This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Did you know you can upcycle your old t-shirts instead of throwing them away when they no longer fit?
I have teamed up with Allmade to celebrate Earth Day by showing you an easy and eco-friendly way to upcycle your old t-shirts instead of just tossing them out.
In this article I will show you 5 simple steps to turn any old t-shirt into a reusable tote that is perfect for trips to the pool or beach this summer!
5 Steps to Turn a T-shirt into a Tote Bag
If you’re like me, your kids outgrow their t-shirts faster than you can keep up with. Go grab that pile of old t-shirts and let's turn them into tote bags.
Supplies Needed for Making a T-shirt Tote Bag
- Old T-shirts – Save the landfills and let's repurpose those old, favorite tees
- Scissors or rotary cutter and self healing cutting mat
- Cutting Ruler
- Sewing machine (similar model) and thread (A needle and thread is fine too)
T-shirt to Tote Bag Tutorial
Step 1: Choose Old T-Shirts
Any old t-shirt or sweatshirt works great for this project. Choose an old favorite that you no longer wear or find a shirt your kids have outgrown. The shirt is not really that important. The key is by upcycling old shirts, we get to do our part and keep them from ending up in a landfill.
Step 2: Cut Off the Sleeves, Collar and Bottom of Shirt
Grab a pair of scissors or fabric rotary cutter and remove the sleeves, collar and bottom few inches of the shirt. You can make the bag taller or shorter depending how much of the bottom you trim off the shirt.
Step 3: Add a Screen Printed Design
If you want to add a new design to your tote bag, I suggest you screen print your design now because you can still easily slide the shirt on your screen printing press at this point (before you sew it).
If you'd like to print an Earth Day design on your tote bag or make a special t-shirt to celebrate the occasion, download these 3 free designs compliments of my partner Allmade:
Step 4: Flip the Shirt Inside-Out and Sew the Bottom Closed
With the shirt inside out, sew a straight line along the bottom cut of your t-shirt. If you don't have a sewing machine, you could hand stitch this line.
Step 5: Flip the Shirt Right-Side-Out, pack it full of goodies and head to the pool or beach!
I am super excited to partner with such an amazing company on this project. The fashion industry is responsible for over 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions and Allmade is on a mission to do their part to change this.
They are committed to producing eco-friendly apparel that reduces environmental impact and provides healthy jobs to workers across the world. Their vision is to disrupt the apparel industry with more sustainable options you can be proud to wear.
Learn more about Allmade at allmade.com/impact.
Join Me Live on Earth Day in Fort Worth, TX
Come do this project with me in person on Earth Day 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas. Bring an old t-shirt and join me on Friday, April 22, 2022 at my Print Makers event. You'll have the chance to upcylce your t-shirt into a tote bag AND you'll receive a free Allmade t-shirt for participating. This 3 hour event is full of instruction and hands-on learning. Purchase your ticket here: Print Makers with Pigskins & Pigtails.
Choosing Eco-Friendly Blanks Year-Round
You don’t have to wait for Earth Day to make eco-friendly choices for your family and business.
I hope you love this project as much as I did. If you have other upcycle projects you love, tell me about them in the comments.