Hey Friends! It's been awhile since I've posted a new blog, I know! But I have a fun one for you today! This is a little different than my usual posts, but I wanted to switch things up. I've been really into crafting and DIY stuff lately since I got my creativity back. I was really creative as a kid and even as a teenager, then as adulthood and stress got more profound, I lost that part of me. However, it found its way back and it's stronger than ever!
My husband tagged me in a video by Skillshare last night on how to make a no sew tshirt bag. And it looked easy! I couldn't wait to try it. The amount of tshirts have is unreal. It's a problem. I donate them and sell them, but it never makes a dent since I always buy more since I love tshirts! So this is a perfect way to take a tshirt that you still love but for whatever reason do not wear and turn it into something useful.
Bags are my life. I'm like a bag lady. I carry anywhere between 2-4 bags to work every day for no apparent reason, bringing with me stuff I really don't need, but might need. And I absolutely love reusable bags, I have about 20 of them. So, this DIY project was right up my alley. If you can use scissors and tie knots, you'll be able to do this easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Take an old tshirt or a tshirt you otherwise don't wear anymore. I chose to use this one by Alba Paris because A) I adore the design and B) I'm not the biggest fan of the shirts material, so I never wear it. I'm ultra picky about my shirts. They need to be incredibly soft, not super tight, and they need to have lots of stretch. My motto on clothes is: comfort first, design second. That's just how I roll. This one is kind of a basic tshirt material and there's not a whole lot of stretch, so despite getting a medium which is a size up from my usual size, my girls felt suffocated if you know what I mean, and I couldn't wear it.
Lay your shirt flat out on a flat surface. Take your scissors and cut off the sleeves. If you're like me, you're gonna want to use something like a disposable bowl or plate and a marker to mark exactly where you're cutting so your cut is even. I chose a black shirt (of course I did), so I couldn't mark it I did my best. I suggest disable so if you get marker on it, you can throw it away and not ruin any of your dishes. If your scissors are sharp enough, it might be easier to fold the shirt in half, mark it, and cut through both sleeves at once to ensure they're even. If not, cut one side, then fold that side over to the other side, and use it as a guide to cut the second sleeve. Whatever works for you.
You also want to cut the collar of the shirt. Again, I suggest a bowl and marker to ensure an even cut. Be mindful that however you cut this is gonna determine the width of your bag's opening.
At this point, if you like the fringe look, you can keep your shirt right side out. However, if you prefer the fringe to be in the inside (my preference), you'll want to turn the shirt inside out.
Cut strips about an inch apart. Depending on how deep you want your bag is how long you'll want your strips to be. Just make sure that you have enough to tie a few knots with each strip. Your bag is gonna stretch as you load it up with stuff, so keep that in mind too. It might be helpful again, once you determine how long you want your strips to be, to use a ruler or something with a straight edge and a marker to mark along the width of the shirt so you don't cut one strip too far up and so on and so forth, or you can eyeball it. I have OCD so I can't help myself but to make it even lol.
Now, take the front and back strips and tie them in knots two times. Do this for all the strips. Then, tie the neighboring knots into a knot. These steps are what's gonna keep the bottom of your bag closed and secure, so tie them good and tight! It helps to have a weight on your shirt (I chose one of my books) to help keep it in place place when you're cutting and tying the knots.
Once your all done, turn your bag right side out, and voila! Your bag is ready to go! Tshirt bag complete!
I did a little test run to see how durable it was, and I put my three hardcover Disney books (about 215 pages each) in my bag. *UNRELATED SIDE NOTE: These books are by Serena Valentino and they're amazing. It's the Disney stories we all love, but from the view point of the villains. It also gives some backstory on each villain. There's only these 3 and although Ursula is apparently the last one in this villains series, I really hope she does more.*
They held fine! I'm gonna wash mine today to see how well it holds up in the wash. Plus, mine is now covered in cat hair (thank you Tabby), so I want to wash it anyway. I have about 3 other shirts I think I'm gonna do this with, and I'm really excited!
Although I love my shirt bag, it's not perfect. So, here's a few tips I learned from making my first one that might be helpful:
1) Make sure your scissors are really sharp, or better yet, get fabric scissors. Despite my best efforts to cut as nearly as possible, because my scissors were dull, my cuts are jagged and it's driving me bananas.
2) If you can do it using any shirt other than black, I recommend that. With the darkness of the inside of the bag, and the shadows, it's really hard to tell where your knots are using a black bag. Plus, you can't use a black marker to make your lines since you can't see them.
3) If possible, try to do this somewhere without your cats (or dogs, or kids) around lol. Mine kept laying on my shirt and messing up my cuts. Lucky for them, they're cute.
4) I suggest tying your knots as much as possible. I had a few small holes when I was done the first time, so I went back and knotted everywhere that I could to make it as tight as possible.
5) Try to cut the collar part deeper than mine. The width was good, but I'm gonna go back when I get fabric scissors and cut a little bit below where I did. It's harder to get things in and out if it's as high as mine is. You don't want to go too low of course! It's always good to err on the side of caution and cut less, and go back and cut more after the fact.
If you guys make these, please post a picture and tag me on Instagram or Facebook or wherever! I would love to see the cute shirts you turn into bags!