Learn here how to make a no sew tote bag from a tank top with this free tote bag pattern!
This quick craft (and great tutorial) takes less than 15 minutes to make!
Don’t want to pull out your sewing machine? This is a great project for a simple bag that is practical and fun! You could even have the kids work with you on this one! In fact, my little girl wants to pick out her own tank top next time we are at Walmart so she can make her own tote bag.
I saw another simple shoulder bag tutorial online on how to make a simple bag out of a t-shirt.
I got thinking to myself – why bother with the cutting the sleeves step? Just get a tank top and make this great tote the perfect size!!
Material needed to make a no sew tote bag:
- Tank Top (I got mine from Walmart – check out the selection on Amazon as well!). You can also use a t-shirt made from cotton fabric. I don’t recommend any heavy stuff or heavy fabrics in order to keep your perfect tote bag light and airy.
- Scissors – although you can use a rotary cutter, I recommend scissors for this tote bag tutorial.
Seriously – That’s it!
I went into Walmart and found this adorable pink and black chevron tank top for just $3.88! I grabbed size XL so I could make the biggest tote possible. A snip here, and a tie there, 15 minutes later you get a tote bag!
First thing is to turn your tank top inside out (with the outer fabric piece on the inside) and lay the fabric flat with the long side on the right and left. Measure 2″ from the bottom corners and mark across the bottom of the shirt using straight lines.
Connect your dots until you get a line that is 2″ above the bottom of the bag – all the way across.
Before you begin cutting, if you want to sew on a pocket piece, whether on the exterior or add an interior pocket for safer storage, you can at this step of the tutorial! Otherwise you can move on to the next step.
Now you need to get your pair of scissors and start making cuts, that will create strips of cloth that you will tie. Start at very end and make your first cut up the seam until you reach the 2″ line that you drew.
Now make cuts every 3/4″ to 1″ along the bottom. Be sure to cut through both the front and back of the fabric as the strips you are creating will be paired up and tied together. You don’t need to cut the right sides or do anything to the side seam (yay, no raw edges!). All the work is done at the bottom of the shirt.
When you finish making the cuts all along the bottom, find your first pair of strips and tie it together twice, making a knot. Now do this with each pair of strips the way along the bottom.
When you finish tying, you will notice that there are still small holes that remain in between the knots. If you are nervous that smaller items or something you are carrying in your tote will fall through, then you will need to do one more row of knot tying.
You will find new pairs to tie together for this second row of knot tying. Take the top strip from one knot, and the bottom strip from the knot next to it – and tie those 2 together. Do this all the way across the bottom so now those holes are tied up.
Here is what the bottom looks like when it is completely tied.
Turn your tote back now right side out and you’ll see the cute knots at the bottom. That’s it – you are done! The top of the bag is ready to go since the handles were already in place.
Now you have a cute tote for the beach, the park, groceries, yard sale shopping, the farmer’s market – you name it!
No Sew Tote Bag = Adorable, reusable, easy, frugal, and fun!
Now, if you decide you have too many purses in your home, you can always use this idea to make some unique gift bags for friends or share this perfect tote with them.