I’m always trying to think of fun DIY projects that are not only fun but also functional. My most recent project, these awesome Upcycled Pillowcase Purses, and Totes are a great way to make a fashion statement, are functional DIY small bathroom storage ideas, and can even be great for decorating a bedroom or living room!
Chose your favorite fabric in a fun flowery design, grab some unicorns and make a statement, or pick something to match your decor like I did with this forest themed fabric. The possibilities are endless!
Recently, I talked aging relatives, teaching compassion, and donating to elderly in nursing homes. But what about when your extended family is still living at home and they need a little extra help but don’t want to broadcast that to everyone who visits?
My grandmother is very independent and doesn’t want a fuss being made over her. She still lives at home and likes that she can take care of herself, but, just as I need a little help with incontinence due to having four kids and a weak bladder, age brings on a need for some extra help in that area. She needed some DIY small bathroom storage ideas to help store her Depend® Fit-Flex® Underwear and I was happy to oblige!
Since I love helping her out when I can and I love fun DIY projects, I decided to make my grandmother an upcycled pillowcase tape bag. This free project is super easy, lots of fun to do, and can be used for a variety of purposes! Plus it will give her a fun way to store some of her products while making sure things stay neatly tucked away until needed.
DIY Small Bathroom Storage Ideas – Make an Upcycled Tape Bag
- An old pillowcase in a pattern you like (washed, dried and ironed) (alternately, you can use new fabric cut to 18″ x 24″)
I used a fun forest-themed pattern because my grandmother has a ‘cabin themed’ bathroom and I figured it would fit perfectly!
- Fabric scissors – trust me, you want the best scissors for cutting fabric to make your life much easier
- Strong Tape in colors that compliment your fabric
- A measuring tape
- Press-on Velcro (optional)
- Belt Strap (optional)
Upcycled Purses and Totes – Getting Started
The first thing you want to do is turn your pillowcase inside out, then measure 18″ down from the top seam in several spots, and 21″ in from the side seam (opposite the opening) in several spots.
Using a ruler or straight edge, draw a line connecting all the markings. It doesn’t have to be perfectly straight as no one is going to see it or notice, but try to keep it as straight as possible.
Using your fabric scissors, cut through both layers of the pillowcase following your guide lines.
Next, cut off the top and bottom seams. Leave the seam that is opposite the opening. You should now have two flaps that are connected by a seam in the middle.
If you haven’t already, iron both the front and back of your fabric to eliminate any creases or wrinkles.
Making the Liner
Now the fun begins. Start applying strips of tape on the wrong side of the fabric (inside out). You are applying on the 21″ lengths. If it is a little long that it is okay as you can cut the extra later.
Continue applying strips of tape, slightly overlapping each previous strip as you go. Do this on both flaps of fabric.
I chose to use a camouflage tape for the upper part of each flap, then changed color once I got toward the center. Partly because there is less of the patterned tape on a roll and I didn’t want to run out, and partly because I thought it would look neat to have a different colored bottom in my tote.
Once you have completely taped all the way across both flaps, flip over and cut off any excess tape sticking off the ends.
Flip back over and measure 2″ from one end, then fold over to create a flap. Press down.
Repeat on the other side.
Making the Handles
Note: If you are making a tote simply to store items as I am planning, you may want to skip adding handles at all (unless you like the look of them). I’m adding handles so you can see how to do it, otherwise, I may leave them off my next tote.
To make the handles we are going to use more of our pillowcase material, or you can alternately purchase some belt straps for a stronger (and longer) handle if you will be carrying your tote around with heavier items. Use the part of the pillow case that had a seam doubled over where the opening used to be and begin cutting that strip out taking care not to cut the seam.
After it is completely cut out you will have a ring of fabric, go ahead and detach the threads keeping the seam together in the middle. You will now have one long piece.
Fold this long piece in half with the seam ends together and cut at the mid-point. You should have two pieces of equal length.
Take some tape in your desired color and apply a strip slightly longer than your fabric strip. Cover from the middle of the fabric and hang over the edge a bit.
Repeat on the other half, then flip the strap over.
Fold the overhanging tape back onto the fabric on all sides.
Take one strip of tape and completely cover the strap from end to end. Fold over any overhanging pieces (they should not overhang the sides this time, just at the ends).
Repeat for the second strap.
Attaching The Handles
Measure 6″ in on the flap you created in the above steps. Mark this spot and repeat on the other side of the flap.
Attach your strap using 4-5 staples, take care to only staple through the flap and not through the entire tote. Repeat for the other side of the strap.
Take a piece of your tape in the desired color and cover the staples. Be sure to go the length of the tote.
Repeat this entire process (making the handle and attaching) for the opposite side of your tote.
Creating The Tote
Once the straps are attached, flip up one side and line it up evenly with the other side. The fabric should be in the middle with the tape sides facing out.
Begin stapling all around the bag, going up each side (leave the tops open so you can access your tote). Since our pillowcase still has a seam sewn on the bottom, we don’t need to use staples there if you don’t want to, however, if you will be using the tote as a carrying purse or bag, I suggest putting staples there as well to reinforce the bag.
Cover each side (and the bottom if staples were used there) with tape, then fold the tape over to the other side so the bottom of the staples are covered as well.
Creating a Square Bottom
Creating a flat bottom for the tote to stand up on its own is easy. Simply stick your hand into one of the corners and push it out and flat until a triangle is formed.
Measure the point where it is 7″ across.
Staple all the way across at this point. Again, you don’t have to be perfectly straight, however, avoid zigzagging as much as possible.
Repeat on the other side and then cover both ends with tape to hide the staples.
Lay the bag on its side, flatten out the bottom, then tuck each triangle into the middle.
Now you simply need to flip the bag inside out!
At this point, the triangle flaps you just made can be taped down for a more finished look, or you can leave them if they don’t bother you.
Optional Velcro Closure
In some cases, such as using these to store family caregiving products or personal hygiene items, you may want to have the option to close the tote so it is more discreet.
If you would like to do so, simply measure out a length of press-on Velcro that will fit between the strap handles and press it in place on each side. The Velcro states it should be ready for use after 15 minutes but to give 24 hours for a stronger hold. It also says not for use on fabric so I put mine over the tape.
Functional and Fun!
Now that your tote is finished, fill it with those supplies you want to keep hidden or use it for a trip around town. We filled ours with Depend® Fit-Flex® Underwear for Women, Poise® Liners, and extra rolls of toilet paper. My grandmother and I both love using the Depend underwear because they are flexible so they move with you and are comfy.
The tote is a great way to keep these items easily accessible in a small bathroom with limited storage, and it is also a pretty darn cute decorative piece!
You can use this on the back of your toilet as a convenient storage area, or grab some of those large decorative adhesive hooks that hold at least 5 lbs and hang a few totes in a row on your wall to have an easy statement piece in your bathroom!
If you are a family caregiver as well and have aging family members to help take care of, download the Digimarc Discovery App, scan the Depend packaging from Sam’s Club, and check out how Sam’s Club Family Caregiving is a one-stop destination for all your caregiving needs. Prescription refills, personal care products, and free health screenings are all available in club!