How to Make a Tote Bag From a T-shirt (no sew tote bag)

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I’ve got a great tutorial for a no sew tote bag made from a T-shirt to share today. It’s a great upcycling craft for all ages!

Learn how to make these No Sew Tote Bags. All you need is an old T-shirt and a pair of scissors! (Upcycling / recycling at its best!)

Save this bag from a t-shirt project for later by pinning here ==>>

Do you have a bunch of unloved or outgrown knit t-shirts lying around?  If so, I have a fun and earth-friendly upcycling project to share with you today.  These no-sew tote bags are perfect to use at the farmer’s market or even as fun little tote bags for kids!  (We used ours all summer long for sleepovers and to carry around stuffed animals and toys.)

They are so easy to make- a perfect rainy day craft to keep an elementary-aged (and up) busy!

How to make a no sew tote bag.

Materials needed to make a no-sew bag from a t-shirt:

  1. Knit shirt
  2. Scissors
  3. Pencil or chalk

Seriously, that is all that’s needed!

no sew tote bag

The perfect little craft to keep the kids busy during summer break or a rainy day.

Learn how to make a No Sew Tote Bag. All you need is an old T-shirt and a pair of scissors! (Upcycling / recycling at its best!)

How to Make a No Sew Tote Bag:

Materials needed to make the bag:

  1. Knit shirt
  2. Scissors
  3. Pencil or chalk


Step 1:  Lay your t-shirt on a flat surface and smooth out all the wrinkles.

Determine the best spots to cut around the neckline and sleeves.  Measure down how deep you want your t-shirt tote bag to be. Measure 3 more inches and mark this spot.

Step 2: Cut the bottom of the t-shirt off at the marked spot.t-shirt tote bag


Step 3: Cut around the neckline and sleeves.  (You want to leave about 3 inches at the shoulder seam if possible- this becomes the strap of the tote and you don’t want it too flimsy.)how to make a bag from a t-shirt


Step 4:  Keep the bottom of the t-shirt lined up and cut the bottom of the shirt into 3/4 to 1 inch wide by 2 inches tall, “fringe.”  Be sure to cut the front and back at the same time, so your ties will be even.make a bag from a t-shirt

Cut the very first and last fringe piece at the side seam to create 2 pieces of fringe.


Step 5: Flip the t-shirt wrong side out and start tying the front and back fringe pieces together.how to make a no sew tote bag


Once all the fringe strips are tied together, you will notice the bag has small holes where you tied the fringe together.how to make a no sew tote bag


To close the small holes, tie together the fringe strips on each side of the hole.  Keep doing this until every strip is double tied.  (If you don’t think you will be carrying anything so small as to fall through the holes, you could skip this step.)


Step 6: Flip the bag right side out, and you are done!

I have even washed our bags and they hold up great!no sew tote bag


 Save this project by pinning here ==>>

More No-Sew Craft Projects you might enjoy:

Make a Skirt with no Sewing!

No-Sew Pillows from a Placemat

easy fabric flowersNo-Sew Fabric Flowers

So many more no-sew fabric crafts  ==>>  No-Sew Fabric Projects.


I know you’ll find something fun to make!


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  1. What a great idea! Thank you for sharing this fun tutorial.

  2. So good, pls can u post the videos

  3. We will be using this for my daughters Earth Day upcycle project. Thanks for the idea.

  4. Jacqui, Turtle Rescue Uk, Durham says:

    Absolutely brilliant !!!!!!!!
    There are not the words!! Love it !!!! Love them !!!!
    We have a little charity shop and despite using recycled plastic bags we still felt guilty about using carriers yet felt uncomfortable not putting customers purchases in a free bag.
    Problem solved, we’ll be making lots and lots of these with the donated clothes so they will not cost us anything and we will be able to promote plastic awareness with pride !!!!
    Reducing plastic in our oceans and killing our sealife including sea turtles!! ? Yey !!! Thank you so much you’re a genius !!!!!!
    Turtle Rescue Uk, Durham

  5. What a fabulous idea – and it’s so simple. Amazing photos too, thank you for the inspiration

  6. Ashley Seymour says:

    This is so cool! I can’t wait to try this with my daughter.

  7. This is so adorable! Could this still work if you use a tank-top instead of a T-shirt?

    1. I would think so. If you try it, be sure to report back on your results!

  8. Nina Lewis says:

    I'm dropping by from the Too Much Time on My Hands link party. This is such a wonderful idea! I'm going to have to go to the thrift store to get some large knit shirts to make a bunch of these with my grandchildren.

    I have a link party that I am trying to grow. I invite you to share this idea (and a couple of other ones) at my Grandma Ideas Sharing Time link party at http://grandmaideas.com. My readers would love this idea as much as I do!

    My link party goes from Wednesday through Friday night at midnight Mountain Daylight Time. I hope that you will be able to make it.

    All the best,