Fabrics

Published on April 10th, 2008 | by Skye Kilaen

38

What Can You Do With Sheets?

sheets at targetA couple of months ago, I bought a super-cute twin size sheet at Goodwill. Originally from Target, and probably sold in a package very much like the one pictured here, my sheet has spirograph-esque designs in mauve, persimmon, and lime on a white background. It was $5 with its matching pillowcase. I thought that was a bit high, but I had fallen in love with it, so it came home with me.

Problem #1: Nothing in my house is mauve, persimmon, or lime.

Problem #2: I don’t have a twin size bed.

So what do I do with this sheet?

Granted, sheets are just really big pieces of fabric, so there are plenty of options. But this sheet is so cute, I want to use it for something special.

I could use it for the back of a quilt, since I do all my sewing by machine. If you’re going to hand quilt, DO NOT use a sheet unless you enjoy blisters, bleeding, and adding an unfinished project to your pile of UFOs. There are some concerns with poly-blend sheets and sheets with high thread counts, so choose carefully. Look for fairly new 100% cotton sheets and prewash them thoroughly. And if you’re going to send the quilt out to a longarm quilter, make sure you check with that person first to see if they accept sheets as quilt backs. Some don’t.

Unfortunately, my sheet doesn’t work with any of the three quilts I have going, and starting another quilt to go with a back seems a little silly.  If I didn’t have a baby and I could pretend that I could work on four quilts at once, I might do it anyway, but not right now.

The internet was helpful when I was trying to find a destiny for my worn out blue jeans, so I turned to it once again for advice.

Wendy at Wisdom of the Moon has created a great tutorial on how to make reusable grocery bags from sheets. Look at the photo in her tutorial and tell me that it wouldn’t be more fun to do the grocery shopping if you had bags this attractive. Janel has told us on our sister blog Planetsave about how many localities are banning plastic bags, so this one is timely.

However, I’m leaning towards making reusable gift bags. Like with grocery bags, I’ll be using a thrift store find to replace a disposable product – double green points for me! And since the sheet is so attractive, I will surely win accolades from friends and family for my good taste in textiles. The Simple Drawstring Bag tutorial on happythings is a good basic bag, or for something fancier, try Liesel Made’s tutorial on wine gift bags.

So I’m going to try cutting up my beloved sheet. If I can. Of course, Jennifer at Eco Child’s Play suggested around the holidays that I could skip the bag-making step and wrap presents in fabric, and then I wouldn’t have to cut it up… but then I’d have to buy someone a really large present…

[Photo by Mini D at flickr under a Creative Commons license.]


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About the Author

Skye Kilaen began sewing at an early age and eco-rabble-rousing shortly after that. Many years later, someone finally told her that there are books about how to make quilts. Life was never the same. In fact, she spent more on her sewing machine than her car. Bringing her green and crafty passions back together, Skye is now happily discovering ways to create beautiful and useful objects using thrifted and sustainable materials. No, that's not just an excuse to visit Goodwill more often. Honest.



  • Tracey

    You could cover blank hard cover journals, then be able to use the fabric for yourself that way.

  • Tracey

    You could cover blank hard cover journals, then be able to use the fabric for yourself that way.

  • Tracey

    You could cover blank hard cover journals, then be able to use the fabric for yourself that way.

  • Skye Kilaen

    Ooooh, good one! Thanks Tracey. Chances are I won’t need enough gift bags to use a whole sheet, so perhaps I will soon have a very special place to keep all of my to-do lists…

  • Wendy

    Depends how soft the fabric is really but a 50s style dirndl skirt is easy to make and you would get to enjoy the fabric far more often.

    You could also use it to make a padded notice board (though if yours is anything like mine you won’t get to see much of the fabric!)

  • Wendy

    Depends how soft the fabric is really but a 50s style dirndl skirt is easy to make and you would get to enjoy the fabric far more often.

    You could also use it to make a padded notice board (though if yours is anything like mine you won’t get to see much of the fabric!)

  • Wendy

    Depends how soft the fabric is really but a 50s style dirndl skirt is easy to make and you would get to enjoy the fabric far more often.

    You could also use it to make a padded notice board (though if yours is anything like mine you won’t get to see much of the fabric!)

  • Wendy

    Depends how soft the fabric is really but a 50s style dirndl skirt is easy to make and you would get to enjoy the fabric far more often.

    You could also use it to make a padded notice board (though if yours is anything like mine you won’t get to see much of the fabric!)

  • Bunny

    You could combine suggestions and make a matching bag, notebook, and wallet.

  • Bunny

    You could combine suggestions and make a matching bag, notebook, and wallet.

  • Bunny

    You could combine suggestions and make a matching bag, notebook, and wallet.

  • Bunny

    You could combine suggestions and make a matching bag, notebook, and wallet.

  • Sandy

    A great place to look for ideas is etsy seller reborn‘s shop, including her sold items. She makes very very cute tops and shirts from vintage sheets. I swear this is not a paid endorsement!

  • Sandy

    A great place to look for ideas is etsy seller reborn‘s shop, including her sold items. She makes very very cute tops and shirts from vintage sheets. I swear this is not a paid endorsement!

