Collection bags are handy to have during harvest season. This project involves changing an old t-shirt into a collection bag that can be stuffed into a pocket until ready for use. These bags are great to have around when you happen to stumble upon an apple tree ripe and ready for the picking. They also come in handy for carrying beach towels, coloring books or sack lunches.
The stretchy material of t-shirts limit the weight that it can hold. These collection bags aren’t a good choice for toting your favorite cement blocks around the neighborhood. Try a wheelbarrow for that.
Making a T Shirt Bag
An old t-shirt, scissors and a sewing machine are all that is needed to produce a lovely little bag within an hour. Cut off the sleeves and collar of a t-shirt and sew up the bottom and the bag is finished. We used an old t-shirt my son outgrew that year.
For a smaller bag, use a toddler sized t-shirt. Larger bags are good for collecting items like apples, pears or rosemary branches. Smaller bags are good for collecting strawberries, plums or calendula flowers.
This project requires a parent’s permission and supervision in order to complete it safely. T Shirt bags are so simple to make we’ve found even adults can sew them up successfully, with a youthful supervisor, that is.
Equipment you’ll need to sew a T Shirt Bag:
- sewing scissors
- small plate
- sewing machine
- ruler or straight edge
- sewing pins
- permanent marker pen or chalk
Supplies for T Shirt Bag:
- 1 old t-shirt
Procedure for Project:
Get permission to cut up an old t-shirt and collect supplies and equipment mentioned above. We used a permanent marker pen instead of chalk for this project.
- Lay the t-shirt flat.
- Cut off the sleeves along the seam that connects the sleeves with the body of the shirt. Check both sides of the t-shirt to be certain that the cut is even. The sleeves are no longer needed.
- Straighten the t-shirt and place the small plate over the collar of the shirt as shown in the photo to the right.
- Use the straight pins to keep both the front and back of the t-shirt together.
- Using the permanent marker or the chalk, draw a curved line on the t-shirt along the bottom of the edge of the plate. Be sure that ink from the pen gets onto the t-shirt, not the plate.
- Remove the plate.
- Place a ruler on the t-shirt extending from the end of the curved line to the shoulder of the t-shirt.
- Draw a line on the t-shirt using the ruler as a guide.
- Repeat this procedure on the other shoulder of the t-shirt.
- Remove the ruler and cut both sides of the t-shirt using the curved line as a guide. Your t-shirt will now look like a low cut tank top.
- Turn the t-shirt inside out.
- Straighten the t-shirt again and pin the bottom of the t-shirt hem together.
- Sew the bottom of the t-shirt shut. Take out the pins as you go and be careful to keep your stitches tight so the bottom doesn’t rip out when the bag is full. Turn the bag back right side out and you’re ready to use it. If you have a sewing machine, you may chose to hem the arm holes and neck hole where the straps are now for extra strength.
Other Options for Your Collection Bag:
Take a look at other pieces of clothing that could be turned into bags before throwing them away. A toddler sized t-shirt would produce a small bag good for carrying snacks or travel toys. Worn out tank tops would be even easier to sew into a bag – just skip to step 12 and off you go! More advanced sewers could stitch up the button line of a blouse to make a clever looking bag. Remember that t-shirt material does not need to have its raw edges hemmed because it doesn’t unravel like other fabrics. Your creativity is your only limitation. Have fun and happy collecting!