Repurpose Your Old Plastic Bags With This Clever Patio Pillow Hack

We're looking forward to the day that plastic bags will be banned from use. Meanwhile, if you're like us, you may accidentally leave your reusable bags at home when shopping. You might have accumulated quite a few and feel reluctant to throw them out. Luckily, there's a clever hack you can use to repurpose those lingering plastic bags while simultaneously decluttering your kitchen — you can create patio pillows stuffed with those bags — and benefit from the savings.

If you have patio or lawn chairs outside, this hack's for you. This could be the perfect moment to brighten or rearrange your decor in small, simple steps. While there are numerous ways to upgrade your outdoor space, one budget-friendly option is to replace your pillows, or if you don't have any, simply get new patio pillow covers. You can fill them with old plastic bags, so you don't need to buy any pillow inserts.

The best way to repurpose your bags

First, gather your supplies. If you're replacing patio pillows or getting new ones, your first stop might need to be a gardening or home goods store to buy your pillow covers. Take the color of your house, the shape and color of your patio furniture, and your own taste into account when deciding on a design. Make sure to get covers made from outdoor fabric. Your covers may have a side zipper, but if they don't, bring a sewing kit. Pull all your plastic bags out of the closet and bring everything with you to the patio.

Instead of immediately placing balled-up bags throughout your pillow's case, you can make it a bit smoother looking by choosing a bag that, when open, is as close to the size of your pillow as possible, maybe slightly larger. Use a soft, quieter, and less crunchy plastic bag as a "liner." Then place scrunched-up bags throughout, packing them as fully as possible, and testing for firmness along the way. Zip or sew up your pillow, and voila.

Why use plastic bags

Patio pillows are mostly meant to be decorative. That said, if you or your guests spend a lot of time lounging on the porch or in the garden, you may have mixed feelings about using plastic bag-filled pillows. They're certainly suitable to lean against but not quite as comfortable as what you're used to indoors. On the other hand, do keep in mind that using bags instead of inserts saves a lot of money.

Another benefit is that plastic bags are waterproof so you don't have to worry about mold or mildew forming in the pillow if they get wet. As an alternative, you could use a single bag to waterproof your pillow. Remove a regular fabric pillow insert and surround it with a plastic bag, then re-insert and zip up the side. You might also spritz the fabric cover with waterproof spray or fabric protector. You want to be able to keep your outdoor pillows and cushions in tip-top shape to withstand year-round weather conditions.