  • Sandy

    A great place to look for ideas is etsy seller reborn‘s shop, including her sold items. She makes very very cute tops and shirts from vintage sheets. I swear this is not a paid endorsement!

  • Sandy

    A great place to look for ideas is etsy seller reborn‘s shop, including her sold items. She makes very very cute tops and shirts from vintage sheets. I swear this is not a paid endorsement!

  • http://www.NoOneWatching.com Grace

    Oh, I know the sheet of which you speak! And love it. It would be perfect for gift bags, I think. I’d hesitate to use it for market bags just because it might be a little bit lightweight. I like the notice board idea, too. My notice board is padded, but plain boring white. Maybe I should thrift myself a sheet to make it more interesting…

  • http://www.NoOneWatching.com Grace

    Oh, I know the sheet of which you speak! And love it. It would be perfect for gift bags, I think. I’d hesitate to use it for market bags just because it might be a little bit lightweight. I like the notice board idea, too. My notice board is padded, but plain boring white. Maybe I should thrift myself a sheet to make it more interesting…

  • http://www.NoOneWatching.com Grace

    Oh, I know the sheet of which you speak! And love it. It would be perfect for gift bags, I think. I’d hesitate to use it for market bags just because it might be a little bit lightweight. I like the notice board idea, too. My notice board is padded, but plain boring white. Maybe I should thrift myself a sheet to make it more interesting…

  • http://www.NoOneWatching.com Grace

    Oh, I know the sheet of which you speak! And love it. It would be perfect for gift bags, I think. I’d hesitate to use it for market bags just because it might be a little bit lightweight. I like the notice board idea, too. My notice board is padded, but plain boring white. Maybe I should thrift myself a sheet to make it more interesting…

  • http://condo-blues@blogspot.com Condo Blues

    If you lined the bag with a heavier fabric, you could use the pillow case to make a market bag. In fact, I have some old faded curtains(useable but not decent enough to donate to a charity shop) that I use to line market bags, in my fabric stash.

  • Maureen

    One flat twin sheet is enough to make a simple pair of drawstring jammy pants, size XL.

  • Maureen

    One flat twin sheet is enough to make a simple pair of drawstring jammy pants, size XL.

  • Maureen

    One flat twin sheet is enough to make a simple pair of drawstring jammy pants, size XL.

  • Maureen

    One flat twin sheet is enough to make a simple pair of drawstring jammy pants, size XL.

  • http://www.AnitasArts.com Anita

    Oooo, I like Maureen’s idea on the jammies!

  • http://www.AnitasArts.com Anita

    Oooo, I like Maureen’s idea on the jammies!

  • http://www.AnitasArts.com Anita

    Oooo, I like Maureen’s idea on the jammies!

  • http://www.AnitasArts.com Anita

    Oooo, I like Maureen’s idea on the jammies!

  • http://psaryce.wordpress.com Psaryce

    I know this reply in months late but only just found this site. In future, definitely consider pajamas!

    I have made many from thrift store sheets and from ones I rescued on Freecycle. I make them for the whole family and we just love them. I do not believe I could buy any that are as soft and comfortable as the ones I make.

    I recently made a pair from flannel sheets for the winter and they are just so soft and warm I doubt I will want to take them off – luckily I made myself 2 pairs. From 2 double sheets I can make a pair for myself, hubby & our 9yo daughter with a bit left over for other small items.

  • http://psaryce.wordpress.com Psaryce

    I know this reply in months late but only just found this site. In future, definitely consider pajamas!

    I have made many from thrift store sheets and from ones I rescued on Freecycle. I make them for the whole family and we just love them. I do not believe I could buy any that are as soft and comfortable as the ones I make.

    I recently made a pair from flannel sheets for the winter and they are just so soft and warm I doubt I will want to take them off – luckily I made myself 2 pairs. From 2 double sheets I can make a pair for myself, hubby & our 9yo daughter with a bit left over for other small items.

  • http://psaryce.wordpress.com Psaryce

    I know this reply in months late but only just found this site. In future, definitely consider pajamas!

    I have made many from thrift store sheets and from ones I rescued on Freecycle. I make them for the whole family and we just love them. I do not believe I could buy any that are as soft and comfortable as the ones I make.

    I recently made a pair from flannel sheets for the winter and they are just so soft and warm I doubt I will want to take them off – luckily I made myself 2 pairs. From 2 double sheets I can make a pair for myself, hubby & our 9yo daughter with a bit left over for other small items.

  • http://psaryce.wordpress.com Psaryce

    I know this reply in months late but only just found this site. In future, definitely consider pajamas!

    I have made many from thrift store sheets and from ones I rescued on Freecycle. I make them for the whole family and we just love them. I do not believe I could buy any that are as soft and comfortable as the ones I make.

    I recently made a pair from flannel sheets for the winter and they are just so soft and warm I doubt I will want to take them off – luckily I made myself 2 pairs. From 2 double sheets I can make a pair for myself, hubby & our 9yo daughter with a bit left over for other small items.

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