Super Easy Summertime Tote Bag!

I just LOVE old t-shirt crafts because….

A)  We ALWAYS have a plethora of old/outgrown t-shirts available in this house of 4 men/boys.

B)  You can make some REALLY COOL stuff with them! :-)  Things I’ve made to date include t-shirt grocery bags and t-shirt headbands. Things I WANT to make include this amazing t-shirt QUILT!

But that’s for another day……TODAY it’s all about these great knit produce bags I spied at Delia Creates!

I was initially quite taken with this idea because I really despise those little plastic produce bags at the grocery store!  Lately I’ve just been putting my produce in my cart WITHOUT the bags because I can’t stand fighting with those stupid things…and I hate coming home with a bunch of plastic bags that I immediately throw away. You really can’t even save and reuse them like regular plastic grocery bags.

Sorry….sort of went off on a rant there. Back to my point….

I DO like the idea of using these for produce bags….but the more I thought about it…the more I realized these would ALSO be perfect summertime totes!  The open weave would be perfect for sandy beaches or the playground at the park. Sand and dirt would slip right through!  They would also be nice for toting your beach towel and sandals to and from the beach or pool. 

So let me show you just how EASY they are to make! 

t-shirt tote bag

#1  Cut a large dome shape out of the body of the t-shirt.

#2  Sew around 3 (rounded) sides (I sewed a small seam and then when back over and zig-zagged the edge.)

t-shirt tote bag

#3  Mark cuts with WASHABLE pen/pencil.

#4 Snip slits with scissors or with rotary cutter. (The rotary cutter was a super slick way to do this. I got my cutter and the small cutting mat for less than $20 at Walmart)

#5  Cut off top corners and an opening for the handle

t-shirt tote bag

#6  S  T  R  E  T  C  H the bag to open up the “vents” (and make it look ruffly and pretty! It will look even more ruffly after being washed and dried.)

#7  Start toting stuff!


t-shirt tote bagt-shirt tote bag 14t-shirt tote bag
These were a lot of fun to make! By the third one I had the steps down cold and feel like I could have made a dozen more.

What other uses can you think of?

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  1. says

    Oh. My. Gosh!! I am so making these!! We are going camping on Cape Cod, MA for a week and these will be absolutely perfect!! Thank you so much for posting this! I am loving this!!

  2. Ann says

    You could also stash them in a pocket, your purse, or the car for reusable shopping bag.

  3. says

    What a fun idea! These would be great to keep produce from the garden in the refrigerator. I make drawstring bags now but this sounds great. Thanks.

  4. says

    These are really awesome…not only are they practical but they are so stylish! I’m always looking for ways to recycle clothing…I have a 4-guy household as well and man-stuff abounds! I made a pillowcase for my son a few months ago out of one of his favorite t-shirts and now my younger boys want some as well. (in case you would like to see…here it is! )

    Have a great weekend!

  5. Lauren says

    Ooo, I bet I could make 2 out of DH’s old shirts by turning the pattern 90 degrees. Great idea! I can’t stand those plastic produce bags, either!

  6. Mary says

    Yuck! I saw a documentary once about how filthy shopping carts are and I can’t believe you put your produce in them without a bag, or in bags with holes like that where the produce could still touch the cart. You wouldn’t if you knew what was growing on them! Flesh eating bacteria among others!

    • Sherri says

      Do you think the harmful things in plastic are better? This is why you should ALWAYS wash all produce, whether you eat the “skin” or not. Bring your own reusable shopping bags and it solves both the plastics problem and the bacteria problem!

  7. Audra says

    How big were the slits? (Am I being to “A” personality-ish?) And, Mary, as long as you wash your produce it should be fine.

    • says

      Not at all! I should have included that. The slits were 1 1/2 inches, with 1 1/2 inches in between each one. :-)

  8. Heather says

    I love this idea! I don’t know how to sew, but I suppose it’s time to learn! My question is, what size t-shirts did you use? Is there a size that works particularly well for this project? I ask because I too have a house full of boys who wear out/don’t want/outgrow t-shirts constantly! They vary in size from a kids medium to adult XL! Any guidance on this one? Thanks!

    • says

      I would think you could use any size shirt… just adjust the cuts accordingly :). That way you’ll have some in all sizes :)

  9. Kim says

    An idea for those plastic produce bags that you hate so much: if you have a little one in diapers, stash a few in your diaper bag to seal up the particularly offensive dirty ones when disposing in an open garbage can in public!


  1. […] out, they can snag the old T-shirts from their brothers and then you can use this amazing idea from One Good Thing By Jillie. It’s a tote bag made from an old T-shirt! Can you stand it? Isn’t it […]