Lately it seems like my daughter has been outgrowing her clothes so stinking’ fast! And they’re cute clothes. I usually give them away but some just hold nice sentimental value – or they’re just so cute I don’t want to let them go. So I’m here today to show you how to upcycle your child’s – or you own – favorite T-shirt into a fun tote bag that’s perfect for the beach, a day of shopping, or a summer daytrip. No sewing is required and you get to keep that favorite T-shirt!
I love that you don’t need to buy anything for this project. I grabbed those old T-shirts that my daughter had outgrown, along with one of my own that I loved but it just didn’t fit right anymore, scissors and a ruler. Easy peasy! Instead of throwing these cute T’s away, give them a new life as a fun tote bag.
Here are the steps for transforming your cute T-shirt into a tote bag:
First, gather your cute T-shirt(s), ruler and a good pair of scissors. The larger the T-shirt, the larger the bag, it’s that simple! I’ve used all 100% cotton T’s and they work great.
Cut the sleeves, neckline and bottom seam off your T. I ended up trimming the neckline along the back of the T so that it was even with the front too.
Next, using your ruler, cut 1″ wide strips anywhere from 5-10″ up along the bottom of your T. I wanted my octopus bag to be pretty deep so I cut my strips only 5″ high. The longer you cut the strips, the longer the fringe will be, and the less deep your bag will be.
Then, hold the top of each strip down (where they attach to the T) and pull each strip to the end until it stretches out. The strips will curl in and this is just what you want.
Finally, tie the strips into square knots. Take the top and bottom matching strips and tie them together until all the strips are tied.
Trim off any stay threads and now you have a fun beach – or anywhere – tote that you can stuff with flip flops, snacks and some good beach reading.
If you want to add a little something extra to your tote – or your T is just too plain for your liking – you can hot glue fabric flowers right onto the bag. I bought these flowers at Joann Fabrics and added them to one of my smaller totes.
This upcycle project makes for a great rainy day or birthday party activity. Lots of possibilities. And it’s a great way to hold onto that favorite T-shirt – especially for those little ones who outgrow their adorable clothes so quickly!