ReUse It! : T-shirt Bags

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Also don't miss the other posts in this series: ReUse It!

I'm sure that I'm not the only one who has heard the grim statistics about plastic bags. What can we do to cut back on the 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags consumed world wide each year? Keep your own reusable t-shirt bag with you every time you shop! When you think that it's only one plastic bag stop and think. If you use an average of 6 bags per week it adds up. That is 288 bags per year!

As promised, Here is the information to make your own Reusable T-shirt Bag. If you are looking for an easy, weekend project, then we've got you covered.

Cost: Nothing if you have an old t-shirt and a spool of thread. I bought some t-shirts at a garage sale for a quarter each so that is my project cost.

Time: 10 minutes first time, less then 5 minutes after the first one

Skill Level: Beginner

Materials needed:

  • 1 t-shirt any size
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • 9" pie pan or 9" circle
  • fabric pencil or chalk


1. Mark- Lay your t-shirt on a flat surface. Take your pie pan or template and lay it over your collar so that it is a half circle on the shirt. Mark the shirt for the bag opening.

2. Cut- Cut out the neckline according to your markings. Then cut out the sleeves just inside the seam line.

3. Pin- Turn your shirt inside out and pin the bottom opening closed.

4. Sew- Sew the bottom edge that where you pinned.

5. Done- Turn your shirt right side out and enjoy your new bag!

Overall Project Grade: A (it doesn't get any easier than this!)

Project Notes: As you can see from the photo some shirts work better then others. I found that the fitted style t-shirts work better then the unfitted. I also found that the smalls work the best. The white one in the photo is a large but I found that unfitted mediums seem to work well also.

This is a super fast and fun project. I love to use novelty t-shirts and college shirts. By using those types of shirts I can make them patch their new owner's personality so that they will be used and not tucked away in the back of a closet!


Stephanie said...

Great project!

RecycleCindy said...

What a quick and simple way to create a recycled, reusable tote bag. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

Kelli said...

That's awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Additional idea. You can stitch on one of those plastic net bags that onions, and some fruits come in to give your bag a little more strength and less stretch,put on inside or outside, whichever look you prefer.Look at how they are stitched closed & just copy it.

Mrs. (not) the Jet Set said...

That's a great idea! I've never tried to sew on the net bags but it might not be to hard to do. If you try it I'd love to see photos.

thinkingthings said...

You can also use the part of the t-shirt you cut out as wipes for eye make up, etc. The old cotton is so soft, and washable--very green.

Mrs. (not) the Jet Set said...

I was wondering what to do with the sleeves. That's a good idea. I personally don't wear make-up (shocking I'm sure), but I'm sure that there are other things I could do with them. Maybe they could replace cotton balls?

Sarah said...

Great idea! If you do have plastic bags you could also cut them into strips and knit them into a bag.

Mittie said...

You can also use the sleeves as hairbands - they look like bandannas but conform to the head more like a wrap.

Raffaella said...

Thank's for sharing! Amazing and very useful!

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

So easy! I really need to sit down and make six of these! Thanks for linking up!

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