Making a Bag from a T-shirt

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February 5, 2020

Making a Bag from a T-shirt - finished bagThere are many styles of bags you can make from old shirts. I like to make bags out of t-shirts that I treasure, but cannot wear anymore. This is a simple one I made from a band tee. It's got an easy-to-create drawstring closure. It's great for things like laundry, shopping, and storage.


Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1 bag


  • 1 t-shirt
  • pen
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • rope
Making a Bag from a T-shirt - shirt before transformation


  1. Turn shirt inside out. Place ruler against the side of the shirt and make a dotted line up the sleeve so it's a continuation of the side. Repeat on other side.
  2. Making a Bag from a T-shirt - marking the extended side up the sleeve
  3. Draw another line below the shoulder and neck area.
  4. Making a Bag from a T-shirt - draw a line below the neck and shoulder area
  5. Cut off the shirt sleeves and neck, leaving about half an inch of fabric outside your dotted lines.
  6. Making a Bag from a T-shirt - cut off sleeves and neck leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance

  7. Sew up the shirt on the dotted lines. This is what it will look like when you flip it right side out.
  8. Making a Bag from a T-shirt - view right side out at this point, after sewing the neck and sleeves closed
  9. Turn the shirt inside out and fold up about an inch around the bottom of the shirt. Pin in place then sew it shut except for an inch. This inch is where you will insert the drawstring.
  10. Making a Bag from a T-shirt - turn inside out and turn up an inch hem, sew leaving a opening for the cord
  11. Turned right side out, this is how it should look so far.
  12. Making a Bag from a T-shirt - turn right side out
  13. Attach your safety pin to the end of the rope.
  14. Making a Bag from a T-shirt - attach a safety pin to the end of the cord

  15. Leading with the safety pin, push the rope into the drawstring area from the opening.
  16. Making a Bag from a T-shirt
  17. Use your fingers to guide the rope through the drawstring tunnel using the safety pin to easily tug on it. Go all the way around until it comes out the opening to meet itself.
  18. Making a Bag from a T-shirt - pull the cord through using the safety pin as a leader
  19. Pull the rope out, then tie a knot. How long you leave the rope is up to you. I'm using mine to wear cross-body style so I left it a bit longer. Pull rope taut to scrunch up and close the bag.
  20. Making a Bag from a T-shirt - knot the ends

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November 23, 2009

Back in the 60's, I saved all my pantyhose for crafts or wearing with pants. I decided I needed some way to keep them and ended up making an old shirt into a storage bag.

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April 11, 2008

Lay the t-shirt flat, starting at one side of the neckline and ending up at the other side of the neckline, cut a deep 8 inch U SHAPE.

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October 17, 2019

Remove the sleeves from an old t-shirt and make fringe ties at the bottom. You have made a no-sew tote.


Make a lot, many states are beginning to pass legislation to discontinue the use of plastic bags.

No Sew T-shirt Tote

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