Monday, February 8, 2016

DIY: Cushion case becomes shoulder bag.

You'll need:
- a cushion case made from sturdy fabric with a zipper (Mine was an old cover from Ikea, size 50x50)
- a piece of carton, approx. 25x40 cm. 
- a piece of fabric, approx. 25x40 cm.  
- Duct tape or something alike. 
- something that can be used for straps. (fabric belts work really well) 

-sewing equipment. 

Level: fairly easy.

A while ago, I was making a handbag. While I was fiddling with zippers and side-panels, I thought: "Isn't there an easier way to make something like this?"

Of course, there are many tutorials on very simple tote bags or envelope bags, but I wanted a nice bag. With a zipper. And nice fabric. That was suitable for work and could carry some weight. And then I had an idea.

Cushion covers!!

Wait.. what? Yep! and this is why this is such a good idea:

- they often have build-in zippers
- their fabric is strong
- the size is ideal
- they thrive in abundance in thrift stores or in your own home.

So, grab a cushion cover that you like, and let's get to it!!

STEP 1. 

Take a cushion cover. The side with the sipper is going to be the top of your bag.
Turn the cover inside out.

In order to create a rectangular bottom for the bag, take on of the bottom corners, and lay the bottom seam and side seam exactly on top of each other.
This should leave you with something as is shown in the picture.


Using a ruler, draw and pin a line. I drew mine 8 cm from the bottom, but you can see for yourself where you like it. Make sure there is a right angle between the side seam and the line. Then sew the line. Actually, you'll want to sew it a couple of times, to make sure the seam can handle some weight.

drawing and pinning...   and sew!


Repeat for the other side. You should end with with something as show in the picture. flip it again, and it will start to look like a bag! ( Yaayy..)

A diaper ...                                           .... a bag!
STEP 4. 

The bag now resembles its final shape. But it is still very.. floppy. Therefore I decided to put in an extra bottom. I made mine out of the cardboard back from a sketching pad, but you can use a lot of things for this. A cardboard box, a panel from an old binder, an old magazine... you name it. 

Measure the bottom panel. Recreate this bottom out of the cardboard, making it a little smaller (0.5 cm). Try it in the bag to see it fits. 

"Must. Sit. On. Cardboard."
STEP 5. 

Of course, you don't want the inside of your bag to transform into pulp as soon as you walk with it in the rain. Therefore, You are going to cover the cardboard panel with tape on all sides to make it waterproof. 


Since I didn't want to look at a taped square every time I opened my bag, I covered one side of the cardboard in fabric. Simply cut out a square of fabric that is a little bit bigger than the cardboard. fold over the edges and secure them with tape. One side will look bad now, but the other side will look very neat (nobody is going to see the bad side anyway, so who cares!)

         in progress...                    wrong side...            right side!
Put the panel in the bag. I secured the panel by hand-sewing all corners into place. (lazy people could opt for double-sided tape or fabric glue)

STEP 7. 

The last step are the straps. I made mine out of a fabric belt, since these are easy to use, and many people still have one at the back of their closet. But you can use many materials als straps. 

I cut mine into two strips of the same length. Using some nail polish or glue will stop the fraying, if necessary. Pin the straps where you want them to be, fold the end of the straps over so that they will be tucked underneath the strap. Sew them into place, going back and forth a few times to make sure the seam is strong. 

Optional step: 

if you want to add a lining to your bag, take another cushion cover of the same size. Rip out the zipper, and repeat steps 1 and 2. Leave your lining inside out, and place it inside your bag. Carefully sew together at the top of your bag. Since the inside of my cushion cover already looked very neat, I didn't bother with an extra lining. 


I really like this one!  
Since you don't have to do a lot of sewing, this bag can be made very quickly and easily. 
But because of the zipper and the boxed bottom, it still looks like a good quality bag! And since I used only of my old cushion cases, it didn't cost me anything. Hope you enjoyed it!

Cheers! Marije


  1. I absolutely love this idea. I recently bought some cushion covers in a second hand shop but decided they don't match the rest of my decor. So pleased I've found something crafty and creative to do with them.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi, thanks!!

      I had so much fun with this project, because it is really easy to manage and the results look quite cool. I hope you enjoy making your own version as well!

  2. I love this idea! This is something that a lazy me might definitely have a go at myself. It's a shame though; as I was only in Ikea earlier on today; so I could have got a new cushion cover then... =(

    I've only read a few of your posts so far, but you seem to have a great imagination; I can't wait to read the rest of your posts. =)

  3. It’s nice collection! The fashion shoulder bag is at the bag store .