ScrapHappy April

This month’s ScrapHappy make is a “no-sew” shopping bag that involved a lot of sewing. I mentioned this creation in my post about craftivism the other day, but it’s finished now and I’m quite pleased with it.

The bag itself is simply an ancient t-shirt that has been cut and knotted, but because my intention was to use it for our craftivism display, I decided to do a little felt applique. I raided my box of felt scraps and cut out the letters I wanted by eye (some from really rather small felt bits), dug out some old embroidery thread and set to. I did the applique before tying the base of the bag so that holding the fabric was easier and allowing me to keep it flat, and here is the finished bag:

If you fancy making a t-shirt bag, they take about 10 minutes to create if you don’t get carried away with the decorations. All you need is an old t-shirt – remember it’s going to have to hold stuff, so if it’s full of holes or nearly worn through it’s probably better to turn it into cleaning cloths.

First lay it out on a flat surface and cut off the sleeves:

Next, cut the neck either into a V (as shown below), or into a U-shape (as I did with the appliqued) one:

Now, make sure it’s completely flat and lay a tape measure across the t-shirt about 10 cm from the bottom (adjust to make the tassels and bag the desired lengths, remembering that your bag will stretch if you use it to carry heavy things):

Cut through both layers of fabric up to the tape measure (taking care not to cut the tape!) to make tassels each about 2cm wide:

Finally, tie the pairs of tassels (one from the front and the corresponding one from the back) together with a firm double knot:

And that’s it – a t-shirt tote bag:

Ideal for yarn storage!

I must credit Joanne Harold for showing me how to make these bags – thanks Jo!

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) Scrap Happy posts by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) Scrap Happy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month… do check them out.


Leave a comment


  1. That is a simply splendid idea – and as an alternative one could simply doodle all over the tee before cutting the fringe 🙂 When I give up wearing my aged tees I might just give it a shot!


  2. Clever bag, and one that would be easy to improvise if you had an urgent need for a bag and an old t-shirt that had seen better days 🙂


  3. I really like this. Also your letters are great, and the stitches are fabulous. I see a t-shirt bag in my future.


  4. A Perfect container for next knitting project Clever!


  5. Laurie Graves

     /  April 15, 2017

    What a great idea!


  6. Super project for both a scrappy post and craft activism. Now kicking myself for sending two old ts to the charity shop.


    • I have been saving old t-shirts with the intention of making a memory quilt. I want to use the ones with designs on mainly, but I’ve been keeping plain ones too to use if I need some blank squares. In fact the pink ones don’t really go with all the others, so making them into bags seemed like an ideal use… and I think they were a bit too tatty for anyone else to want to wear so otherwise they would have been turned into dusters!


  7. Inspiring – as ever!


  1. ScrapHappy May | The Snail of Happiness

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