Turn an old t-shirt into a reusable shopping, grocery or toy bag in no time with this easy & quick no sew tote bag tutorial.
No Sew Tote Bag tutorial
The idea of making a no sew tote bag tutorial came to me after I realized that lately I turned into a mule! Yes, you read that right! I became my daughter’s personal mule (insert lots of sighs here). It seems that everywhere we go about half her toys MUST come with us too. They need to see the world too and I absolutely love contributing to their cultural education and personal development. Plus I really, truly enjoy sweating like a horse while running errands, with one kid and a couple of grocery bags in my arms and a backpack full of toys, said no mom ever!.
We’ve discussed reducing the number and we came down to four but that’s still a lot to carry when you have other stuff more important to look after. So I proposed a tote bag to my daughter, roomy enough to fit her beloved toys but small enough so she can carry it herself and to my surprise she agreed immediately. Score! I quietly shouted in my mouth. Consider it done!
Easier said than done. About a month later, the bag is still not done as I couldn’t find time to go shopping for fabric so I can sew up a nice, sturdy tote for her. BUT…thankfully, the idea of recycling a t-shirt came up this week when I cleaned up our closets so here it is. Simple, quick (about 10 minutes), easy, no fuss project I loved so much that I’m considering making one for myself. And you know what’s best? Kids can make this bag too!!
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No Sew Tote Bag tutorial
- Old or outgrown knit t-shirt or blouse (I used an old pajama blouse); the thicker the fabric, the sturdier the bag.
- scissors (I used pinking sheers; optional)
- fabric marker
- Lay out your t-shirt and establish the best spots to cut around the neckline and sleeves. I only cut 1 inch around the sleeve and went down the neckline up to the little bow I had on the blouse as I wanted to keep that on (too cute to discard!).
- Measure down how deep your tote will be. Measure 3 more inches and mark.
- Cut the bottom of the t-shirt off at the marked spot. Mine didn’t require any more cutting at the bottom, it was just the perfect length.
- Cut around the neckline and sleeves but leave the shoulder seam wide enough as this becomes the strap of the tote and you don’t want it too thin.
- Cut the bottom of the shirt into 1 inch wide by 2 inches tall strips. Cut the front and back at the same time, so your ties will be even.
- Cut the first and last fringe pieces at the side seam to create 2 pieces of fringe.
- Flip the t-shirt wrong side out and start tying the front and back fringe strips together.
- Once all the fringe strips are tied together, you will notice the bag has small holes where you tied the fringe together. To close the small holes, tie together the fringe strips on each side of the hole, until every strip is double tied. This will also give the bag a sturdier bottom.
- Turn the bag right side out and start wearing!