May 1, 2012

DIY: No-Sew Tote Bag From A Pillowcase




             

I was inspired to make this DIY tote bag after I took a trip to the farmer's market and realized I needed a comfortable and lightweight bag to carry all my goodies. I love the way this DIY project turned out and, more importantly, there was no sewing involved!

A pillowcase already has all the stitching you need to create this easy and stylish tote bag. The cross-body shoulder strap also makes it super comfortable to carry around all day. Just grab a pillowcase from your dresser, stamp it, give it a couple snips and you've got a custom carry-all tote for your next trip to the market!

Follow the steps below to make your very own.


Materials:
• King Size Pillowcase (you could also use a standard size, but the bag will be smaller. I used this one which measures 41" x 21")
• Acrylic Paint and a Dish Sponge (if you wish to add a pattern to the bag)
• Long Fabric Strip (for the strap)
• Scissors

Steps:
• Lay the pillowcase flat with the open end facing towards you. Then grab the open end side of the pillowcase and fold it about half way up.
• To add a pattern to the bag, cut out your desired shape from an ordinary dish sponge and use it as a stamp. Dab it in some paint and create your desired design. 
• To attach the strap, cut small holes on both sides of the pillowcase where the open end meets the back layer. Grab your fabric and knot it on both sides. I weaved three pieces of fabric together to create a braided look.
• Turn the bag over and bring the two bottom corners together. Attach them by cutting a small hole in each corner and knotting them together with a small piece of fabric.
• To create a tassel like I have on my bag, grab some of your scrap fabric and wrap it around the center of the flap.

You're done! Enjoy your new bag. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter to see all my weekly DIY project. 


43 comments:

  1. oh my, I adore this - and your blog! can't wait to see more tutorials!

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  2. Thanks Sarah! I will have a new tutorial every Tuesday!

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  3. i was inspired by your craft an immediately took some scissors to a smaller pillow case and made this :


    http://pinterest.com/pin/172262754467243116/

    thanks for your diy inspiration!

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  4. Video is now posted above. Enjoy!

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  5. Hi! LOVE IT! I would like to know if it is safe to carry heavy stuff in it, like a laptop perhaps (seeing it might fit in).. Thanks! :)

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  6. Hi Nabilah! I think it would be safe as long as you use a fabric for the strap that won't easily tear and that you make sure the strap is secured firmly to the pillowcase. I would test it with some other inexpensive heavy items before using it for your laptop just in case. Thanks for stopping by!
    ~ Natalie

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  7. Anonymous5/13/2012

    How exactly did you make the straps? Can you buy it already braided or did you cut three pieces and braid them yourself? If so, how long/wide were the strips? I really love this and plan on making one as soon as I get the stuff needed!

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  8. Hi there. I braided 3 pieces of fabric together. They were about 1 inch wide by 43 inches long, but this can vary depending on how long/wide you would like the strap. Hope that helps!

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  9. Anonymous5/13/2012

    Definitely does! Thanks!

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  10. What a great look bag, I love the design on it!

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  11. Frances5/22/2012

    Hi, just wonndering what the pillow case material is that you used?

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  12. Hi Frances - My pillowcase is a jersey material, but you can use any material. It was from Target: http://www.target.com/p/Room-Essentials-Jersey-Pillow-Case/-/A-13810119

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  13. Anonymous5/26/2012

    Where did you get the fabric for the straps?

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  14. I got the fabric from my local fabric store. You can also recycle old clothes by cutting up pieces of a dress or even jeans to use as the strap!

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  15. Anonymous5/31/2012

    WOW!THIS IS GREAT! GLAD I STUMBLED ON UR BLOG!

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  16. Es una idea fantástica, se puede hacer en un momentos sencilla y muy útil. si quieres pásate por mi blog yo me dedico a la bisutería artesanal.
    http://raqueljimenezbisuteria.blogspot.com.es/

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  17. hi.. i like all of your DIY.. you're so amazing thanks a lot and hope to see more of your great creations :)) God Bless :DDDD

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  18. Anonymous9/21/2012

    This is just amazing... I am loving each and every item which has been shown in this site....

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  19. Anonymous11/27/2012

    will it last long?

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  20. Hello! Just wondering what color the pillow case was in? Because I'm on the target webpage and I can't figure out what color it was...Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bella! I believe it was Heather Ebony. Have fun! - Natalie

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  21. Anonymous3/05/2013

    Does the paint wear off at all when you wash it??

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    1. Hi There - I haven't tried washing it and I wouldn't recommend it with regular acrylic paint. If you plan to wash it, you can use special fabric paint that is washer safe.
      - Natalie

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  22. Love the weight of this bag - looks so cool and easy!

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  23. I have a old pillow case that already has a crazy retro patter on it, that will be becoming a bag for the summer time! Thanks for taking the time to make this how to!

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  24. Brilliant... This looks really profesional, like not homemade at all. Such a great summer projet ! (: x

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  25. Anonymous7/03/2013

    where does it open at? does it have to be one of those pillowcases with a.spit in the middle?

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    Replies
    1. I actually used the type of pillow that has the slit at the end, not the middle. Check out the video tutorial...that should help. Good luck!

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  26. Anonymous7/03/2013

    *slit

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  27. It's fantastic ! I fell in love with your bag ♥♥♥

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  28. I love this bag but I have 2 questions... How long is the fabric for the strap? And what type of fabric was the strap and pillow case (jersey or just a regular non stretch material)?

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    1. Hi Amanda! The strap length can vary depending on how long you would like it to hang. Mine was about 4 feet. The pillowcase was a jersey stretchy material. I believe the strap was cotton, but you can pretty much use any type of fabric for this. Good luck!
      - Natalie

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    2. I just made 2 of these with a little alteration. I ended up sewing the sides up to create 2 pockets... I'm clumsy and was afraid I would drop stuff into the non pocket and lose them :-) Such an awesome project... I know what my friends will be getting for Christmas :-)

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    3. That's awesome! So glad to hear they turned out well. Thanks for sharing Amanda!

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  29. Anonymous10/21/2013

    hi :) can i ask. about cutting small holes on both side, which side is it? inside the pillow case? what dies open end meet the back side layer mean? :( please help me out. i want to make this tote. its so beautiful.

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    1. Hi There! Have you watched the video above? Hope that clarifies a bit, but I will try to explain as best I can... Once you fold the pillowcase with the open-ended side facing up, you poke the holes next to the opening of the pillowcase. You also poke the layer that is directly behind it. Does that make sense?

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    2. Anonymous10/22/2013

      oh. now i get it :) thankyou very much! and about the paint. if use acrylic paint, when raining days will the paint smear?

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    3. Unless you soak the bag in water, it should be fine. The acrylic paint dries hard and should not chip off that easily (mine hasn't yet). You can also use fabric paint to play it extra safe.

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    4. Anonymous10/28/2013

      ok thankyou very much. :) and one more question. do you know is there any substitute for RIT dye? cause i want to dip dye my bag but there's no fabric dye in my country :(

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    5. Sorry, I'm not sure! Did you try searching online? Maybe they'll ship to you.

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  30. Hi Natalie, thanks for dropping by. Glad you like yesterday's post. I have visited your blog and you have really beautifully shot photos of wildlife, the beach and your daily life. Keep up the good work!Luggage

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  31. Video is a great addition - I wasn't completely getting it from the photos. LOVE THIS and am totally going to make this next week!! Will be a great festival bag. Thanks so much.

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