No Sew Tote from a T Shirt

No Sew Tote from a T Shirt- This no sew tote bag is a fun craft to make with teens and tweens and a perfect way to use up favorite T-Shirts.

I love to do crafts. The one thing I will admit, though, I never did really learn how to sew properly. So, although I love looking at all the fun projects I could sew on Pinterest, I knew that it was out of the question along with crocheting or knitting as those are also two skills I lack. I like to spend time with my daughter and stepdaughter and one of the things I like to do with them each if crafts and they both like to help with projects on my blog. So, one afternoon, I decided that if I tied the ends of something enough, it just might stay. I say a bag on another site that gave me inspiration but it had fringe and none of us really wanted that, so we decided to make one small adjustment and that was to get rid of the fringe on the bottom of the bag.

DIY Totebag

This bag works well for taking to the farmer’s markets and surprisingly, it can hold quite a few things because we tied it so intensely to get rid of the ends inside the bag. This is a perfect project to do with teens and pre-teens and it turns an old shirt that no longer fits into something usable again. I do recommend using a more vintage style shirt material (the kind that is stretchier and softer) because it is easier to work with and ties more securely. Plus, it stretches out better when it’s used as a bag.

DIY Tote Bag from a T Shirt

No Sew Tote from a T Shirt

Materials you need to make a No Sew Tote:

An old T-Shirt


(yes, it really is that simple!)


1. Start by cutting off the sleeves right at the seam. You want to get it as close to the seam as possible or just behind it because this will be the handles of your bag.

tote bag instructions

2. Next, lay the shirt flat and cut off the neckline the way it lays. You want to make sure to cut off the extra as shown in the picture below because this is the opening for your tote and you don’t want it too small.

tote bag how to

3. At the bottom of the T-shirt, cut 1/2 inch strips about 5 inches up on your T. If your shirt is way smaller, then adjust accordingly as you don’t want to go too high up or your bag will not have any room. (The cuts on my stepdaughter’s bag in this image are a bit short. We adjusted them before she got to the next step).

totebag instructions

4. Turn your bag inside out.  Start tying the strips together. First, you want to tie the top and bottom strip together, then you will go along 3-4 more times tying random strips together. Make sure to pull the knots tight so your bag is secure.

tote bag diy ideas

5. You will know it is done when you try to pry it apart and it doesn’t come apart. It will look like this inside:

inside tote bag

and this on the outside:

tote bag DIY

That’s it! If you want, you can hot glue on some embellishments, but we chose to keep ours plain.

tote bag from a t shirt

More Fun DIY Crafts to Make with Teens:

DIY Natural Lotion Melts

50+ Mason Jar Crafts

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Whipped Sugar Scrub

Vanilla Coconut Mint Lip Scrub

6 Replies to “No Sew Tote from a T Shirt”

  1. With the stores going ‘green’ and having to bring our own bags, this is an awesome way to make use of some old tees and make grocery bags. Will be trying this.
    Erlene A recently posted..Thrift Store Upcycle – DIY Aloha Seashell Pineapple SignMy Profile

  2. Super Cute! I love the elephant print 🙂
    Angela recently posted..Gluten Free Pasta PrimaveraMy Profile

    1. I admit that I jumped for joy when I saw this print! I was happy I could still use it even though the shirt size was way to small.

  3. This is totally cool., looks very easy to make. Thanks for sharing.
    Steve Patterson recently posted..What Dads Can’t DoMy Profile

  4. […] –No Sew Tote from a T-shirt […]

  5. really cool idea. I’ve never seen this before but love the idea of tying the bottoms together without having to do any sewing- great way to reuse old shirts.
    Matt recently posted..Pickleball Shirts | Coolest List of Funny T-Shirts | Updated Every WeekMy Profile

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