How To Make a Pillow From a Reusable Shopping Bag

2 Materials
1 Hour

I have a collection of reusable shopping bags.

It's like the collection that I never intended to have. I just couldn't help it. I would be checking out in line somewhere and there they would be the reusable shopping bags.

One day I was looking at all those shopping bags and I had the best idea.

What if I made a pillow?


I challenged myself to make the pillow with things I already had around the house.

Here's the step-by-step on how to make a pillow for FREE.

Start With a Shopping Bag

I have three of these bags and I wanted to make three pillows.

Vertical bags work so much better for this pillow project. It also works better if the bottom of the bag is square rather than envelope.

Start by cutting two rectangles from the bag.

Cut at the edge of the trim to maximize your pillow space.

Make Sure Your Rectangles are the Same Size

When you are done it should look like this.

I left the cute stitching at the top but you could cut that off if you want.

Check to make sure the rectangles you have cut are the same size. Trim off an excess to make them even.

Sew Sides Together

I just stitched seams on three sides of the pillow on the outside.

It's important to only sew the bag on three sides (as shown) to leave an opening for the stuffing.

You could always use fabric glue if sewing is not your thing and make this a no-sew project.

Stuff Pillow

Now you have the start of your pillow. 

Stuff the open end of the pillow.

I filled it with poly-fill and then pushed the poly-fill to the very back so I could sew it closed on the end. This was a green project for me and I wanted to reuse things I had on hand, so I used stuffing from another pillow. If you choose to do this, make sure to pull the stuffing apart so it's fluffier.

Sew Pillow Closed

After the pillow is stuffed, sew the end of the pillow closed.

That's it!

Your pillow is ready to decorate with.

Here's the finished pillow on the back porch. I added them to the benches and mixed them in with the other pillows. You can't even tell the difference.

It's the PERFECT green project for your home and the perfect solution for what to do with all those reusable shopping bags.

Here's to upcycling what you already have to create something beautiful.

Looking for a few more upcycle projects? Here are two of my favorite:

DIY Wood Twig Sphere

DIY Wood Twig Wreath

Resources for this project:

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Carole Atson
    Carole Atson
    on Oct 8, 2020

    Most of the reusable bags are very flimsy and don’t last very long. Do you think these pillows will hold up ?

    • Donna Sanna
      Donna Sanna
      on Oct 8, 2020

      I have many of these bags found at craft stores and some home decor stores. Have been using them over and over transporting fairly heavy things for at least 3 years, maybe 4. Have not had a single one not hold up. I imagine these will hold up beautifully outside and probably will be brought in during winter. It's a great idea and I'll be making these myself!

  • Michele
    on Oct 8, 2020

    What type of thread did you use?

  • N. G. Londonderry
    N. G. Londonderry
    on Oct 8, 2020

    My pretty shopping bags are plastic coated and hard...

    not soft for a comfortable pillow. Are your pillows “ just for show?”

Join the conversation

2 of 25 comments
  • Sarah Bush
    Sarah Bush
    on Oct 22, 2020

    First of all. BEAUTIFUL deck and seating area! Very smart! I love it! Wonderful coordinations!!!!! Gonna try this myself! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

  • Cinzia Farley
    Cinzia Farley
    on Oct 22, 2020

    Gorgeous seating area. The pillows make it Pop. I would like to do some pillows but I use the few shopping bags I own. I'm going to pick up a few from the dollar store. Last time there they had some awesome prints.

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