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DIY Custom Lake House Pillow Using a Tote Bag

Meghan Quinones |


Add some charm to your home with this DIY custom lake house pillow using a tote bag!

There is nothing better than time spent at the lake.  If you are lucky enough to own a home or property on a lake you know just how magical the time spent there can be.  If you're looking to add some new décor to your lake house, or decorate a newly purchased lake house I have the perfect project for you!

I’m going to show you how to turn a striped tote bag into a DIY custom lake house pillow.  This is such a fun way to use a tote bag.  If you want to see how you can create a custom lake house pillow of your own, be sure to check out the full video tutorial below!




Step 1: First you’ll need to decide on the design for your custom lake house pillow.  I used Cricut Design Space to pair a script font with a sans serif font.  If you don’t have Cricut Design Space, you can use Microsoft Word or Notepad to create your own design.  You’ll just need to print it off on a printer.

Step 2: If you’re using Cricut Design Space, place your heat transfer vinyl liner side facing down on the cutting mat. Select “iron-on vinyl” from the material list and make sure to mirror the image.  Then, place it in the Cricut machine to cut.  If you aren’t using a Cricut to cut out your design, go over the back of your print out with a pencil completely covering the back.  Then, place your print out face up on the liner side of the vinyl.  Outline your entire design, making sure to press down hard.  This technique will transfer the design on top of the vinyl liner.  Once you’ve transferred the entire design, you can hand cut your design.


Step 3: Place your tote bag on the EasyPress Mat (or ironing board) and heat the EasyPress (or iron) to 340 degrees. Heat the center of the bag for 5 seconds then place the Cricut cut deign in the center with the Teflon sheet on top.  Heat the design for 30 seconds.  Make sure to go over the entire design.  After 30 seconds is up, remove the Teflon sheet, flip the bag over, and heat the back of the bag for another 30 seconds.  Let the liner cool for 1 minute and slowly remove the carrier sheet.  If you hand cut your letters, heat the bag for 5 seconds, arrange all of your letters, and then follow the rest of the directions above.  Once it’s cooled for 1 minute remove the carrier sheet from each letter.


Step 4: Use your scissors to cut off all 4 handles.


Step 5: Then, add pillow stuffing to the inside of the bag.  You’ll want to tear off small pieces of filler to add to the bag.  This will give the pillow a more uniform look.  If you add large handfuls it could make the pillow too firm and lumpy.  If you want to try and avoid this all together, you could always add a pillow insert instead.  Just make sure you have the correct dimensions so it fits. 


Step 6: Once your pillow is stuffed, go ahead and warm up your hot glue gun.  I used fabric hot glue.  This will allow you to launder your bag on the gentle cycle using cold water.  If you don’t use fabric hot glue, you will need to hand wash your pillow in order to preserve it.  Machine washing is not recommended.


Step 7: Begin adding hot glue in a zig zag design to the top of the bag.  Go a few inches and then press the sides together to adhere them.  Continue adding glue to the top of the bag until it is completely glued shut.


You are now left with a very trendy and cute pillow perfect for a lake house. This project is so fun to make for yourself, but think how much fun it would be to gift one to a family or friend!  Since this project is 100% customizable the possibilities are endless!