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DIY Reusable Grocery Bags with an Old T-Shirt

Use these grocery bags to replace plastic bags at the store or use them as extra storage in your car, etc to keep items from rolling around in the trunk, etc. You could even use them as a regular tote / light purse option if you're feeling crazy. There's only a couple lines to be sewn and the rest is just clever cutting, so this project literally takes less than 5 minutes to make.
Total Time10 mins
Keyword: diy, eco-friendly, grocery tote, sewing, t-shirt, upcycled
Yield: 1 grocery tote per t-shirt
Author: Brittni
Cost: $0

Equipment

  • sewing machine
  • Scissors

Materials

  • old t-shirt
  • thread

Instructions

  • Turn t-shirt inside out and sew a zigzag stitch in a straight line across the bottom of the shirt opening, 1-2 inches up from the very bottom. Backstitch at the beginning and end for extra strength. Then, for extra strength, run over the zig zag stitch a second time.
  • To create more finished looking corners, add a zigzag stitch at a diagonal on each corner, as shown in photo. Then cut off any excess fabric.
  • Next, cut off the sleeves and the neck area as shown in the photo, for a one handle option. For a two handle option, see cutting technique below.
  • Next, sew a zigzag stitch across the top, where the collar was, to create the strap. Just like in step one, be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end and go across the stitching at least twice for extra strength.
  • Cut off excess fabric and turn the bag right side out.

Notes

What else can I make with old t-shirts?

There are honestly so many other things you can repurpose old tees for, but here are a few DIY ideas...
  • My 15 minute reusable produce bags are a great option for any kind of scrap fabric, t-shirts included. And you can toss them into your reusable grocery bag before heading to the store.
  • This DIY utensil wrap is another good one for taking reusable utensils on the go, so you can skip single use plastics, like straws and plastic silverware.
  • Last but not least, my fave project of all for reusing scrap fabric and old clothes: DIY unpaper towels. If you're thinking about making the switch from paper towels to reusables, this easy sewing project is the way to go. And I also included a no-sew option if you'd prefer to go that route.