Pillow packaging upcycled to reusable shopping bag

Some of IKEA’s bedding items now come packaged in fabric offcuts from the manufacturing process instead of plastic.

I bought a pair of GRÖNAMARANT pillows and they were packaged in cotton bags.

I decided to make a reusable shopping bag from the packaging.

IKEA items used:
Other materials and tools:

Reusable shopping bag instructions:


I unpicked the side and bottom seams of each bag. Actually, I unpicked one of the lines of stitching at the bottom but decided to cut the waste part (the circle) off next to the line of overlocking because the two layers of fabric were overlocked together.

The pieces I got from the two bags looked like this:

reusable shopping bag DIY

Related: Bathroom mat to boho pillow. No sewing needed.

First, I ironed the pieces flat and measured them.

reusable shopping bag DIY

I decided to unpick one end of each handle so I could make two longer handles instead of four short handles. So, I needed to leave the line of stitching in place that goes around the top (red line) and remove the stitching for the handle (blue lines).

reusable shopping bag DIY

I pinned and sewed the two bags together down the sides (green lines), using a sewing machine. This gave me a tube, open at both ends, with the handles at the top.

I pinned the handles together so the side seams were off-centre. Then I sewed along the bottom of the bag between the two side seams (green line).

complex bit

Complex bit: I folded the bottom corner of the bag at 45° so the bottom seam ran down the centre and one of the side seams went off at right angles to the side. I pinned across the corner and sewed (green line). Then I did the same on the other bottom corner.

bottom sewing

When the bag was turned right side out, it looked like this:


Now I decided how long I wanted my handles to be. I ended up overlapping them and stitching them together at each end of the overlap.


I tried to follow the original lines of stitching (not sure that it mattered so much, but I decided that it looked good).


I unpicked a small line of stitching that secured the drawstrings on the original bags:

reusable shopping bag DIY

Then, I tied the two drawstrings together at each end. I used fisherman’s knots. Keeping the drawstrings means I can close up the top of the bag a bit.


reusable shopping bag DIY

The two circular pieces that used to form the bottom of the original bags are left over. I am wondering whether I should stitch them onto the front and back of my new bag as a decoration?

Why did you decide to hack the item?

The idea of recycling something that was already recycled appealed to me.

How long and how much did it cost?

It took me less than an afternoon. The pillows cost me AU$20 each, but I don’t know if that means my reusable shopping bag cost $40, or was it free?

What do you like most about the hack?

The cotton feels nice.

What was the hardest part about this hack?

Deciding how to do the corners.

What to pay special attention to?

Gathering up the bits of unpicked thread and disposing of them carefully. Most sewing thread is made from polyester, and I suspect that tiny bits from unpicking could become microplastics.

~ by Becky