By contributing writer Jackie
I love all of the pretty wrapping papers there are available at Christmas, but I don’t love throwing it all in the trash when the presents have been unwrapped.
That is why I came up with this simple drawstring gift bag made from an upcycled T-shirt. Here’s how you can make one, too. Just remember that the larger the T-shirt, the larger the bag. and vice versa.
T-Shirt Gift Bag
- T-Shirt for Bag
- T-Shirt for Applique (optional)
- Rotary Cutter & Mat
- Ribbon (1/4 inch wide)
- Safety Pin
- Heat n Bond
- Printout of a Christmas Tree or shape of your choosing
1. Cut the T-shirt to the height you desire.
I cut my T-shirt (adult small) just below the design using a rotary cutter, but scissors would work as well.
2. Turn the T-shirt wrong side out and sew the two cut edges together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
I used a triple stretch stitch to ensure the seam wouldn’t bust if the bag was holding something heavy.
3. Fold the bag so that each corner comes to a point like in the picture below.
4. Sew 1 1/2 inches from the point from top to bottom.
5. Cut a small hole in the center of one side of the bag through both layers of the T-shirt in the original hem. (The cut I made is just above the safety pin in the picture below.)
6. Insert a safety pin into one end of some ribbon (1/4 inch wide is what I recommend.).
7. Thread the ribbon through the entire hem and pull it so that the bag is not cinched together.
Both ends of the ribbon should be pulled through the hole you cut in step 5. Leave a about 4 extra inches of ribbon and tie a knot at the end.
The picture below will hopefully give you a better understanding of how the original hem of the T-shirt has now become the casing for the ribbon in steps 5-7.
If you would like to embellish your gift bag with an appliqué then follow the steps below.
You will need a heavy duty, iron-on, no-sew adhesive like Heat n Bond Ultra as well as T-shirt fabric in a color of your choosing.
You will also need a printout of a Christmas tree or other shape of your choice like a star, bell, etc. You can do a simple internet image search to find many possibilities.
8. Cut a piece of the T-shirt fabric and iron a piece of adhesive to it making sure that the paper side is facing up and the other side is facing the T-shirt.
9. Trace around the Christmas tree and cut it out.
10. Peel off the paper backing and place the tree with the adhesive side down.
11. Iron the tree to the bag. (For steps 8 and 11 follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding ironing times.)
Below is a picture of the bag I made with nothing in it and the drawstring not cinched.
This is a picture of the bag with the drawstring cinched. (The picture at the top of this post shows the same bag full of three pieces of clothing.)
This really is a simple project and is a great way to use outgrown or unwanted T-shirts to create reusable gift bags that are actually a gift, too.