Picture of How to make a drawstring backpack out of a t-shirt
This cute little backpack is the just the right size for cell phone, keys, sunscreen and a water bottle, perfect for a day hiking or at the beach.  And all you need is an old t-shirt!
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Step 1: Collect materials

Picture of Collect materials

For this project, you will need:
-safety pin
-sewing machine or needle and thread

Step 2: Cut up the shirt

Picture of Cut up the shirt
First, cut off the sleeves off, then cut horizontally across the top of the shirt, just under the collar.  Cut off about the bottom third of the rectangle forming two rectangles, one larger and one smaller.  Then cut the sides of the bigger rectangle even with the holes left by the sleeves so you have a rectangle and not a weird shape.  Cut the seam off the bottom of the smaller rectangle, then cut the smaller rectangle into 4 strips.  the strips will eventually become the straps of the backpack.

Step 3: Sew Straps

Picture of Sew Straps
After cutting up the shirt, you should have 4 big strips from the bottom of the shirt which are actually loops.  Cut each loop in half so you now have 4 long strips.  Sew two of them together so you now have 2 really long strips.  Fold each strip in half lengthwise and stitch the entire length down (see the 5th picture).  This will keep the straps from stretching out when you put things in the backpack.

Step 4: Sew the bag together

Picture of Sew the bag together

Put the right sides (front) of the larger rectangle together so when you sew the bag it will be inside out.  Pin and sew the sides together but make sure to leave about 1.5 to 2 inches at the top.  I used a seam allowance of 5/8 inch but for this project it is not super important.  Open the seams and sew it down flat.  Remember to sew the seam down all the way to the top even though the last 2 inches are not sewn together.
jlylith3 years ago
I get confused near the end of sewing the bag together and then then attaching the straps ;_;
Yeah... me too. Could you please explain why I should sew all the way up the bag when the last two inches aren't supposed to be sewn? A little clarification would be awesome.
You need that area for a turn down for drawcord.
mary.daily.926 months ago
It's great! I can take tshirts the kids outgrew and it's a new hand me down with a memory. Could be a stained Hello Kitty to a trip to the zoo! Thank you! Had to read it couple times. But I understand. Now I know what to do with my old T's. My 5 yr old got a my little pony set for Christmas with tiny parts. She also has old pony shirt she outgrew. Guess we all know what those parts are going to be kept in.
craftpro1 year ago
Wow, this is awesome!
Nice instructable! I just made one tonight and I love how it turned out. Thanks ^-^
Awesome, you should post a picture!
Ainaa73 years ago
warreng9713 years ago
how long would it take to make this?
It was a pretty fast project for me, probably not much more than 30 minutes. You might be able to do it faster or the first few you do might take longer.
SHIFT!5 years ago
Sweet! I desperately need a good carrying bag for all of my electronics and this sounds right in my range! Just a question, if I wanted a tie dye bag, do you think I could dye the bag itself or do I need to tie dye the shirt first? I'd really like to do the primer, as I'd like the straps and edges to be painted, rather than their exposed white color.
You could probably do it either way. If you wanted to make sure everything got dyed including the straps that are inside the drawstring part I would dye the shirt before you sewed the bag. You could also dye it after sewing it, you would just have to make sure you got all of it, which just depends on your dying technique.