How to Create a Washable Shopping Bag from an Old T-Shirt

Shopping is one major part of our lives that we can't do without. One common requirement of shopping is what we need to carry our purchases in. The most common medium we have been accustomed to lately has been single use plastic bags. Due to the negative enviromental impact associated with these single use plastics, authorities around the world especially in towns and cities have started or are already enforcing laws and regulations aimed at minimizing their use. Apart from those thin plastics blocking waterways. These plastics also ends up in rivers, lakes, oceans and other water bodies where they end up affecting negatively marine lives. These plastics have a long lasting negative effect on areas they end up in, since they take thousands of years to breakdown.

This plastic challenge can significantly be reduced if we can start creating our own recycled shopping bags. The advantage of creating bags by ourselves is, we can customize bags to our liking. Among the things we can factor in are; durability-strong enough to bear our loads, a washable bag, size - a large enough bag you can stuff all your groceries and more importantly a design that you will like, probably foldable; so that you can keep reusing that bag over and over; hundred of times if you can to actully have a positive impact on the climate, reusing will also help to prevent a problem of having a lot of reusable bags stuffed somewhere in your house. By reusing your created bag you will also decluter your space around the house hence save time and effort of having to figure out where to take a heap of reusable bags you might have accumalated.

If you faithfully reuse what you have created you will definately feel good about yourself, this is due to the positive impact you will be having on the environment and also reducing what gets to landfills; truth be told shopping bags make a very large percentage of solid waste in many dumpsites. Something interesting also about creating your own bag is you will save trees, how? If you use paper bags made from trees, trees need to be fell to create those bags, but by creating your own bag these important resources get spared.

A Shopping Bag Ready for Use

One fun way of handling this shopping bag challenge is creating shopping bags from old clothes. Let's look at a simple eco-friendly way of creating a reusable shopping bag from an old t-shirt.

If made by hand, it should take an hour or there about! Let's get to it! Why use an old t-shirt? An old t-shirt will simplify the whole exercise; you will only need to make a very small change to have a shopping bag. Yep! A recycled shopping bag that can easily be washed when it becomes dirty.

Let's look at steps to follow to create this simple washable shopping bag from an old t-shirt

Tools You Need

Materials to Use


An Old T-shirt Folded old t-shirt Sewn old t-shirt Chalk marked old t-shirt
  1. Have your Old t-shirt. - Make sure it is properly washed and well dried
  2. Turn it inside out. - This will help in determining where to thread
  3. Turn the t-shirt to face down - while the t-shirt is inside out, turn it to face down.
  4. Fold it as shown. - Fold the t-shirt to have sleeves face you.
  5. Place safety pins on it to hold those folds. - Utilise your safety pins to hold those folds in place.
  6. Sew these three places. - Sew at the shown three places, that is twice at the top and once below.
  7. Turn the t-shirt to face you.
  8. Mark with chalk as shown.
  9. Cut off the collar - along the chalk mark using your scissors
  10. Turn the t-shirt inside out. - Or should we call it a bag, once you turn inside out the t-shirt that has passed through those steps above, it becomes a bag.
Finished bag turned inside out There you have your bag!
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