DIY Upcycled Pillowcase Tote
Posted by Mandy Stos on December 17, 2011 0 Comments
This is the perfect DIY if you have tons of old, outdated or extra pillowcases laying around doing nothing in you linen closet. You can now turn them into totes for groceries, gift bags and the beach.
Here is what you will need:
• 1 Clean pillowcase ( over 27" long if possible)
• Pins • Sewing machine
• Ruler or tape measure
• Pencil / pen / sharpie
• 1” Snap
Lay the pillowcase out flat on your work surface and/or cutting mat. Using your scissors, cut the hemmed end (the open one) off. You'll want to cut as close to the stitching as possible without running into it. Set this long loop of fabric aside; it will be used to make your handles.
Trim the rest of the pillowcase so that it measures roughly 27” x 15 “. DON'T CUT FABRIC FROM ALL FOUR SIDES OF THE PILLOWCASE! If you need to trim the length, just cut more off from the side you already trimmed when cutting off the hem, and if you need to trim the width, make sure you only cut one side. When finished, you should have two open sides and two closed sides.
If desired, fold both of the two smaller end in 1” and pin them. Stitch across the 15”. This will help your edges not ravel and these seems will be hidden inside the bag.
Fold the fabric in half to make a 13.5 x 15 inch rectangle. Sew the two raw-edged sides shut with a 1/4-inch stitch. You should now have an inside-out bag with three closed sides and one open side.
With the bag inside-out, and using both hands, pull the center point of the opening on each side of the bag away from each other. Before you do this, the bag will lay flat on the table with the seams running down the left and right sides of the bag. After you do this, the bag will have a strange, triangular shape, and the left and right seams will now be on top of each other right down the middle. Press the new shape with your hands to make it lie flat.
There are now two triangular points on your bag and they lie right on top of each other. On each point, measure 2 inches from the tip and sew a short, straight line across the triangle. Make sure you sew each triangle separately; you do not want to sew them together! These new stitches should run parallel to the top of the bag. It probably seems like you aren't doing anything important, but when you turn your bag right-side out, it is now gusseted instead of being a big, flat envelope. Set the bag aside.
Pick up the hem you cut off in the first step. Turn the strip inside out and lay it flat on your cutting surface. You should have a seam running down one of the short sides. Cut that seam off. Cut the remaining fabric in half so that you have two short, fat pieces (as opposed to two long, thin pieces). Sew both sides leaving on end open so you can turn them inside out. We will next fold those thin strips in half and pin them. Measure 5” from the bottom of each side. We will stop sewing so the handles look like image 4 below.
Once you have both handles stitched correctly, we will next pin them on the inside of the bag. Grab both ends of one strip and lay it on the bag before pinning (This will make sure the straps aren’t twisted). Measure 2.5” from each side seam. This will ensure the handles are centered correctly. Pin the straps. We will then stitch a box stitch on each of the 4 ends.
If you have any additional scraps left, cut a piece that is 16” x 3”. Hold it in half, inside out (design on inside). Stitch all sides, leaving a 2” opening on one side. (This will be so we can turn it inside out) Turn the piece inside out by pulling the fabric through the 2“ gap you left. Next Stitch this slit shut. The final sewn piece will be 8” x 2.5”.
Grab your 1” snap. We will now hand stitch on one end of the snap on one end of the your strip. Once on, flip your strip over and sew the other end on that side, OPPOSITE end. Make sure you have on male and one female snap on.
Grab your bag. Measure approximately 3” from the bottom when the bag is flat. Center it as well as you can. It won’t be 100% accurate but anything close will work. Pin your strip here with snap facing up on the bag. ( The other snap should be on the back side, bottom of the strip) Stitch a square around your strip to hold it in place.
Once done, we will fold the bag up. There is no right or wrong way. I suggest folding both long sides in, then folding the handles down onto the tucked sides, roll and wrap your strip around the bag and snap! Viola! You have a roll up tote!