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DIY Repurposed T-Shirt Bag Project

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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.

an arm holding a t-shirt bag

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.

a black T-Shirt on a brown table

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.

Fringe cut in the bottom of a t-shirt

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.

Finished Bag made out of an old t-shirt

13 thoughts on “DIY Repurposed T-Shirt Bag Project”

  1. I love this idea! We have so many tees just laying around, I’m definitely going to pull some out for a few bags. These bags will be great for my thrift shop/yard sale days!

    • That’s a great idea to use these for yard sale shopping! I also let my kids use them as overnight bags when they go to sleepovers.

  2. What a great idea! I’m going to tuck this one away for using on the kids’ shirts they grow out of/ rip / stain but just can’t part with.

    • That’s a great idea! The project is easy enough for the kids to make them themselves. For younger kids, you would just need to do the cutting, but they could tie the fringe.

  3. I’m a runner too but haven’t entered any races yet. I’m starting this Spring. Now I know what to do with the tee shirts. 🙂 Great idea!

  4. This is such a cool idea. I always weed out or t-shirts and use them as rags, etc, but this would be a cool project the next time I have an extra t-shirt.

  5. I am SO making one of these! My whole family has tons of t-shirts, and I’ve made a couple of t-shirt quilts but they take such a long time. This looks pretty easy. Thanks for my next project!

  6. This is a wonderful project! I can see this bag being used for many things. I would fold a couple up and put them in my purse for grocery store trips.

  7. What a great idea…I have so many t-shirts that I do not wear. I really do not like how a t-shirt fits. I will be giving this a try. Pinned in my DIY Craft Board

  8. Corinne, you know I love this repurposed t-shirt bag. My family is now watching their t-shirts closely when they go into the wash (as they should!). I can’t wait to make a t-shirt bag of my own.

  9. I have a lot of t-shirts I never wear, but I don’t want to throw them away either. Creating a t-shirt bag is a perfect use for old shirts. Thanks for sharing a great idea!


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