• Team Apricus

How to make a Tote Bag

Updated: Jan 29


Tote bags are a brilliant, quick way to upcycle an old t-shirt and the perfect way to reduce plastic waste when shopping. This is a simple way to reuse an old t-shirt, reducing fabric waste that ends up in landfill. T-shirts will result in a durable bag due to the strong nature of the fabric and will result in the perfect sized bag.


Follow these simple steps for a super durable reusable bag.


Supplies needed:

  • Old T-shirt

  • Scissors

  • Needle and thread

Optional supplies:

  • Tailor’s chalk

  • Pins


Stitches used:

  • Back stitch


Use this infographic to help with the process:


  1. Turn the t-shirt inside out and then fold it in half lengthways so that the sleeves touch. We recommend pinning it in place so the fabric doesn’t move when cut. You can also draw this out first to get an even shape.

  2. Cut a 6 cm strap down from the top of the sleeve, a little shorter than you want the straps to be as the fabric will stretch a little. Then unfold the t-shirt.

  3. Fold the edges of the strap into the middle and sew together using blind stitch.

  4. Fold the t-shirt so that the seams on the side meet together in the middle

  5. Sew the bottom of the t-shirt together using back stitch to seal the hole. To ensure the line is straight, pin the fabric in place and use the chalk to draw a line to use as a guide.

  6. Flip the t-shirt right side out and the tote bag is now complete.



If you want a no sew option, cut the bottom of the t-shirt into vertical strips. Then tie the strips together with double knots and either keep them on the inside or have them on the outside as tassels.


To embellish your tote-bag, why not add some embroidery or use some fabric paints to create a unique design.



We look forward to seeing what you create!

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