How to Make a Super Cute Bag Out of a Tank Top

Slow Fashion Style
by Slow Fashion Style
4 Materials
10 Minutes

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make a bag out of a tank top. These signature tote bags are super easy to make and there’s no machine needed. Let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Chalk
  • Shirt
Marking the sleeves

1. Mark the sleeves

The first thing you want to do is mark where you’re going to cut the sleeves. You can either freestyle or draw it with chalk. My shirt doesn’t really have sleeves since it’s a short-sleeve with a v-neck.

Cutting folded shirt

2. Fold in half and cut where you marked

Before you cut the areas you marked, fold your shirt in half and make sure it’s nice and flat before cutting evenly. 

Cutting folded shirt

I cut off the frilly sleeves and then cut from the fold at an angle starting around where the sleeve ends. This is mimicking the shape of a bag. Save the leftover fabric in a scrap box for future projects!

Cleaning up the edges

Clean up any raw edges.

Marking depth of bag

3. Mark how deep you want the bag to be

Turn your shirt inside out and place a ruler in the center of the top. Decide how deep you want the bag to be. I’m going to take off four inches, but you can go as deep or as short as you want.

I recommend deciding what you’re going to carry in the bag, so you can determine how much you want to cut off. Make a small mark at the measurement you’ve decided to cut.

Drawing a line

Then use the ruler to draw a line across. I recommend doing dashes and then going back over the line with your pencil so it’s easier to ensure the line is straight.

Marking 1-inch strips

4. Mark 1-inch strips 

Draw strips that are 1-inch in width from the straight line you marked in the previous step. This will become the fringe that you will be knotting.

Cutting strips

5. Cut the strips

Cut the strips along the line. Make sure you’re cutting in the front and the back and stopping where the edge line is. Take your time doing this. 

Cutting strips

At the beginning and the end, you’ll want to cut the shirt in half, along the seam. 

Tying the strips into knots

6. Tie the strips into knots

Take the top and bottom layers of the strip and tie them into a very simple knot.

The knot should sit on the edge line. Also, make sure your tension isn’t too tight or too loose. If it’s too tight, it can pull, especially if your fabric is elastic like mine. 

Tying the strips into knots

Repeat until all strips are knotted. 

Tying the strips into knots

7. Tie the strips together 

Right now, you only have one knot, and you want to make sure there aren’t any holes. The knots need to be very tight, so your possessions don't slip out!

So, to secure, starting from the left of the shirt. Take the leftmost strip and tie it to the right strip beside it.

Repeat this, going from left to right, and knot up those small openings. This is generally the rule, but if there are any holes still showing, take whichever strips you have and tie them together.

Completed everyday black tote bag from a tank top

How to make a bag out of a tank top

Here’s this finished medium size tote bag!

Whether you make a neutral tote bag or an everyday tote bag, this is an easy and ecological way to reuse an old-t-shirt, so you get a new, sustainable bag without having to go out and buy one!

Let me know what you think about this tote down below.

Suggested materials:
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Chalk
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