Updated on September 24th, 2016
Our family is always in need of a tote bag (or 12), especially my kids. They have all sorts of treasures that they need to haul everywhere we go, whether it’s jackets and treats to the movies, sand toys to the park, piano books to our lessons, or Pokemon to our playdates, kids have a lot of “stuff”, and they need to be able to carry it on their own!
We created some fun, Easy DIY T-Shirt Tote Bags out of some of our old t-shirts and they’ve worked wonders for my kids. They are so simple to make and take about 30 minutes.
All you need is an old t-shirt and a good pair of scissors.
Lay your shirt flat on a hard surface (i.e. kitchen table)
Cut off the sleeves. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try and get both sides semi-uniform so your tote bag handles are the same size.
Cut out the neckline. this will be the opening of your tote bag. You may want to cut an extra inch around the neckline to make sure that the tote bag opening is large enough. Remember, you can always go back and cut more later if it isn’t.
Also cut off the hem of the shirt. This is optional, but makes cutting the next step much easier for little fingers without the extra material at the bottom.
Cut a fringe along the bottom of the t-shirt, about 1″ wide and 1.5-2″ long so that the knots are easy to tie. In this picture, we cut the side edges a little longer so that the bag would curve up on the sides. Make sure that you are cutting through both sides of the t-shirt uniformly so that your fringe will match when you are tying knots.
Once you have cut all your fringe, turn the shirt inside out. We put our knots on the inside so that you don’t see the fringe outside the bag. It can look cute with the fringe on the outside as well if you want to try and mix it up. Take two pieces of fringe and tie them in a double knot.
Make sure the knot is good and tight or it will unravel. Don’t worry about matching exact fringe front to back. Even crossing over knots to tie more knots only strengthens the bottom of your tote bag.
Once you’ve tied knots across the entire bottom, turn your tote bag right side out again.
If you have any rogue fringe sticking out, just stick it back into one of the small holes next to a knot. Looks fantastic!
You are ready to fill your tote bag and head out!
This great easy DIY T-Shirt Tote Bag takes about 30 minutes to make and is one of the most kid-friendly crafts that we’ve done in a while. I’d love to see a picture of how yours turns out!