Want to keep the summer memories alive, but your fav souvenir T-shirt is past its “best before” date? With just a few basic sewing or crochet skills, you can “upcycle” that tee into a cool new purse or handbag, grocery bag, big soft tote… the possibilities are endless…

Repurposed T-Shirt Market Bags

art threads t-shirt market bags
Great for beginners, Deborah Schlegel’s market tote (shown above) is an eco-friendly alternative to nasty plastic grocery bags. The tote has a boxy bottom and sturdy straps long enough to go over your shoulder for easily carrying.

Deborah uses selected cool tees from the Goodwill store to sew her market totes. Adult size makes a big roomy tote, but you can just as easily downsize the bag by using a child’s size shirt to make your own. [tutorial]

craftster recycled tshirt toteT-Shirt Hobo Tote Bag

Inspired by YakPak, this is a nice curvy tote bag with a softly gathered bottom and a neat edging at the top that curves to become the purse straps.

Sew a small pocket inside for important incidentals (you could make the interior pocket the right size to fit your phone, for example, so no need to go fishing around in the bottom of the bag when you get an unexpected text!). Smart sewing tip: use the hem of the T-shirt for the straps for the bag! [tutorial]

rectangle tshirt bag with braided handlesUpcycled T-Shirt Bag with Braided Handles

Who would have thought a recycled T-shirt handbag could be so elegant?

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This simple rectangular bag from Leanne Garrity on the Chichidee label is distinguished by smart t-shirt/fabric choice that gives an art-piece look, and by its braided handles, also made of t-shirt fabric. [tutorial]

p.s. If you want one of these bags quite desperately but aren’t in the mood to sew your own, you can pick up a Chichidee tee bag for £22.00 at Folksy.

myrecycledbags crochet toteCrochet a Recycled Tee-Shirt Bag

Cut your old shirt in a continuous strip to make soft “yarn” for this clever crochet project. Cindy used two tees to make this sample, with extra for contrasting stripes and a decorative flower. Crocheting with t-shirt material makes the bag soft and durable – and it’s easy to clean. Just toss it into the washing machine! [pattern]

Your turn!

Hey, if you decide to go for any of these great upcycling projects, please leave a comment below to inspire us all with your crafty goodness! Or maybe you’ve got a T-shirt bag design of your own to share? I’d love to see your ideas!

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