Yes, it’s Monday again. Blah blah. It’s dreary and overcast here in Missouri, but I am not going to let weird lighting stop me from bringing you this fun project. I know a lot of us have old t-shirts. Maybe you don’t want to toss them out or you don’t think they’re good enough to donate? Whatever the reason, I can now help you give those old t-shirts a use again! I originally found this idea a year or two ago here:
Like I said, there is some weird lighting going on in my place today, so I apologize in advance for the dull photos. Not even a brightening in Photoshop helped bring out the true, pretty green in this t-shirt bag. Now, let’s get to crafting.
What You’ll Need:
- An old t-shirt. Whatever size you have on hand
- safety pin
First, take your t-shirt and flatten it out. Take your scissors and cut off each sleeve. Make sure you cut on the inside of the shoulder seam so you cut that part off. See the photo for a better idea.
Once you have both sleeves off, you should have something that looks more or less like this. Don’t worry about making perfect cuts. As you can see, mine aren’t.
Now, take your scissors and cut out the collar area. This makes the deeper the “scooped out” part of your bag. For this shirt, I wanted to keep the design in there, so I cut mine to just above the design. See photo. Note that with use, the straps will stretch out a bit, so I always recommend to have them shorter than you want at first. You can always re-cut later if it’s necessary
Take one of the sleeves you just cut off and trim off the hem. Then cutting through both sides at once, cut off three more strips that are more or less an inch wide. It’s not an exact science, so don’t sweat it if yours is narrower or wider than that.
See this little hem part on all your strips (that are actually little t-shirt circles at this point)? Cut them out, which leaves you with three t shirt strips. Take one end in each hand and stretch them out. This will make them “curl up” on the cut sides and elongate. Stretch them out a few more times for good measure. This isn’t a bad stress relieving activity either!
Now, go back to your flattened out t-shirt. Starting at one side of the t, cut a little slit in the bottom half about every 3rd of the shirt. Make matching slits on the “top side” of the shirt too. I’m not sure how well I’m explaining that, so referring to the above photo might help.
Attach the safety pin to one end of one of your t-shirt strips and insert into one of the slits you cut in the hem on the very left side. Using the clothes pin to help you, shimmy it though the hem casing until you get to the next slit.
Tie the two ends of the t-shirt strip into a knot. You get a weird little puckered circle like in my photo. Now, do the same with the slits on the very right side of the shirt.
You’ll end up with something more or less like this. Attach your safety pin to the end of the last t-shirt strip and thread it through one of the remaining “hem holes”. When you get to the next hole, instead of popping the safety pin out, thread it though and keep going . Tie it off in a circle once you get all the remainder of the t-shirt hem threaded onto the t-shirt strip
Now you have three little alien mouth looking holes. Here is where you decide if you want the strip ends to hang down on the outside or not. If you don’t, weave them through the holes to the inside of the shirt. If not, leave them outside and hanging down. I tucked mine into the inside before the next step
Separate your strings into 2 groups of 3 and tie them into one big ol’ knot. I double knotted mine. Just make sure not to pull super super tight on these t-shirts strands because they will break. If you do break one, it’s no big deal. Just cut another from a left over sleeve and re-thread/re-tie. At this point, you can leave the strands long or trim them a little. If you’re feeling fancy, you could have let them dangle down through the bottom holes of the bag and thread beads onto them or something. I didn’t have any beads that size, nor do I think I could pull it off. Plus, it might be annoying for me to bring a bunch of “clickety clacky” beaded dangle bags to load my groceries from Sam’s Club in.
You’d be surprised how much one of these bags can hold. Try it out and let me know how it goes. Until next time, happy crafting!
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