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How to Make a Recycled T-shirt Bag

Updated on February 17, 2013

Two Different T Shirt Bag Styles

Recycling t shirts is a great way to save money on grocery bags and beach totes. See the video below to make your own purse out of a t shirt!
Recycling t shirts is a great way to save money on grocery bags and beach totes. See the video below to make your own purse out of a t shirt! | Source

DIY From a T Shirt

Recycling is on everyone's mind these days. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

But how many plastic bags of groceries do we bring in from the grocery store every week? You've seen the fancy reusable shopping bags that the stores sell with their name on it. But, really, is it worth paying $3 to $5 for five or six bags? You're on a budget and that $20 to $30 could be put to good use buying Cheerios.

How many times have you needed a beach bag but couldn't find one that was big enough for everything you needed to take to the beach? Does it warrant buying a beach tote that you'll only use a few times in the summer?

There's an easy solution to this problem, and you probably already have a lot of them around the house that you're not using.

Why not make your own homemade recycled grocery bag, beach tote, produce bag, or whatever you need a bag for out of your old t-shirts?

There is no sewing involved, it's an easy craft for kids to do, and it will recycle those old t shirts that are just laying around the house. You can go from shirt to bag in ten minutes. No, joke, it's that easy!

How to Make Your Own Bag


First, lay any t shirt out flat on a table. Make it completely flat and even.

*The size of your t shirt will determine the size of your bag. I used my son's XXL shirt on this project, and it made what would be considered a large beach tote. It can hold a lot of things!

Just remember, smaller shirts=smaller bags, larger shirts=larger bags.

Grab a Pair of Scissors


Next, cut away the sleeves and the collar from your t shirt. Be sure not to leave any of the seam.

Make Some Funky Fringe


To make your fringe, cut approximately two the three inch strips about every half inch or so along the bottom of your t shirt.

This isn't rocket science, you don't have to be precise and measure. I'm just giving you a starting point.

If you want longer fringe, make the cuts longer. If you would like wider fringe, space your cuts further apart.

Tie it Off

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Now, take a strip from the bottom and a strip from the top and make a double knot. Be sure to tie your knots tightly.

Do this all the way across the bottom of your shirt.

That's it, You're Done!


Easy DIY Recycled Bag

Making this bag is fun and easy. But you can make it in more than one style! It's just as easy as the first bag, and looks just as great.

Grab yourself another t shirt and let's get started

Let's Make a Bag with a Drawstring Bottom


First, cut away the sleeves and the collar. You can be creative and cut your neck out in a rounded or squared shape.

Cut Your Strings


Now cut away thin strips from each armhole. These will be your drawstrings that you will use on the bottom of your bag.

Again, you don't have to be precise and measure, just be sure to cut neatly.

Cut Your Slits and Run Your Drawstring Through

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Cut a small slit in the hem of your t shirt. Be sure not to cut into the stitches.

Making one cut will make a bag with a larger hole at the bottom. If you will be using this bag to carry smaller items, make two slits so there will be two holes.

For two holes, cut a small slit next to each side seam.

Attach a safety pin to the end of one of the strips you cut away earlier. Run the safety pin through the hem from slit to slit.

Pull Drawstring Tightly


Pull your string tightly and tie a double knot.

You can trim away the strings if you like, or tuck them on the inside of your bag.

I will be using this bag for smaller things, so I made two holes.

Quick and Easy Bag


Upcycle Your Old T Shirts

Making a tote or bag from t shirts is a fun and easy project to do. In less than 20 minutes you can be in the car headed to the grocery store or to the beach.

Upcycling your old t shirts is a great way to teach your kids how fun finding new uses for old, unwanted items can be.

Have you made both styles on these bags and want to make more bags?

T shirts also make great purses, so grab a t shirt, sit back, and learn how to make your old favorite t shirt into your new favorite purse!

Make Your Own T Shirt Handbag


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    • Abbyfitz profile image

      Abbyfitz 4 years ago from Florida

      No sense in throwing something away that can be useful!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      This is great! I'm starting to get addicted to recycling t-shirts.

    • Abbyfitz profile image

      Abbyfitz 5 years ago from Florida

      Thank you!

    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 5 years ago from Italy

      I am telling my friends with this. Recycle is the best thing. :) Vote up and shared with my FB friends and twitter.

    • Abbyfitz profile image

      Abbyfitz 5 years ago from Florida

      Thank you. It seems you can make something out of just about everything!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i love your recycle bags ideas. Now i don't have to throw away my old t-shirts. Thanks for the clear instructions and photos. Voted useful