How to Make a Tote Bag From a Pillowcase

A tote bag is a versatile and practical accessory that can be used for shopping, carrying books, or even as a beach bag. It is a popular choice among people of all ages and can be made from various materials, including canvas, denim, and leather. 

This article will focus on how to make a tote bag from a pillowcase. This cost-effective and eco-friendly method is perfect for those who want to repurpose old bedding or fabric. We will provide step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process.


To make a tote bag from a pillowcase, you will need the following materials:

  1. A pillowcase (standard size)
  2. Scissors
  3. Pins
  4. Sewing machine
  5. Thread
  6. Iron

Using a pillowcase for this project is an excellent choice because it already has two sewn edges, which means you will only need to sew two additional edges to create the bag. Additionally, pillowcases come in a variety of materials and designs, allowing you to personalize your tote bag.

Steps to Make a Tote Bag From a Pillowcase

1. Cutting the Pillowcase to Size

The first step is to cut the pillowcase to the desired size. Fold the pillowcase in half, with the open end facing you. Use scissors to cut along the fold. This will create two identical pieces. Decide which piece will be the front of the bag and set it aside.

2. Sewing the Edges and Bottom of the Pillowcase

Take the remaining piece and turn it inside out. Fold the open end of the pillowcase twice, about 1/4 inch each time, and iron flat. Pin the folded edge in place. Repeat this process on the other side of the pillowcase.

Using a sewing machine, sew along both pinned edges, about 1/8 inch from the edge. This will create the sides of the bag. Next, fold the bottom of the bag up about 4 inches and pin it in place. Sew along the pinned edge, about 1/8 inch from the edge. This will create the bottom of the bag.

3. Creating the Handles of the Tote Bag

To create the handles of the tote bag, use the remaining fabric from the cut pillowcase. Cut two strips that are 3 inches wide and 20 inches long. Fold each strip in half, lengthwise, with the right sides facing each other. Pin the long edge and sew along the pinned edge, about 1/4 inch from the edge.

Turn the strips right side out and iron them flat. Fold each strip in half and pin it to the inside of the bag, about 2 inches from the edge of the bag. Sew along the pinned edge, about 1/4 inch from the edge. Reinforce the handle by sewing a square or an X at the top of each handle.

4. Finishing Touches

If you want to add pockets or decorations to your tote bag, now is the time to do it. You can sew a pocket to the inside or outside of the bag or add a decorative element using fabric paint or embroidery.

ALSO READ: How to Make a Tote Bag From Recycled Materials

Tips and Variations

Image Credit: Happiest Camper
  • Use a heavyweight pillowcase to make the tote bag more durable, or reinforce the seams with fusible interfacing.
  • You can vary the tote bag size by using a larger or smaller pillowcase.
  • Add a zipper or snap to the top of the bag for more secure closure.
  • If you have multiple pillowcases with coordinating designs, you can use them to create a patchwork tote bag.


The idea to make a tote bag from a pillowcase is a simple and fun project that anyone can do. You can create a practical and stylish accessory by repurposing old bedding or fabric. We hope our step-by-step instructions have inspired you to try making your own tote bag. Remember to share your results with us, and feel free to experiment with different designs and variations.