16 Innovative Ways to Use Extra Pillowcases

linen closet with extra pillowcases

It's not surprising that if you've lived in your home for a while, chances are you've accumulated some things: towels, books or movies, cleaning products, and more pillowcases than actual pillows. It's nice to have extra pillowcases in general, but sometimes that small pile of extras can get away from you. So, what do you do with all those extra pillowcases? Believe it or not, there are numerous ways to use them that don't involve pillows.

1. Creative Gift Wrap

Have you ever had to wrap an odd-shaped present like a gift basket or football? Wrapping paper doesn't do it—paper tears and rips and the gift looks hideous. But a pillowcase can solve the problem. Lay the gift inside, pull the pillowcase tightly closed and tie a pretty ribbon around the top. Voilà! If all your pillowcases are a bit stained, you can always tie-dye some in vivid colors or bleach them white.

While we're on the subject of wrapping paper, pillowcases make excellent storage containers for those wrapping paper tubes. Just stitch up the center of a pillowcase, and now you have two elongated compartments for storing wrapping paper.

2. Garment Protector

Does your child have a fancy dress that needs protection? Or perhaps you have a crisp shirt for special occasions that require some protection? Just cut a small hole in the pillowcase's top and drop it over the garment on the hanger. It’s an instant clothing protector.

3. Delicates Laundry Bag

Your son's favorite stuffed bunny needs a good washing. But you already ruined one stuffed animal by throwing it in the washer—good thing it wasn't one of his favorites! Try putting Mr. Bunny in a pillowcase and close it with a rubber band or string. You can also do the same for any sweaters or delicate clothes that become misshapen in the spin cycle. Toss the pillowcases in the washer with soap and wash on the gentle cycle. Everything will get a good washing, and if Mr. Bunny loses an eye or nose, the parts will be in the pillowcase for you to sew or glue on after he dries.

4. Dog Toys

If you have a few polyester pillowcases lying around, they'll make terrific tug-of-war toys for your small dogs. Lay each one out lengthwise and roll them tightly to create thin snakes; then tie a knot at both ends and one in the center of each snake. Your pooch will have hours of fun with you and their new tug-of-war toy.

5. Cat Beds

But don't leave your kitty out—she deserves something special too. Give her a nice, warm place to nap with a pillowcase transformed into a cat hammock.

6. Packing Materials for Breakables

Are you moving soon? Wrap your breakable items, such as delicate china or knick-knacks, in your extra pillowcases; then carefully pack them in the moving boxes. Your fragile items will be well protected.

7. Patchwork

If your pillowcases are still unstained and the fabric remains good quality, you can cut them into squares and use them to stitch a quilt or patch up holey jeans. Who knows? You may even start a new design trend!

8. Hard-to-Reach Duster

It can be nearly impossible to clean the corners and ceiling fans in your home. But not if you have an old pillowcase hanging around! Just slip it on a broom, tie the open end to the broom handle, and wipe it in the corners and down your walls to get rid of dust and any lurking cobwebs.

For your ceiling fans, you can put the open end of your pillowcase over one arm of the ceiling fan and slowly drag it toward you. Any dust bunnies on the blade will fall directly into the pillowcase rather than on your floor. Repeat this step for each one. You can also use the outside of the pillowcase to dust the fan itself.

9. Hot Pack

If you get back or neck aches from time to time, a comforting hot pack always helps. Grab one old pillowcase and cut lengthwise into thirds. Sew the sides, creating a tube; but leave the top open for now. Next, fill each section with long-grain rice then stitch the tops closed. When you need a hot pack, stick the tube in the microwave on high power for one minute. Your family and friends may even appreciate them as gifts.

10. Clothing Storage

Storing your seasonal clothes in plastic containers can leave them with a musty smell. But packing them away in old pillowcases will keep the garments free from dust and allow the fabric to breathe. You can do the same with your suede and leather items like shoes, jackets, and purses. These items can get scuffed and dusty sitting on shelves or hanging in a closet and putting these occasionally used things in a pillowcase will protect them.

11. Tote Bag

The tote bag you bought and have used for many years to take to the beach, road trips, and shopping with friends is just about worn out. If you have a cotton pillowcase that's still in good, stable condition, get creative and make a DIY tote bag out of it. We've even got you covered if you need some help.

12. Travel Laundry Bag

When you go on vacation or a business trip, you never quite know what to do with your dirty laundry. Don’t stuff it in a trash bag or nestle it next to your clean clothes again. The next time you go away for a few days, bring an old pillowcase instead to store all your dirty clothes in. Upon arriving home, you can dump everything into your washer—including the pillowcase!

13. Cork Board Fabric

Do you work from home? Perhaps you need a memo board to help you get organized. It's a beautiful coincidence that standard-sized pillowcases are the ideal shape and size for a memo board—what a fantastic look for your home office!

14. Makeshift Canvas

Did you know a pillowcase can be a work of art? Take a clean, cotton, white pillowcase, a set of tempera paint, and let your family put their footprints and handprints anywhere on the "canvas." Write their names and the date above the prints with a laundry marker; when it dries, frame it and hang it for a beautiful memory piece.

15. Upcycle as Girls’ Clothing

Some of your old pillowcases have the most adorable patterns. It's so easy to turn that pillowcase into a cute dress for your daughter or granddaughter. You could even make a skirt for yourself! Both of you will be the envy of your friends.

16. Wicker Basket Liner

Wicker trash baskets look great in your bedroom or bathroom. But trying to put a plastic bag in them as a liner is a hassle; sometimes, depending on the wicker, it can tear the plastic. Then you have trash on your floor because the tiny items can fall through the wicker. So save yourself all that trouble by lining the wicker baskets with a pillowcase—they look better, they won't tear and, best of all, you can wash them anytime you need.

These are just a few ideas of what you can do with your extra pillowcases. We're sure you'll come up with more creative ideas on your own. But if you'd like some pillowcase usage tips or would like help selecting fresh bedding that's right for you, please contact us.

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