What To Do With Old Pillowcases

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What to do with old pillowcases? Transform them into a kaleidoscope of possibilities! Let’s dive into a world of upcycling, practical uses, fabric crafts, and eco-friendly disposal, turning discarded pillowcases into treasures that inspire and delight.

From chic home décor to ingenious storage solutions, old pillowcases offer a blank canvas for your creativity. Prepare to be amazed as we unveil their hidden potential, breathe new life into forgotten fabrics, and minimize waste.

Upcycling Old Pillowcases: What To Do With Old Pillowcases

Pillowcases pillowcase upcycle sneaky breakout reuse

Tired of old, worn-out pillowcases cluttering your linen closet? Don’t throw them away! Upcycling pillowcases is a sustainable and creative way to give them a new life. From stylish accessories to practical home décor, there’s a plethora of ways to transform these humble linens into something extraordinary.

Here are some ingenious ideas to inspire your upcycling journey:

Tote Bags

Upcycle pillowcases into reusable tote bags for everyday errands or grocery runs. Simply sew the sides together, leaving an opening at the top for handles. You can add embellishments like ribbons, fabric paint, or embroidery to personalize your bag.


Create functional and stylish aprons from old pillowcases. Cut the pillowcase in half, fold the top edge over to create a waistband, and sew on ties. You can add pockets or ruffles for extra flair.

Cushion Covers

Transform pillowcases into unique cushion covers to refresh your couch or bed. Cut the pillowcase to the desired size, sew the sides together, and insert your cushion. Add buttons, zippers, or decorative trim for a customized touch.


Patchwork pillowcases together to create a cozy quilt. Sew the pillowcases together in rows, alternating colors or patterns for a vibrant design. Add a layer of batting and backing fabric to complete the quilt.

Table Runners

Upcycle pillowcases into elegant table runners for special occasions or everyday use. Simply sew the sides together, leaving an opening at the ends for decorative tassels or fringes.

Gift Bags

Create unique gift bags from old pillowcases. Cut the pillowcase in half, sew the sides together, and add a ribbon or drawstring at the top. Decorate with fabric markers, stamps, or appliqués for a personalized touch.

Practical Uses for Old Pillowcases

What to do with old pillowcases

Beyond their traditional role in bedding, old pillowcases offer a wealth of practical applications. Their durable fabric and versatile shape make them ideal for storage, organization, and even cleaning tasks.

Here are some innovative ways to repurpose your old pillowcases:


  • Shoe bags:Slip shoes into pillowcases for easy storage and transportation.
  • Toy storage:Keep toys organized and contained by using pillowcases as storage bags.
  • Travel organizers:Pack clothing, toiletries, or other items in pillowcases to stay organized on the go.
  • Produce bags:Line pillowcases with paper towels to create breathable produce bags for storing fruits and vegetables.

Organization, What to do with old pillowcases

  • Cord organizers:Wrap cords and cables in pillowcases to prevent tangles and keep them tidy.
  • Drawer organizers:Use pillowcases as drawer dividers to keep clothes, linens, or other items separated.
  • Jewelry storage:Store jewelry in pillowcases to protect it from scratches and tangles.
  • Travel document holders:Keep travel documents, passports, and other important papers organized in pillowcases.


  • Dusting cloths:Dampen old pillowcases and use them as reusable dusting cloths.
  • Window cleaning:Clean windows and mirrors with pillowcases to leave them streak-free.
  • Car cleaning:Wipe down car interiors and exteriors with pillowcases for a thorough clean.
  • Pet grooming:Use pillowcases as towels to dry pets after bathing.

To maintain and care for pillowcases when used for non-bedding purposes, follow these tips:

  • Wash pillowcases regularly in cold water and mild detergent.
  • Air-dry pillowcases to prevent shrinkage.
  • Use a bleach solution to disinfect pillowcases used for cleaning tasks.
  • Iron pillowcases if desired, but avoid using high heat.

Fabric Crafts with Old Pillowcases

What to do with old pillowcases

Transform old pillowcases into charming fabric crafts that add a personal touch to your home and wardrobe. These versatile pieces offer a wealth of possibilities for creative expression through sewing, quilting, and embroidery.


Quilting with pillowcase fabric is a delightful way to create cozy and unique blankets, bedspreads, and wall hangings. The soft, durable material provides an excellent base for piecing together colorful fabrics and patterns. Experiment with different quilting techniques such as hand-stitching, machine quilting, or even tying for a rustic touch.


Embroidery transforms pillowcases into works of art. Embellish them with intricate designs, colorful threads, and beads to create personalized cushion covers, wall hangings, or even tote bags. Use free-motion embroidery for expressive and fluid designs or follow traditional patterns for a classic touch.


Sewing with pillowcase fabric opens up a world of possibilities. Create simple yet stylish bags, aprons, and table runners using the fabric’s soft texture and durability. Transform old pillowcases into fun and functional accessories such as pet beds, storage bins, or even curtains.

Eco-Friendly Disposal of Old Pillowcases

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Improper disposal of old pillowcases can contribute to environmental pollution and waste accumulation. Understanding the impact and adopting sustainable disposal practices is crucial for responsible waste management.

Materials and Impact

Pillowcases are commonly made from various materials, including cotton, polyester, silk, and linen. Synthetic materials like polyester take hundreds of years to decompose, contributing to landfill waste and microplastic pollution. Natural materials like cotton and linen biodegrade more quickly but can still release harmful chemicals into the environment if not disposed of properly.

Sustainable Disposal Methods

To minimize the environmental impact, consider the following sustainable disposal methods based on the pillowcase material:


Polyester pillowcases can be recycled through textile recycling programs. Check with local recycling centers for specific guidelines.


Natural materials like cotton and linen can be composted in backyard compost bins or commercial composting facilities. Ensure the pillowcases are free of non-biodegradable materials like zippers or tags.


Old pillowcases can be repurposed into reusable items like tote bags, handkerchiefs, or cleaning rags. This reduces waste and promotes sustainable living.