How to make a tote bag out of a t-shirt


I found an article on line written by Sewmargaretsew and posted in the website https://www.instructables.com that described and very nicely instructed how to make tote bag from recycled t-shirt. We all buy t-shirts and after use those for a while we throw those out to a recycle bin. But instead of doing that we can easily make tote bag by following these step-by-step instructions:

 Step 1:


-Heavy weight cotton T-shirt (heavy weight fabric & Youth size XL or Adult S or M work best)

– 3- 5 straight pins

– Pencil or pen

– Dinner plate


– Sewing machine

Step 2:

-Choose an old t-shirt and smooth it flat on a table. Use scissors to cut and remove the sleeves—make sure you leave the seam in place—this keeps your tote strong!

Step 3:

-Position a plate about halfway over the neck opening of the shirt. Trace the plate with your pencil or pen. This will be your cutting line to create the opening for your tote

bag. Cut along the traced line with the scissors.

Step 4:

-Turn the T-shirt inside out and pin the bottom of the T-shirt– along the hem — closed.


Step 5:

-Use the sewing machine to sew the bottom of T-shirt hem closed. Reinforce your tote bag by sewing over this seam a second time!

-Your bag is now sewn closed! As a variation you may consider adding a “gusset” at the bottom corners- as several commenters have- that’s where you sew across the

corner at right angle so that the bottom of the bag has more depth and is not just flat—it “boxes” the corners of the tote bag.

Another variation to consider the picture below of the pink t shirt tote bag. My friend and I added pockets to the tote by using the cut away sleeve scraps and

fashioning them into pockets. We added the three pockets onto the front of the tote! These are more decorative than useful…next time I add pockets, I will make them deeper.


Step 6:

-Turn the shirt right- side- out. YOU just made your own recycled tote bag!

Fill it with groceries, gym clothes, pool supplies, library books, etc.!  Keep one handy in your car!

T-shirt Totes are Machine Washable, Reusable and Strong! Just say NO to “paper or plastic”!

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