Make a green impact and run your errands at the same time: BYO-bag. Here in LA, most stores have a ban on plastic bags, so if you want a paper bag, you’re going to have to pay (literally). Even if your city doesn’t have restrictions like this in place, toting your own tote to the grocery store is a simple way to make an eco-friendly shift.

Ashley Poskin at Hello, Natural, is showing us how repurpose our old t-shirts into this simple and adorable grocery tote bag. The best part of this DIY tote bag? You don’t even have to pick up a needle and thread. Here’s how to make it happen:


– An old t-shirt
– Scissors

Tips on choosing a t-shirt: If you want a deep bag, choose a longer T. Keep an eye on the quality; shirts that have worn thin might not be substantial enough to hold produce and the like. If you like longer handles, choose a T with large/wide armholes in a big size. You can also achieve this with a smaller size shirt by extending the cuts far beyond the lines where the sleeves attach to the shirt. 


Lay the t-shirt out on a flat work surface and try to flatten as many wrinkles as possible before you start to cut anything. 


Cut the arms off the t-shirt by cutting through both the front and back sides. 


Cut around the neck opening on the t-shirt so the opening is now even on both sides. Trim the hem of the shirt if it is scalloped so that it is one straight, even line.


Cut slits into the bottom of the t-shirt. Cut them so they are approximately 1″ wide and 3″ to 4″ long. I used the length of my scissor blades as a guide. Be sure to cut slits into the edges along the sides as well, and separate the front slit from the back. 


Turn the t-shirt inside out and begin to tie the strips together. Tie one strip from the front of the t-shirt to the corresponding strip directly on the back of the t-shirt. Continue down the line until each strip has been knotted. (If you happen to be cutting up an old rocker T, you might want the fringe on the bottom to show, if so, don’t worry about turning the shirt inside out!)


The previous step “closed” off the bottom of the bag, but if you were to turn it inside out again you would find tiny holes at the bottom of the bag between each tied strip. We’re going to close off these holes by tying one tied strip to the tied strip right next to it. Pull the knot tight to secure.


Turn the bag right side out so the fringed pieces are hidden away inside the bottom of the bag. The bottom should now look like this photo:

To read more about making your own tote bag – plus tons of other simple DIYs – visit Hello Natural by clicking through here!

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