How to make a drawstring bag from a pillowcase!

Learn how to make a drawstring bag from a pillowcase with our easy tutorial. Reuse and recycle!

pillowcase diy gift bag

Upcycling is all the rage at the moment and we’re totally here for it. Whether it’s eco-crafting, reducing your carbon footprint or eating less meat, we’ve all got to do our bit for the planet. The increasing number of items ending up in landfill is worrying so we invited the wonderful Ros to teach us how to make a drawstring bag from a pillowcase. It’s a great way to upcycle old pillowcases (or you could save some from the charity shop) and turn them into useful travel, gift or organisinational bags. You could use these in every room in the house! Once you’ve made Ros’ pillowcase bags make sure you check out our fabric gift wrap tutorial and our 43 sustainable crafts.

Looking for more bag patterns? Learn how to make a bento bag with our free pattern.

Enough chatting! Here’s Ros from Sew Delicious. It’s over to her now to explain how to make a drawstring bag from a pillowcase.

I first made one of these when the laundry hamper in my baby daughter’s room broke, so I needed something to keep all those dirty little clothes in while they wait for the next wash.A drawstring bag was a perfect choice, because it can be hung on the hook on the back of her bedroom door. I had a lovely floral printed vintage pillowcase which was ideal and made this a very quick project, because all the seams were already sewn.
Ros

How to make a pillowcase into a bag

You will need:

  • A pillowcase
  • 1 metre of ribbon (I used 1cm wide white grosgrain)
  • A seam ripper
  • Basic sewing kit

How to make a drawstring bag from a pillowcase

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You Will Need

  • pillowcase
  • Ribbon (1 metre)
  • seam ripper
  • basic sewing supplies

Total time:

Step 1

How to make a pillowcase into a bag step 1

Take your pillowcase and turn it inside out. Use your seam ripper to split one side seam 5cm (2″) from the top. This split creates the opening to thread your ribbon through to make the drawstring.

If your fabric is a bit raggedy on the edge, just fold the edge in and press it down. Stitch it if it continues to misbehave. It will be enclosed in the drawstring casing.

Step 2

How to make a pillowcase into a bag step 2

Fold the top of the pillowcase over 2.5cm (1″) and press. Stitch all the way around to create your casing. I used a straight stitch on my sewing machine, but you can also handstitch.

Each side of the pillowcase will look slightly different because one side will have that extra envelope of fabric. Once it is turned right side out, you won’t see that and it makes no different to your casing.

Step 3

How to make a pillowcase into a bag step 3

Take your ribbon and use a safety pin to thread it through the casing.

Step 4

You might find that the bag is a bit too long for your liking. If that’s the case, just turn it back inside out, and stitch across the bottom of the bag at the desired length. Cut off any excess.

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How to make a pillowcase into a bag finished

And you’re done! You’ve successfully learnt how to make a drawstring bag from a pillowcase. It’s a great sustainable project that turns old into new. As I mentioned earlier, mine will be used as a laundry bag for my daughter, but it can be used for anything! Old pillowcases are often very soft due to being washed so often, which makes them a great choice for a lingerie bag.

Thanks for sharing that with us, Ros. If you’d like to see more of Ros’ easy makes, visit her blog Sew Delicious where she showcases her latest projects and designs. Remember there’s loads of sustainable projects here on Gathered too like our upcycled sweater project and our visible mending tutorial.