Introduction: T-shirt Totebag

Picture of T-shirt Totebag

Sometimes you have T-shirts that you don't like to wear anymore. I had a few where I didn't like the fit but I still loved the logo, so this project allows me to continue to show them off! I have done both the sew and no sew version of this project with many students at my after school Maker club. It is appropriate for ages 5-14.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Picture of Gather Your Materials

For this project you will need:

No Sew Version:

  • T-shirt
  • Circular item (I used a plate).
  • Chalk.
  • Scissors

Sew Version

  • T-shirt
  • Circular item.
  • Chalk.
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine (The can be sewn by hand as well, but you must be careful of the strength of your seam. Bag seams take quite a bit of stress.)

Step 2: Cut Off the Sleeves

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Cut off your sleeves as close to the seam as you can.

Step 3: Mark the Bag Opening

Picture of Mark the Bag Opening

Fit your circular object around the neck of the t-shirt. Draw around it with the chalk.

Step 4: Cut Your Bag Opening

Picture of Cut Your Bag Opening

Cut around your chalk line. You can just wipe off the remnants of the line afterwards.

Step 5: Cut Strips

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Turn your shirt inside out. Cut strips through both sides of the bottom of the t-shirt. Ensure that your strips are about 1 cm in width.

Step 6: Tie Knots

Picture of Tie Knots

Starting at one side, take two groups of strips that are side by side (4 strips). Tie them in a tight knot, and then tie again.Continue this all the way across the bottom of the shirt.

Step 7: Turn Right Side Out

Picture of Turn Right Side Out

Turn your new totebag right side out and fill it with your favourite things!

Step 8: Turn Inside Out and SEW

Picture of Turn Inside Out and SEW

For the sewn version I cut off the hem. Turn inside out. Sew straight across the bottom. I do a double seam.

Step 9: After Sewing Turn Right Side Out

Picture of After Sewing Turn Right Side Out

Turn your t-shirt right side out and enjoy!

Step 10: Enjoy Your New Totebag!

Picture of Enjoy Your New Totebag!

I love these bags. I love that you can wash them. I love that I am upcycling and enjoying it! My students all love this project as well.

Comments

mrsmerwin (author)2017-08-14

I have a few of these bags. If you make them to be used as grocery bags, don't use large adult shirts. Sure you will be able to fit lots of groceries in it, but you may not be able to lift it. The large bags do make nice over night bags or a tote for a day at the beach. Use kid shirts for groceries and every day things.

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Bio: MakerQueen is a mother, a wife, a maker, a martial artist, a software engineer, a biochemist, a cat lover, a cosplayer, a gamer, a nerd ... More »
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