Making a Bag from a T-shirt

This project is even more timely as plastic shopping bags begin to disappear from our lives. Recycle your old t-shirts into reusable bags. Try one or more for the methods described on this page.


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Take an old child's shirt, preferably with spaghetti straps. Turn it inside out and sew the bottom of the shirt. Turn it right way and you're done. Great for small games and books. We also use them in the summer for each child's swimsuit and towel.

By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario

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There 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


  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. Draw another line below the shoulder and neck area.
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  4. Cut off the shirt sleeves and neck, leaving about half an inch of fabric outside your dotted lines.
  5. Sew up the shirt on the dotted lines. This is what it will look like when you flip it right side out.
  6. 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.
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  8. Turned right side out, this is how it should look so far.
  9. Attach your safety pin to the end of the rope.
  10. Leading with the safety pin, push the rope into the drawstring area from the opening.
  11. 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.
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  13. 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.
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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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