Tote Bag to Pillow Conversion

Recently I decided that I’m tired of the majority of my throw pillows. There’s nothing wrong with most of them, but my tastes have changed, so I’m going to be making a bunch of new pillows, starting with this tote bag to pillow conversion. It’s a great way to upcycle an unused tote bag, and because the sides are already sewn for you, you could even do it without a sewing machine. Here’s the before and after:

DIY tote bag to pillow conversion

Cute either way, but a bit more useful to me as a pillow. If you have a tote bag you don’t use but like the graphics on, this is a way to give it a new life.

Last year ago I gave a tote bag an upgrade with iron-on gems and minerals (including free printables.) But I have toooons of tote bags, and this one rarely got used just because it’s smaller and made of thinner canvas than some of the other ones I have. It was hanging on a nearby door handle when I was trying to figure out what types of new pillows to make, and I happened to notice it and realize that I could convert it into a pillow pretty easily. It was the perfect size to replace this little one, which had gotten dingy and stained:

First, I tore out the thread holding the handles on.

DIY tote bag to pillow conversion

Then I turned the bag inside-out and rounded the corners a bit with my sewing machine. This wasn’t strictly necessary, but I like to do it on pillows I make because it keeps the corners from getting too pointy. DIY tote bag to pillow conversion

Then I stuffed the pillow in, and hand-sewed the opening shut. DIY tote bag to pillow conversion

That’s it! If you’re using a tote bag that is bigger than your pillow, you may need to add in a step of moving the side seams in and taking off excess material, but I didn’t need to do that.

DIY tote bag to pillow conversion

My couch is looking better already! Here’s another before and after:

DIY tote bag to pillow conversion

DIY tote bag to pillow conversion

The other pillow in the photos is also a DIY, from my bleached denim faux shibori experiments. (Also, does anyone want to give me lessons on how to drape a throw for that “effortlessly disheveled” look? I feel like I’m not quite getting it.)

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