In my last post, I wrote all about our recent trip to the Rifle Paper Co. store and how we absolutely loved it!  The biggest problem was trying to decide what beautiful things to bring home.  I love their rugs and pillows, but since I’m currently focused on porch decor, I decided to try a little something different and make a pillow for the porch–from a Rifle tote bag!

I know this has to have been done a variety of ways by all kinds of people, but since I’m all about quick and easy, here’s how I did mine!

I started with this tote

The only other supplies I needed were a pillow insert to fit (this one needs a 16-inch square), and a zipper!  I wanted an exposed gold zipper on the top for a cool design element, and I found this one at Hobby Lobby.  It’s fine if it’s a little longer than necessary, but it needs to be able to extend the width of the tote.

To start, I had to cut the box pleats and the excess fabric off the bottom of the tote to get a nice square.  So I turned the bag inside out and began the cuts.

Next, I had to cut the straps off.  

After that, I was left with the foundations of a pillow cover.  

The next step was to add the top zipper.  The trickiest part of this is keeping the edges of the zipper and tote bag top lined up while sewing.  You could pin this, but I’m too impatient so I just went for it! I lined up the right side of the zipper to the right side of the tote, and sewed!

Once one side was done, I just repeated the process for the other half of the zipper, making sure to keep the underside clear from being sewn through. (I’ve made that mistake too many times.)

Once both sides were sewn, I just turned the tote right side out to check the zipper from the outside. (Just tuck the extra ends of the zipper inside.)


The only thing left to do after this was to sew up the bottom edge! 

Turning it inside out once more, I just sewed up the bottom. (Be sure to unzip the top first to make it easier to flip it right side out again!)

The only thing left to do was to insert the pillow and zip it up!

As always, this can be done in so many different ways!  Imagine all the possibilities!

I absolutely love this quote, and it’s perfect on the porch right now… Especially with flower season upon us!

I hope this inspires you to try a tote pillow cover sometime!  And as always, I’d love to see your versions!