Wednesday, February 2, 2011

T-Shirt Bags

This is a great idea for making bags out of t-shirts! It was a no-sew project, but I came up with a few variations of my own…

First you have to make the handles. These are the same no matter what bag you choose to make…

bag handles 01 First iron your t-shirt

bag handles 02

Cut off the sleeves being careful not to cut too low down the sides of the shirt.

bag handles 03

Cut the collar out. You can round the corners or square them off. (see below)

bag flat bottom 01

For a very simple, no-sew bag. Here’s what you do.

Cut a 3/4” strip from the middle of one of the sleeves you removed from the shirt. Cut off the seam to make one long string. Pull on both ends of the strip causing the edges to curl in.

bag drawstring 02Cut one small slit in the hem on the bottom of the shirt. Be careful not to cut through seam.

bag drawstring 03 

Attach a small safety pin to one end of the strip

bag drawstring 04

Feed the string all the way through the hem. Be sure to hold on to the loose end so that you don’t loose it inside the hem!

bag drawstring 05

Pull it tight and tie it off. The bag will have quite a large hole in the bottom. But it still works fine for carrying larger objects.

bag drawstring 06

For a very simple sewn bottom, follow these steps…

bag flat bottom 02 Turn shirt inside out and pin closed. Sew the bag shut.

bag flat bottom 03Remove pins and turn right side out. Simple!

You can also make a bag with a flat, squared bottom. This is a little more complicated but still very easy!

bag square bottom 01Turn shirt inside out, pin and sew bottom shut.

bag square bottom 03

bag square bottom 02 

 Remove pins and pull apart bottom seam. Line up the bottom seam with the side seam. Mark the triangle about 4” from tip with a pencil. Mark closer to tip with a smaller shirt. Sew on the pencil line.

bag square bottom 04

 Repeat on the other side.

bag square bottom 05

bag square bottom 06Then I got the idea of waterproofing the inside to use for sandy beach stuff or wet swimsuits, anything you would want in a plastic bag…

bag waterproof 01Prep your shirt like for any of the other bags. A smaller shirt works better for this one.

bag waterproof 02   

Turn shirt inside out and pin a heavier weight plastic bag on top of the shirt.

bag waterproof 03

Sew the entire bottom of the bag through all three layers. Remove pins and turn shirt right side out.

 bag waterproof 04

Line up the handles of the shirt with the plastic bag handles. Pin together and sew across shoulder seam.

bag waterproof 05

Line up the top of the bag with the inside of the handles.

bag waterproof 06

Pin up the edges and sew a 1/4” seam along the top, front and back.

bag waterproof 07

bag waterproof 08Your bag is now lined and ready to go!

I brought these bags with me on my bi-monthly shopping trip and put them to the test. They are quite stretchy but worked great! They would also work for books, craft projects or anything else that needs a bag…

This would also be a great project for those really cute shirts that have been outgrown.

Have fun and be creative!

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