Five crafty ways to upcycle your old pillow cases

Over time you can gather quite a collection of pillowcases. You might take them from house to house, buy them as new patterns and designs take your fancy, and while you may have started with a house full of people chances are the number of those still living with you has decreased in recent years.

You don’t  need 50-plus pillowcases, but maybe there are a few in your linen cupboard that you don’t want to part with. How then to use them?

A pillowcase provides the perfect amount of fabric for so many projects, and when you’re cutting into a pillowcase, you don’t have to wrangle metres and metres of fabric.

1. Make a smock dress

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If you have a little granddaughter, this smock dress from one of your pretty patterned pillowcases is the perfect craft project.

2. Homemade heat pack

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Heat packs aren’t always cheap but with an old pillowcase and rice, you can create one. Start by turning your pillowcase inside out and ironing out the wrinkles.Prepare pillowcase for cutting.  If using a cutting mat, line up the corner of the pillowcase with that of the grid.  You will be using the pillowcase corner for the corner of the interior rice bag. Measure and cut to 7.5 inches (19.05cm) by 11.5 inches (29.21cm). Using a fine stitch and a 1/2 inch (1.27cm) seam allowance, sew one side together. Reinforce your stitches. Stitch both ends of the remaining side of the pillowcase leaving an opening in the middle.  Make sure the reinforce your stitches here too. Turn your pillowcase inside out and add the rice. Fold over and pin the open end of the interior rice bag.  Stitch closed.

To add an extra layer of appeal, use a piece of old jumper (sweater) turned inside out. Measure and fit it to the rice bag, trim about 1 inch (2.54cm) from the seam then stitch up the side. Then turn inside out and place the rice bag inside and pin where you want the seam. Sew the final seam, ensuring you don’t stitch over any of the rice. Cut away any extra fabric and your heat pack is ready to use.

3. A coat hanger cover

If you’re tired of looking at those dull plastic hangers in your wardrobe, dress them up by using an old pillow case. You’ll need one pillow case, one coat hanger, a needle and some thread. You want to turn your pillow case inside out. Place the coat hanger onto the pillow case in your desired position. Then, using the coat hanger as the template, trace the top of the coat hanger onto your pillow case. Cut approximately 1/2 inch (1.27cm) above the traced lines. Use a sewing machine to sew along the traced lines, but be sure to leave and opening for where the hanger wire will poke through. Turn the pillow case out and stick your hanger through.

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4. Tote bag

Using an old pillow case, begin by laying it flat and finding the bottom corners. Fold them into the bottom edge of your case to create a triangle shape. You want to do this on both side and pin flat. Sew along the pinned portion. Next, cut your pillowcase as high as you would like your bag to be. Fold the top about 1.5 inches (3.81cm) down, pin securely, and sew this part to create a nice hem. With your discarded fabric, cut out two strips (use the thick, hemmed portion) to use as straps. Place around 7 inches (17.78cm) down the bag to give the bag a bit more structure and strength. Turn your bag inside out and pin your straps into place. You’re

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5. New cushion covers


A photo posted by Palmira Villar (@palmiravillar) on

If you really love the pattern of several of your pillowcases, why not combine them together? You can make a cushion cover that looks great and is all different colours.

How do you use your pillow cases? Share your other pillow case ideas with us.