Recycled T-shirt bags are an environmentally-friendly craft

Planning the 2018 Bee & Butterfly Festival, we decided that it would be a good idea to have bags for people to carry around their crafts and other goodies. We could purchase bags, or we could decorate bags. Then naturalist Ashley Hansen brought up the idea of making bags out of old T-shirts.

We’re grateful so many people brought in old T-shirts for us and for the hours that our dedicated volunteers spent prepping the T-shirts for the more than 900 people that attended this year’s festival. The bags were a hit. Kids got to select what T-shirts they wanted to make their bags out of, and then they filled them with their other crafts and their monarch tag certificate!

Photo of completed t-shirt bag

If you missed the festival, or if you want to make another bag, the instructions are actually quite simple.

You’ll need:
A T-shirt
Fabric scissors

Begin by cutting off the sleeves and the neck of the T-shirt.

Photo of cut t-shirt

Then cut the bottom into 4-inch slits, making sure to have an even number of slits on each side and to cut up the side of the T-shirt to make the end slits. You can cut both layers of the T-shirt at a time to ensure an even number of tassels.

Fold the T-shirt in half the other direction so that the arm holes match up, and match up the tassels at the bottom of the shirt.

Photo of side view of cut t-shirt

Tie the front and back tassel together and tie again to knot. Continue with each pair of tassels.

Photo of knotted tassels on T-shirt bag

And that is your bag!

If you don’t like the tasseled look, you can flip the T-shirt inside out to tie and then flip it right-side out again so the tassels are on the inside. You can also overlap knots so that there are not the small holes in between the knots.

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