No-Sew DIY T-Shirt Tote Bag

With this easy do-it-yourself tote, you can skip the plastic bags next time you check-out at your local thrift store.

This simple bag takes just 30 minutes to make, cost less than $5 and only requires scissors and a T-shirt. Whoa, does it get any easier?

I made two bags because I’m going to give one to my neighbor as a fun surprise. Sometimes we go shopping together. I plan on using the other bag as a reusable shopping bag next time I go thrifting at Volunteers of America.

I found this DIY craft to be really fun and easy. First, I went to my local thrift store and picked out two cute T-shirts. I saw so many unique T-shirts with floral and striped patterns that I loved that it was hard to choose which ones to use.

When I got home, I turned up my radio to my favorite station, cleared off a wide table, dug my scissors out of my drawer and got to work.


  • T-shirt from Volunteers of America thrift store (Customize your bag by choosing a fun pattern, bigger size shirt if you want more room in your bag, or thicker fabric if you want a sturdier bag)
  • Sharp scissors (Fabric scissors help cut straight lines)


  1. Cut off the tags and wash the t-shirt.
  2. Lay your t-shirt on a flat surface. Cut off the shirt sleeves. To save time, you can fold the shirt in half and cut both sleeves at once. I cut along the sleeve hem.
  3. Cut the neck out. I just eyeballed it and cut along the neckline. You can use a large bowl to help you get an even curve by turning the shirt inside out and tracing a curve. You want an oval shape.
  4. Turn the shirt inside out.
  5. Carefully cut 3/4- 1 inch pieces from the bottom of the shirt. Go up 2-3inches from the bottom of the shirt. Make sure to cut both the front and back layer. If you’re not sure how wide to cut, you can use the width of one or two of your fingers as a rough measurement.
  6. Tie the fringe. Knot the front and back piece together. I did a double knot. For a sturdier bag, that doesn’t have holes between knots, tie your knots together.
  7. Turn your bag inside out. Ta-da!

Fun Variations: You can skip turning the shirt inside out and make the bag with the knots showing on the outside. You can add decorative bows to the bag or handles. You can knot the handles for more support.

Now that I’ve made this trendy bag, I’m excited to do my part for the environment and start using this fashionable bag next time I’m shopping at Volunteers of America thrift stores.