Last Updated on August 5, 2020 by Corinne Schmitt
Because Susan at Organized 31 has been my biggest inspiration to repurpose and recycle, I originally shared this t-shirt bag project on her site as a guest post. Now that I’ve tackled a few other projects here on Wondermom Wannabe (have you seen my Newspaper Basket or Clementine Crate Desk Organizer?), I decided it was time to share it here as well.
I’m a runner so I have a huge collection of t-shirts. Not only do I get them for every race that I enter, I also get several from sponsors that set up exhibits during pre- and post-race events. While I have plans to convert my race shirts into a quilt someday, I’ve been at a loss as to what to do with all the other shirts.
How to Repurpose a T-Shirt for a Bag
Well, since I have a fondness for bags (so many uses!) I decided to convert some of these shirts that I don’t wear into bags that I will use. The only problem is that I have negligible sewing skills so I needed a way to do this that didn’t involve sewing. That’s right, this project requires nothing more than an old t-shirt and a pair of scissors.
First, choose a t-shirt. I chose this one from Vitamin Shoppe that I got at a marathon exhibition.
Then, cut off the sleeves and cut out the neckline in a square shape since it will be the top of your bag.
No-Sew Method for a Bag Bottom
Wondering how you’re going to keep things from falling out the bottom of the t-shirt bag? Here’s the no-sew method. Make a fringe at the bottom of the shirt by cutting vertical strips 3-4 inches long and about 1/2 inch wide all along the bottom.
Then, you simply work your way along the fringe tying the strips together. IMPORTANT: Before you start tying the fringe together, decide whether you want the fringe to be on the outside or inside of your bag. I wanted mine on the inside so it wouldn’t show, so I turned the shirt inside out before I tied the strips together. My daughter thinks the fringe is a nice decorative touch so she tied hers together with the shirt turned right side out.
You can cut a couple of strips from the discarded sleeves and/or neckline to tie around each handle for decoration. (This works really well if you are making several bags from different colored shirts since you can mix and match colors.)
Tada! You’ve just converted your t-shirt into a bag that you can use every day.