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Posted by Nicholas Crusie

What to Do With Old Pillow Cases?

If you’re one of those people who hates wasting anything and loves to use their craftiness and creativity to repurpose old items -- you’ve definitely come to the right place! While many people would automatically throw out their old pillow cases, there are so many clever and useful ways that you can utilize them once they’re past their prime. Some of these ideas might require a bit of sewing and stitching, but the new items that you’re able to create will be well worth the work. Plus, it’s not even work -- think of it as a fun project! Here are 11 things that you can do with old pillow cases:

Delicates Bag

If you’re looking for a way to protect your delicates like underwear, bras, or even just delicate sweaters from the dangers of the washing machine, turn your old pillow case into a delicates bag! If your pillow case has an envelope closure, this is a super easy transformation and you won’t have to do any sewing! However, if your pillow case has a side opening, you will need to add in a cord to create a drawstring section of the bag so that you can simply pull it closed and know that it will stay closed throughout both the washing and drying processes. 

Apron

If you love cooking or baking, then you should definitely use your old pillow case to make a pretty apron to wear in the kitchen! Here’s how to do it:

  • Iron the pillow case so that it’s nice and flat with no creases. Then, top-stitch all the way around it.

  • Fold the pillow case in half, and cut out curved sections from the top right corner that’s opposite of the folded edge. This cut is for the arm sections.

  • Stitch the arm sections closed after folding them inward.

  • Sew a strap onto the top as well as around the waist for a perfect apron!

Garment Bag

If you’re a big traveler who always seems to need a garment bag on hand, you could easily use an old pillow case for this travel hack! This is a really simple project that has a big return. All you have to do is cut a small hole in the center of the folded edge of the pillow case. This is where you can slip the top of the hanger through, whereas the rest of the pillow case will provide protection for your suit, dress, etc. 

Grocery Bag

These days, we are always looking for ways to save on things like plastic. Conservation is key to saving the environment, and we all have a role to play here. That’s why reusing an old pillow case as a makeshift cloth grocery bag is a great hack that you definitely need to try out. Here’s how to do it:

  • Fold the pillow case in half lengthways with the opening at the top.

  • Cut out curves on each side to become the handle of the bag.

  • Finish off the raw edges of the handle before attaching both sections together at the top.

  • Now you have a multipurpose bag that you can use for all sorts of occasions!

Pet Bed

Your pet deserves the best -- so why not make them a DIY bed from an old pillow case? Odds are that your pet will love that smells like you, so it’s twice as comforting for them! Here’s how to do it:

  • Stuff the inside of an old pillow case with a warm, soft material like stuffing, feathers, or even pieces of foam.

  • Fluff out the pillow case so that the stuffing is totally even and that it reaches into the corners.

  • Stitch the opening closed and make sure that the stitching is durable enough to withstand any funny business from your pet.

Portable Laundry Bag

When you’re on the go, it’s annoying to have to figure out what to do with your dirty clothes. So why not use an old pillow case to keep these dirty items separate from your clean ones? If you’re looking for a quick and easy hack, all you have to do is put your dirty clothes inside a pillow case and tie it shut with a knot. 

Floor Cushions

Turn a few old pillow cases and pillows into a handy cushion or portable bed for your kiddos. Depending on how big your kids are, you will need four to five pillows and pillow cases. Line the pillow up so that the longest edges are touching and sew them together. Then, sew the open sides of the pillow cases closed so that the actual pillows do not come out. There’s also the option to use velcro here so that you still have the option to remove the pillows to wash the fabric, if needed. 

Cloth Napkins

Cloth napkins are all the rage these days -- but they can be pretty expensive. So why not make your own using what you have on-hand? Here’s how you can do it:

  • Measure out the size of your desired napkins on your flat pillow case. Remember to add an inch or two for seam allowances.

  • Cut out the desired shape so that you have two identical pieces of fabric.

  • Sew three sides of the rectangle together, leaving one side open.

  • Flip the napkin to the other side so that most of the seams are hidden.

  • Stitch the last side closed to complete your napkin.

Linen Closet Organization

Keeping your linen closet organized can be a challenge. After all, you have so many different sets of sheets, pillow cases, towels, wash cloths, etc. that it can get messy and disjointed quite quickly. However, a great organizational idea is to use old pillow cases to store “sets” of linens so that they all stay together and stay protected from things like dirt and dust while in storage. All your future guests will be impressed by your system when you’re able to quickly pull out a perfectly folded linen set for them upon their arrival. 

Window Curtains

Curtains can be super expensive if you buy them at the store. However, you can actually use old pillow cases to sew your own window treatments! Here’s how you can do it yourself:

  • Cut the sides of the pillow case so that it’s no longer a tube and is a flat rectangle instead.

  • Hem the edges so that they are nice and smooth with no frays.

  • Fold about an inch or two down at the top and then sew across the bottom to form a rod pocket. The size of the pocket should depend on the size rod you are using -- so make sure to have this ahead of time.

Packing Aid

Packing can be really annoying as you’re trying to keep your clean clothes and shoes separate in a small little suitcase. However, you can use an old pillow as an “envelope” of sorts for your shoes. All you have to do is slip your shoes inside of the pillow case and then place it inside your suitcase. As a result, the clothes you packed can stay totally safe and clean throughout your journey. 

Wrap Up

So don’t let your old pillow cases go to waste -- repurpose them and get more use out of them by transforming them into something new and exciting! We promise that your friends and family will be shocked when you tell them that your pretty new curtains, napkins, pet bed, etc. were actually handmade out of a pillow case! 

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