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Easy Sew T-shirt Tote Bag

Written by: | Published: May 23, 2017 | Updated: September 05, 2023

You can make a tote bag in literal minutes with just your sewing machine and a t-shirt. This Easy Sew T-shirt Tote bag is one of our favorite quick crafts. You can use any t-shirt, decorate, color and design the back however you’d like. And, it only takes about 10 minutes to make (minus the decorating). Create big bags from big t-shirts or make small bags from small t-shirts.

Make a Custom Summer Tote Bag
Make a Custom Summer Tote Bag

Easy Sew T-shirt Tote Bag

To make your own tote bags using tshirts, you can use old, recycled t-shirts or buy shirts brand new. The shirts can be any kind of material, they don’t have to be strictly cotton. If you don’t have a sewing machine, that’s ok too. Just a straight stitch with needle and thread will do.


  • T-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread.

Sewing a t-shirt tote bag

  1. Sew the bag as needed. Cut the straps. Sew the bottom closed. You can either sew on the outside or fold inside out and stitch the bottom. I chose to fold inside out and stitch 3 lines for a reinforced bottom. My kids seem to think they can haul bowling ball weight in all bags.. so more reinforcement is always good.
  2. Optionally, add a pocket inside the bag that you can also use as the storage case for the bag (HANDY!). It’s best to sew this into the edge stitching for a clean look to your bag.
  3. Sew edges for a finished look or leave as is. I created a two layered finished edge. Fold outside, sew, then fold outside again and stitch in place. This creates kind of a trimmed edge on the outside of the bag.
  4. Finish off the bag with any extra embellishments you’d like. I created a bit of iron-on bling with my Cricut that I’ll share with you another day.



Make a tote-bag from a t-shirt designed by Jen Goode
Make a tote-bag from a t-shirt designed by Jen Goode


Cut the t-shirt and and stitch the bottom to create bag
Cut the t-shirt and and stitch the bottom to create bag


Add a little pocket inside and use as storage
Add a little pocket inside and use as storage

Read my tie-dye summer tote bag tutorial to find how to make this fun tie-dye t-shirt tote bag design.

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Jen is Passionate about Creativity. She is the owner and "doodle in charge" of JGoode Designs, a Denver based design studio. She is an illustrator, mixed media artist and creative lifestyle blogger. Jen has been a creative professional since 1998 but says she's been an artist since she was old enough to eat glue.

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