Turn a Freebie T-Shirt Into a Reusable Bag

t shirt made into reusable bag

If you’re like me, you pick up random t-shirts. From events, charities, family… wherever. I often pair my freebie t-shirts with comfy sweats. But when the shirts threaten to take over my closet, I find other ways to use them. With the New Year, I’m committed to using more reusable bags. With just a couple snips of the scissors, and one straight line of stitching (or relatively straight, if you’re not great with a sewing machine), you can turn a t-shirt into a bag!

cut shirt to form bag

Start by laying your t-shirt out flat. If there are designs on the front and back, put the design that comes up the highest (usually the back) face-up. Cut off the sleeves, being sure to preserve the stitching. That means, when you’re cutting off the sleeve, cut on the sleeve part, so that the stitching stays attached to the shirt. This will make your finished handles stronger.

Cut the neck out of the shirt, making an overly-large U shape. You can cut one half, fold it over, and then cut the other half so that the two parts are symmetrical.

Turn the shirt inside-out. Determine how deep you want your bag, and cut off the excess (this shirt is a size M, and I cut off the bottom 5 inches). Sew the bottom closed using the stretch stitch on your sewing machine (leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance), or with a serger.

Turn right-side-out and you have a finished bag!

Linked up at: Today’s Creative Blog


  1. Very well and creative recycling idea!! I’ve a lot of freebie T-shirts and not being used since a long while and that’s why this idea will be effective for me and I would like to use those of my T-shirts for making freebie t-shirts. So thanks a lot 🙂

  2. Lovely fun idea, it was so fast! I think mine was made in 5 mins start to finish (and I’m very glad to see the back of my hudband’s tatty blue t-shirt- I removed the tatty bits and now it’s a fun bag!) Thanks

  3. I use your basic pattern for grocery bags for my local food bank, with a few alternations: To make this bag more user friendly – square and trim the corners – makes cans and boxes easier to bag and keeps the over all bag from being cumbersome; and, for larger sized shirts, fold the excess fabric at the shoulders and run some anchor stitches to make the bag easier to handle.

  4. ? love the project. Will be ? useing it in my after school program. Thanks for the ideal.

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