make an outdoor pillow diy project

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.

Patterned and cute and colorful and full of life.

“I’m going green,” I would tell myself, “for only $1.75.”

And another shopping bag would wind its way to Thistlewood.

Make a Pillow From a Reusable Shopping Bag

Then one day I opened the closet door and an entire collection of cute green reusable shopping bags fell out.

And I realized I needed to take action…..

….and make a few into pillows.

Here’s a fun idea for all those shopping bags that ever turned your head with their $1.75 siren song.

How to make a pillow from a reusable shopping bag.

shopping bag

Step 1:  Start with a shopping bag

I have three of these (see what I mean).

Start by cutting two rectangles from the bag.

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

reuseable shopping bag project

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.

reuseable shoppng bag to a pillow

Step 2:  Sew the two rectangles together

I know this is a scary step for some of you. 🙂

You could always use fabric glue if sewing is not your thing.

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

reuseable shopping bag

Step 3:  Stuff the pillow and sew closed

Now you have the start of your pillow.  Stuff and sew closed.

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.

make an outdoor pillow

I think I’ve turned the corner with the whole shopping bag thing.

I’m thinking place mats and table runners and wreaths for the door.

I mean….seriously.….

…..who knew $1.75 could have so much potential. 🙂

trash-to-treasure-no-guest-host 2nd friday

And now here’s a few more Trash to Treasure projects from some of my favorite bloggers.


Rain On a Tin Roof


AKA Designs


So Much Better With Age

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Nana Diana Nana Diana

    GREAT GREAT GREAT idea! You are really taking those bags to a whole new level. I -ahem- have a "few" of those bags myself. I am getting better about actually using them when I get groceries now....but oh----what cute pillows those make! Great job! xo Diana

  2. Image for Sara Sara

    Great idea! I too have many reusable shopping bags- I could take the Dugger family grocery shopping and still have extra bags!

  3. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    Well, if you don't deserve The Clever Craft Award nobody does. Cute, cute, cute....and what an inexxpensive way to make outdoor pillows! They're nnormally so expensive....and you know they're going to fade and end up being tossed (no pun intended) sooner than later. LOVE this! Putting in on my to-do list!

  4. Image for Kerry Kerry

    I love this idea! Who knew. And the whole idea of placemats. Perfection! Sometimes our "collections" do turn into treasures! Fun!

  5. Image for BETSY BETSY

    Once again KariAnne you are a GENUIS !!!!! I envision using some of my stash of bags to sew into boxes, rectangles, and bows and put them on the front porch as outdoor "Christmas gifts". You have opened up a whole plethora of ideas for me. Thanks so much girl !!! You are indeed a rock star !!

  6. Image for barb barb

    What a wonderful idea if only.... If only. My bags didn't have the word "wine" stamped on them.... I'd be judged. ;)

  7. Image for Tina Matteson Tina Matteson

    I think I have some of those exact same black and white chevron print bags! From Michael's $1 section, right!? LOVE them and this idea is very cute. The only problem is... they don't seem like they'd be very comfortable or soft to sit up against... but they LOOK beautiful, for sure. Thanks for more great inspiration, KariAnne!

  8. Image for Diane Diane

    Coveting your deck and your middle-of-nowhere oasis!!!! We need to have a little sewing talk. You sewed those pillows great, all your rock stars can too. Makes me sad that some consider sewing scary. Now I must go drown myself in more Diet Coke, but I will not top it off with an oreo, will not, will not.

  9. Image for Sally Sally

    KariAnne, The pillows are great. I think they would be waterproof for outdoors. Since I have to save the free grocery/shopping bags for kitty litter disposal, I was thinking the clean ones could be used as stuffing for your neat pillows. Now is that going green or not? Sally

  10. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    You never cease to amaze me!! I do have reusable shopping bags unfortunately they are ugly as sin. I mean you can't put lipstick on the pig and make it look good. I know, I know, KariAnne could and everyone would be clamoring to have some just like them{ pillows not pigs} and your bags would get pinned and pinned and pinned and the tweets would go around the world that KariAnne turned a pig into a silk purse -- or something like that. Do I have my metaphors and similes mixed up?? You would even shut down Facebook, Google plus, and Instagram from all the activity just to see your awesome idea. Oh well -- I guess I'll just go cook something -- that I can do.

  11. Image for Judy Judy

    What an awesome idea. I'll never go shopping again without checking out the pretty shopping bags and imagining what I could do with them.

  12. Image for jae jae

    Incredibly brilliant! I live in GA and because I have a hard time finding outdoor fabrics I like, I am continually having to spray my screen porch pillows with water repellant and take them in when rainy since the cottons still soak up humidity! And yes, I have a stash of wonderful bags....Homegoods and Cracker Barrel always have awesome designs. Will be spending this weekend at the sewing machine. Thanks for the wonderful truly do rock!

  13. Image for Regina Regina

    Totally, totally awesome. The line at TJ Maxx gets me every time. I haven't given in . . . yet . . . but now that there is a REASON . . . ;) Happy Fall-ish Friday to you, my friend! :)

  14. Image for Betty Betty

    I am so excited, I just picked up Christmas Ideas magazine at Wal-Mart in Columbus, Indiana. I can't believe they have it out already. Your house and family are both beautiful! Congratulations , you deserve it ! Betty Hill

  15. Image for Jean Jean

    I always buy the new bags at TJ Maxx...they have fabulous designs. Have always wanted to make pillows but I live in condo with no outside space...however, I am wondering what size stitch did you use on your machine? I've always thought that if you used one too small it would just "cut" the "fabric". Love your pillows!

  16. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    OMZoo! Can you share where you got the elephant bags?!! I am SMITTEN with those ... and I love this project! I do believe it will get me back to the sewing machine after many years of avoidance. How do you keep on doing it ~ day after day after day ~ being original & clever & so very chic?!?!

Comments are closed.