Thursday, March 15, 2012

How To: Produce Tote Bag From T Shirt

I saw this cute produce bag from It's a DIY tutorial, teaches you how to make a produce bag out of an old t-shirt.

Looks pretty easy so I decided to make one for our 1-2-3 Thursdays. Although this may be more difficult than our usual short crafts, it's still very easy to make, won't take you more than half a day. I wouldn't know how much time exactly I spent making this since I did it on and off, at home, while at the office, while at Starbucks waiting for SDEHBF. (Yes, I had the guts to finish this up at Starbucks. I had 2 hours to kill!).

So anyway, you can head on over to Ecouterre for the original tutorial or stay here and see how I did it. I have to warn you though, I was never good at sewing and if the pictures in Ecouterre weren't cute and the instructions weren't easy enough to follow, I wouldn't have done this. Sewing and I don't go together. It's been this way ever since I can remember; So please don't let me hear you laughing at how uneven my stitches are. Not even a smirk!

Tools Needed:
  • School Scissors
  • Pen
  • Red X-Acto Knife
  • ruler

Materials Needed:
  • Yellow cotton shirt
  • Needle and Thread


1. Lay the t-shirt flat

  • Yellow cotton shirt

2. Draw the shape of your tote bag. This shape would be the lines that will cut along later

  • Draw bag shape
  • Draw bag shape

3. Cut the shirt according the shape of your bag

  • cut bag shape

4. Sew all the 2 pieces of cloth together, Do not sew the bag opening (Shirt Opening)

  • backstitch

Sorry, I don't have a camera with macro, so you have to squint and stare to see my awful stitching

5. Draw dashes across the cloth starting at the 4inch line from the bag opening. Draw a dash 2 inches from the bag opening. This will serve as your handle

  • 2in & 4in mark
  • Don't use long dashes
  • Use small dashes

The 4 inch and 2 inch measurements would differ depending the size of your bag. Since mine was large, my handle was 2 inches from the opening and the lines started 6 inches from the opening. Make sure that your dashes are small. Depends on how large your bag is though. My dashes were so long (which meant that the cuts were long) that you risk your items falling out of the bag. An ideal measurement would probably be 1 inch dashes, and 1/2 inch space between the dashes. It's also good to note that you don't dash until the end/bottom of your bag. Leave at least a 4 inch allowance.

6. Cut along the dashes that you drew

  • Cut along dashes
  • Use sharp scissors

So my mistake in this bag was my dashes were too long and were too near the bottom of my bag

7. Stretch your bag

  • Stretch bag
  • Put in items

My bag will spew out the items inside when you try to move it around. Also, since my cloth is weak (thin) cotton, chances of ripping is big too. So remember. SMALL DASHES.

I'd probably try again once I find a few old shirts that I can turn into tote bags. I'm planning on selling those stuff. What do you think?

Optional: Add straps to your produce tote bag. (Will try to do this if I have the time)
1. Using the left over cloth, measure your desired strap length. Width should be about 4 inches + 1/4 inch seam allowance.
2. Cut along the the lines. Make sure to make 2 pieces of this.
3. Fold the cloth wrong side out. Stitch the open long side and one of the open short sides
4. Turn the sewn strip inside out to reveal the right side of the cloth.
5. Repeat step 3 and 4 for the second strap
6. Sew the straps on the bag

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