How to Make Your Own Reusable Shopping Bag

Reusable Shopping Bag Options

There are many reusable shopping bag options, ranging for all different abilities and time limits. I don’t know anyone who just loves having plastic bags floating around their house or seeing them stuck in the trees or blowing down the road. No one says they want to have an extra room in their house for all their plastic bags. They’re a nuisance, bad for us, bad for the environment and bad for animals. Read about the many benefits of reusable bags here.

How to Make Your Own Reusable Shopping Bags

Luckily, there are solutions. We could buy a reusable shopping bag, but better yet, we could make some, with nothing more than the materials and scissors. Today, I’ll share with you three ways to make your own reusable shopping bag.

How to Make Your Own Reusable Shopping Bags

No-Sew T-Shirt Bag

With this t-shirt bag, you can use an old t-shirt and you don’t have to spend even one dollar on buying a reusable bag from the store.

I had this old shirt in my closet. It was too small, but I still wanted to keep it around to represent. This is seriously the easiest tutorial ever and literally anyone with a shirt can do it.

All you need to make this reusable shopping bag is an old t-shirt, the thicker the better, and a pair of scissors.

Materials needed:

T-shirt (The thicker the shirt, the sturdier)

Step 1: Cut off the sleeves

If you’d like to fold the t-shirt in half you can cut both sleeves at once so that they are identical. Or, if your material is too thick to cut them both at once, you can cut one, then fold it in half and use the cut side as a guide for the next sleeve.

During this step you can also cut part of the bottom of your shirt to make your bag shorter.

Step 2: Cut the neckline area

You can use a bowl or a plate depending on how big your shirt is and just trace a line around the half the bowl.

Step 1: Cut off the sleeves

Step 3: Measure

Determine how deep you want your bag to be. Turn the shirt inside and out then draw a line. Keep in mind, the bag will stretch a bit once filled. This was a larger shirt, but it was pretty short already, so I left mine as it was.

Step 4: Cut the Fringe

Now grab your scissors and cut slits ¾ to 1 inch apart from each other. Cut from the bottom of the shirt up to the line marking the bottom of your bag. You’ll want to cut both the front and back layers together because they need to match up for the next step. I cut my strips up to about 2 inches. You’ll need them long enough to tie twice.

Step 4: Cut the Fringe

Step 5: Tie

Go along the bottom and tie the top fringe with the corresponding bottom of fringe. If you leave it like this, you’ll see there is a hole in between each of the pairs.

Step 5: Tie

This next step will close those holes.

What I do next is grab one strand from the middle set (the one with the arrow pointing left) and tie it in a knot with one of the strands on the left set. Then I take the other strand from the middle set (the one with the arrow pointing right) and tie it in a knot with one of the strands on the right set.

Step 5: Tie

Then I take the remaining strand on the right set and tie it to the next set of strands, and so on and so forth until all the strands are tied. Now turn your t-shirt right side out again and voila, you’re done!

I tested my no-sew reusable bag and it help 10 cans of food easily. Months later, it's still going strong!

I wanted to test it out, so I added 10 cans of food in there and held up great.

T-Shirt Bag

This t-shirt bag is just as easy as the first, the only difference is it requires a serger machine. A serger is required, instead of a regular sewing machine because it keeps the fabric stretchy. The thread from a sewing machine won’t give you that ability and the bag will break easily.

For this t-shirt bag, you’ll follow steps one, two and three from the previous tutorial.

All you need to make this reusable shopping bag is an old t-shirt, the thicker the better, and a serger.

Sew along the cut sleeves and again along the bottom to hold the bag together.

I don’t have it pictured here, but this bag holds up extremely well, too. I tested it with a gallon of milk and it had no problem holding up.

Plarn Crochet Bag

Although, I spent many years trying to learn to crochet, I had no luck until my grandmother made me this plarn crochet bag. After I saw it, I knew I needed to learn so I could make many creations with plarn (plastic yarn).

My inspiration to learn how to make plarn (plastic yarn) and crochet is this bag my grandmother gave me.

This bag means so much to me and I’ll always cherish it. My family always instilled a love for handmade items, but this shares my love for upcycling as well.


Lots of Plastic Bags
Crochet Hook

You can see how to make plarn here.

Next you just have to find a crocheted bag tutorial that you like and go from there! And believe me, this reusable shopping bag is exceptionally study.

I’d love to hear your feedback! Which of these bags are your favorite!

Don’t forget to pin these reusable shopping bag tutorials for later!

How to Make Your Own Reusable Shopping Bags




12 thoughts on “How to Make Your Own Reusable Shopping Bag

  1. What a wonderful idea to use an old T-shirt for a bag. Sure should be strong and it definitely frugal, Thanks for sharing your great idea, Pinning & tweeting. Happy Spring!

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