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DIY a Simple Reusable Bag

You’ve all seen them — reusable market bags are everywhere. Every time I’m standing in line at a checkout counter, there they are: reusable bags emblazoned with the store’s logo.

This past weekend I met a woman that has a reusable bag in every color so her bag matches her outfit — hey, whatever works. Truth be told, to bring all my weekly groceries home in reusable bags, I’d need at least 10 bags. That could be $100 just on the cost of bags.

But if you’re up for DIY-ing, you can reuse old t-shirts to make your own bags for almost nothing.

No need to buy reusable bags to take to the stores and markets — just repurpose a few old t-shirts, and you’ll be shopping green in a flash. Here’s how you do it.

Super-Simple Market Bag


  • A sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • T-shirts still in good shape


  1. Turn your t-shirt inside-out and lay it on a flat surface.
  2. Cut off the sleeves, keeping the seams intact (for strength).
  3. Cut the neckline an inch or two wider, depending on its original size.
  4. Pin the bottom edges of the shirt together, then sew closed.
  5. Remove the pins, then flip out your t-shirt right-side in.

It’s no longer a t-shirt, it’s a one-of-a-kind reusable bag. Happy shopping!

by Eren

Reading Time:

< 1 minute





    • Eren

      Amazing…duct tape!

  1. Catherine

    How clever? And, it gives a purpose to the trashbag full of t-shirts my husband won’t part with in the attic 🙂

    • Eren

      EXACTLY how this little project came about. I usually stuff pillows with single socks and old work out t-shirts. But this was a good use for them.

    • Eren

      Absolutely Kara. One straight stitch is it.

  2. Dana @ MFCK

    I wonder how well an old t-shirt would hold up with groceries in it! Even paying a little extra for the canvas bags is well worth it in the long run.
    .-= Dana @ MFCK’s last blog: Ardie’s Garlic Chicken =-.

    • Eren

      I brought home a melon in mine today Dana! But I put the berries in their own t-shirt bag because otherwise they would get smooshed by the melon. But they hold up surprisingly well. But I agree, if Im buying my week’s worth of groceries, I use my regular reusable bags, but these work great in a pinch. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Sara

    This project looks so cute! And I have just the perfect person & occassion to make it for 🙂 Thanks!

  4. Diana

    I love this! I’ve seen the idea before (Martha Stewart Website, slightly different but same general idea). I’m turning my son’s favorite t-shirts into bags for him (little ones!) after he can no longer them on. He’s having a hard time parting with them and I thought this would be a good idea for him to keep them and still have them usable.

    I really should make some more for shopping as we’ve got probably 20 re-usable bags and still run out occasionally. (We have a tendency to not put them back in the car or store things in them for long periods.)

    • Stacey

      Ooo, a swim bag. Great idea! And one for the library. And to take piano books to son’s lessons. And to store and hang costumes. And…

  5. nicole aka gidget

    Awesome! I love repurposing t-shirts!

  6. Kika

    Love the pillowcase bag idea. Might try that this summer if I find some neat cases at the thrift shop.

  7. Katie

    Here in France we have no choice but reusable bags. The plastic, store-provided bags were elmininated about 5 years ago. The bags, though, are cheap and sturdy. I paid about 1 dollar per bag and still have my original 4 bags. They have good handles and hold 2 – 3 ‘grocery bags’ (the paper kind) full of groceries each. When I visit the US I bring a few back to leave with family… ;-))
    The are definitely not cute and not fashion accessories…. LOL
    .-= Katie’s last blog: Tangy Coleslaw (Cabbage Salad); Menu of the week =-.

  8. Janine

    Most of my bags were only $1 but I love this project idea – I would definitely turn some band tees into market bags. This would be a good project to work on my sewing machine skills, although it could easily be done by hand as well.

  9. Megan

    I’ve somehow amassed quite the reusable bag collection but I’m always needing smaller bags for other (non-market) purposes – like the library or snacks traveling to play dates, etc. So fun and SO EASY! Thanks, Eren.

  10. Katie

    Great idea, Eren! I just gave a massive amount of old t-shirts to Goodwill…but I’m sure it won’t be long before they accumulate once more – they seem to multiply like bunnies! I look forward to making this soon!

  11. Tsh

    I’m with Katie; I just gave a bunch of t-shirts to Goodwill, but oh well. I’ll get more soon! I’m in need of produce bags, so this sounds perfect for that. Thanks for the great-yet-simple idea.

  12. Mayarose

    I just made some market bags. I improvised a box shape and added lining and straps. Too easy.

  13. J. (Handbags)

    I have lots of shirts here that I no longer used, well it is now time to convert them as marketbags. Thanks for your DIY tutorial!

  14. REBACalderon24

    People in every country receive the personal loans from various banks, just because it is simple.

  15. Lanvin

    First of all, if you’ve never used a quilting ruler and mat before, it’s SO simple – everything lines up


      Mat, la prochiane fois enregsitre et podcaste-le sur BxlBlog. Polémique assurée 😉

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