Picture of Shag Bag From Recycled T-Shirts
I made this shaggy shoulder bag for Very Interesting in the summer 2010 gift exchange

She requested something made from reused old clothes.  I don't know her size (and since I was a last-minute fill-in for someone who had to drop out, I didn't have time to find out) so fitted clothing was out.  I got inspired by this shag rug Instructable, hit up my stash of old t-shirts, and then watched as what started out as a simple project (a rug!) spiraled out of control.

Several t-shirts, many hours of cutting and sewing, and some blood, cyanoacrylate, a splint, and some bandaging later, I finally had a pretty funky looking shaggy shoulder bag!  (Then, of course, I mailed it off.  Such is life.)

Read on for all the gory details, and the other things I considered turning it into along the way.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

4 XL t-shirts (to shred) (use more if they're smaller)
1 M t-shirt (for backing, and a bit of shredding)
~1/2 yard of cotton fabric (for base/liner)
velcro or buttons (for closure)
fleece/felt/flannel (optional, for padded shoulder strap)

measuring tape
rotary cutter
cutting mat
sewing machine (I used a Singer Curvy)
serger (optional, but handy; I used the lab's Singer)
needle & thimble (optional, for attaching velcro or buttons)

vishalapr2 years ago
Great bag! Truly Unique! Must have taken a while to make it :)
clewis212 years ago
Awesome bag, the colors layers make it look great!
Tinker L3 years ago
Help! My strips won't curl! Yes, I'm cutting them with the stretch, but they just stretch out into flat-ish coarse textured useless hunks of jersey. What am I doing wrong, please?
p.s.: I tried 1" and 1-1/4" strips, cutting in the other direction, and started stretching gently then increased the tension.
sunshiine4 years ago
This is totally awesome!
kathmonkey4 years ago
Oops - sentence error :)

I guess you meant to say:
"Test it on your bag against your body for length - remember that the weight of the bag will"...
... stretch it over time :D

(Sorry, I'm really pedantic about that sort of thing - please don't take offence because I don't mean any!)

It's an awesome 'ible, I'll be making this as soon as I'm reunited with my t-shirt stash!
I just embellished my laundry basket in a similar fashion, for no logical reason, other than I like this application. I was looking for something I could wear with these fuzzies on it. Going to try this bag idea, but smaller scale, with a long cross-over strap. Thanks for the inspiration, and the technique. Didn't have a handle on how I would do it, now I do!
yard4 years ago
You do know that "Shag Bag" means something else, right?

Yeah it could've been named in a better way... But nonetheless a cool ible!
I LOVE this bag. The craftsmanship, the color choices, the I-Robot, the skull fabric....truly, it's so amazing. I love new ideas and this one really hit the mark! Thank you again for a great gift!!!!
canida (author)  Very Interesting4 years ago
You're welcome, I'm so glad you liked it!
Your projects were thoroughly inspirational. ;)
lvdpal4 years ago
Ooh, I might just steal your fuzzy skirt idea! Although I'll probably use hoooked zpagetti instead of t-shirts, to save myself some work.
canida (author)  lvdpal4 years ago
Please steal away! I'd love to see the result.
And swapping out the t-shirts makes sense if you're doing a ton of surface area.
canida (author)  valhallas_end5 years ago
Heh. That's an excellently vague comment. ;)
True, but all-encompassing. It's impressive visually - although, I will admit, the first thing I thought of was a carwash brush, the ones that use felt strips and spin over your car...but in an artsy way - and in sheer workmanship (I have determined I am physically incapable of using a sewing machine, so I'm always impressed by successful and ambitious projects). Plus, despite the ridiculously frilly nature, it seems like a genuinely useful object - I know my kid sister would love something like this - and well thought-out for a rapid project. And finally, cutting oneself to the bone and not tossing the bladed object out the nearest window...I don't ever cut myself, but any project on which I've hammered a thumb or such is most likely still unfinished... Detailed enough? ;)
canida (author)  valhallas_end4 years ago
It's definitely a lot like a car wash brush! I can only imagine that producing a wearable tube of the material would be even more convincing. *ponders another Halloween project*

And yes, that's a counterbalancing overabundance of detail. ;)
That would be a hilarious costume, but I'd bet the tube would make a great sleeping bag too. You'd really stand out at night, and no animal would want to get close for fear of spines or poison or something deadly!

Plus it would be rather warm if you could do this with terrycloth or similar material...hmmm.
Jaanvi5 years ago
Cool and Funky Idea!!!! Thanx A ton!
canida (author)  Jaanvi4 years ago
Thanks! Let me know if you make one.