's also not a durable outdoor material. I was looking at it more like a laundry sack or a stuff sack that is easy to carry. Thought I might use it to stuff my clothing or sleeping gear into.