Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Craft Project: Upcycle or Repurpose T-Shirt into Reusable Grocery or Shopping Bag

This is a quick and easy craft that upcycles or repurposes T-shirts that we may not be able to wear anymore for various reasons (holes, stains, etc). But these shirts may have become favorites due to their logo or design and we just do not want to get rid of them or use them for cleaning rags!

You can now turn those tees into reusable shopping and grocery bags! With this project, you can keep your special T-shirts and help our environment by using less plastic bags in your shopping trips.

I did this with a wonderful shirt I got in Alaska many years ago and I have great memories from that trip that refresh me now when I use my T-shirt bag while shopping. I found that these types of bags are best for carrying lighter weight things. And of course, the bags are washable!

Cotton T-shirt (heavyweight works best)
Straight pins
Sewing machine
Medium-size bowl or round plate
Marking pen, any type (water erasable, if you have one)

1. Turn T-shirt inside out and pin bottom of the T-shirt together along the hem. Using a sewing machine, sew bottom of T-shirt closed. A stretch stitch works best.

2. Turn shirt right side out and lay flat on table, making sure all seams are lined up.

3. To create an opening for your bag: Place a medium-size bowl or round plate about half-way over the neck hole opening. Using the marking pen, trace along the edge of the bowl or plate. (If you are very good at drawing things freehand, you can draw this yourself.)

Cut along the line you have drawn, making sure to cut through the front and back of the shirt. This will make an opening for your bag that will be large enough since the neck hole itself is not big enough.

4. For the handles: Line up the seams on the front and back side of one sleeve and cut the sleeve off just past the seams, making sure to go through both sides of the shirt. Repeat on the other sleeve. (Note: if you have a sleeveless tee, like a jersey shirt, you can skip this step.)

Voila!! Now you have a new shopping and grocery bag that will make you feel good in lots of ways!

This is a fun project to do with kids, too, teaching them about protecting our environment and how to be crafty at the same time. Just be sure to supervise properly.

Submitted by: Debra of Sleepy Cat Designs - - Debra is an animal-loving member of the Crafting for Animals Guild on ArtFire and has many years of sewing and crafting experience which she now uses to make all sorts of items for cats and their people. Feel free to contact Debra if you have any questions about her project idea or studio.

1 comment:

El at Tantalizing Stitches said...

Great project idea. I'm helping my parents with their recycling business so I am definitely going to mention this project on our benriya blog.