Aya Kaya’s Online Upcycling Tutorial For Turning T-Shirts Into Bags

"upcycled shirt bag"Before grabbing another polluting plastic bag, learn how to easily make a cloth bag out of items you already have lying around.

Sustainable Israeli designer Aya Tager will be giving upcycling workshops in Tel Aviv in a couple weeks, but for those who can’t make it she is giving an online workshop right here on Green Prophet!  Aya (aka Aya Kaya) teaches us how to turn old t-shirts and tank tops into cloth bags that can be used in multiple ways.  (For those of you about to gift Christmas or Hannukah presents, this bag may be a great eco-friendly alternative to disposable wrapping paper.)

No sewing experience or fancy equipment necessary!  For this easy 4-step project you will need: an old t-shirt or tank top, scissors, needle and thread, and old socks.

"cloth bag tutorial"Step 1:  Fold the shirt so that the sleeves are one on top of the other (you can use the side seams as guides).  Then cut out the sleeves and excess fabric at the top of the shirt, so that it will resemble handles.

"upcycled cloth bag"Step 2:  Stitch the bottom to close the bag.  You can use a different colored thread to make the bag more decorative (in the photo above Aya has used red thread on white cloth).

The basic bag is now done and you can add details.

"cloth bag decoration"Step 3:  One way to decorate the bag is to continue the stitching from the bottom of the shirt around the edges of the entire bag.

"reused sock bag"You could also use old colorful socks to thicken the fabric around the handles.  This will help use up other old fabrics and make the handles of the bag sturdier.

"sock bag tutorial"The socks can also be turned into a decorative flower or bow tie.

"upcycled cloth shopping bag"Step 4: Your bag is done!  It can now be used as a lightweight and reusable shopping bag the next time you go food shopping, as a lunch bag to take to work or school, or as an alternative form of gift wrap during the holiday season!

:: Aya-Kaya Sustainable Design

Read more fun and easy upcycling tutorials:
Think Again: Make a Last Minute Gift Bow with Reused Paper
Think Again: Turn Old T-Shirts Into Drawstring Bags
Think Again: Transform Junk Mail Into Beautiful Envelopes
Think Again: What to Do With That Old Pair of Jeans
Think Again: How to Fuse Your Plastic Bags So You Can Make… Fill in the Blank
Think Again: Strike Up a Matchbox Inspired Recycled Notebook

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3 thoughts on “Aya Kaya’s Online Upcycling Tutorial For Turning T-Shirts Into Bags”

  1. Aya Tager says:

    Thanks for the comments!
    Decorating is possible in endless ways and a little effort is all it takes 🙂
    I have another tip regarding the sleeves:
    On another T-Shirt after cutting it out, I turned the sleeves into pockets and attached to the bag(stitched or glued)

    Happy and GREEN 2012

  2. Sarti says:

    So creative, do clever 🙂 And what is most important, easy to make and looks effective and cute. I’d decorate it a bit more and proudly carry to the grocery store. Thanks for nice tutorial. Happy Holidays 🙂

  3. Watch out for armpit stains.

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