Thrift Flip: Pillowcase to DIY Purse

by Janel
6 Materials
1 Hour

On my Instagram account, I asked my fans for some ideas for DIYs they’d like to see. There were many requests for accessories that are spring- and summer-related. So I decided to make a purse since I like to switch out my purses as the seasons change. The best part of this project is that I found everything I needed for it at the thrift store!

Tools and materials:

  • Pillowcase
  • Leather belt
  • Fabric
  • Metal ring
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine
Make a DIY purse


To begin, I cut some fabric to turn into a lining for my bag, because the fabric of the pillowcase was pretty thin. I cut a piece of fabric that was the same width as the pillowcase, and double its length. I didn’t leave much of a seam allowance, because in this case, I actually wanted the lining to be a bit smaller than the purse. 

How to make a DIY purse


Then I folded the lining fabric in half with right sides facing each other and sewed down the side seams. 

Simple DIY purse

Pin and sew

Once the sides of the lining had been sewn, I flipped the lining right side out, and pinned and sewed the top edge of the lining to the top edge of the purse, leaving a wide gap in the stitching.

Basic DIY purse

Finish the lining

Then I tucked the lining into the purse. To close up the gap I left in the stitching, I folded the raw edge inside and hand-stitched it in place at the top edge of the bag. 

Easy DIY purse

Prepare the strap

Next, I removed the buckle from this leather belt. 

DIY purse tutorial

On the end without any hardware, I weaved a binder clip through the holes in the leather. This way, I can loop some fabric through the hoops at the end to attach the strap to the bag. 

Cut and sew

I cut two rectangles of fabric, folded in their edges, and sewed them down. 

Attach the strap

I ran the rectangles through the loops at the ends of the strap, and sewed the fabric to the inside of the bag, along the top edge of the lining, with a zigzag stitch. 

And the transformation was complete!

I’m so happy I stumbled across this beautiful embroidered pillowcase. I think it makes this easy DIY purse extra special. What do you think of this thrift flip? Let me know in the comments.

Suggested materials:
  • Pillowcase
  • Leather belt
  • Fabric
See all materials

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2 of 14 comments
  • Roni Lochli Roni Lochli on Apr 11, 2022

    Very Nice! Thank you for your support!

  • TheSeamstress TheSeamstress on Apr 11, 2022

    Did you know that that pattern style looks very much like Ukrainian embroidered pieces I have in my linen collection given to me by my Ukrainian mother-in-law. How appropriate to see this now when Ukraine is in all our hearts.