Introduction: No-Sew T-Shirt Drawstring Backpack

While working on a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle curriculum for our after school program, I found a bunch of no-sew bag/purse tutorials but couldn't find a less feminine project for our other students. I came up with this design using some of the same concepts but added a drawstring.

Step 1: Step 1. Turn Your Shirt Inside Out and Prep the Sleeves.

Turn your shirt inside out and prepare the sleeves by cutting them into strips about 1/2"-1" thick. I took an extra step when making mine by cutting the sleeves shorter first. This was unnecessary because the extra gets trimmed at the end. After the sleeves are prepped, use a straight edge and marker to mark where the bottom of the bag will be.

Step 2: Step 2. Cut, Tie, and Cut Some More.

Cut the bottom of the shirt into strips up to the line you created in the previous step. Then tie each par together with a double knot. Leave the edge pairs on the bottom untied (they will be tied later.) Then cut all of the excess fabric away from the knots. Be careful not to cut it too close to the knot, or it could come undone.

Step 3: Step 3. Cut Slits on Both Sides of the Collar.

Cut slits into each side of the collar. This is where the drawstring will go.

Step 4: Step 4. Feed the Drawstring All the Way Through the Collar.

I used a safety pin as a needle to help pull the drawstring through the shirt. We will use 2 pieces of cord for this. Each piece will come out the SAME side that the cord went in.

Step 5: Step 5. Tie Off Your Cords.

I found the best way to tie the cord without it coming apart is to tie a knot as if both ends are the same end of the cord, tying one knot.

Step 6: Step 6. Turn the Drawstring Into Straps.

Pull the bag inside out. Pull the drawstrings through the inside of the bag through each side. Tie the string to the bag with the strips left on the ends. When this is done, flip the bag right side out and you're finished!