Hands On Crafts for Kids
Book Order
Helping Kids Philosophy Teachers

Recycle T-Shirt Backpack/Tote
With Jill Felix


When you see the “helping hand” symbol on a project, it means you may need adult supervision to do the project. Always cover your work surface with a mat or some type of protective covering like wax paper or plastic. Always use care when using tools or a heat source. Be careful and safe!

Sewing Machine
T-Shirt to recycle
1 yard Fusible Tricot Interfacing
4 Yards Cording
Rotary Cutter, Mat and Ruler
Large Eyelet Kit by Dritz



1.  Lay your T-Shirt flat on your rotary
     cutting mat. Cut through both layers of the
     shirt. Place the ruler underneath the neckline of
     the shirt, and cut across the top of the shirt.
     Using scissors, cut down next to the sleeves and
     cut off the sleeves.

2.  Using your rotary cutter and ruler, cut 2” off the
     bottom, measuring up from the bottom hem.
     This hem is going to become the casing for the
     top of your bag.

3.  On the remaining shirt, cut to an 18” square if possible
    (depending on the size of your shirt) or the largest square
           possible if you have a smaller shirt.


4.  Iron fusible interfacing to the back of the two 18” squares.
     The interfacing stretches one way, and the shirt stretches one
     way. Place the interfacing so that the stretch is the opposite
     way from the stretch in the shirt.

5.  Cut the 2” hem strips into two pieces 17” (0r 1”
     shorter than the width of your square). Trim the
     strips about 1/4” from the hem edge as shown.

6.  Place the hem pieces right sides together with
     the t-shirt squares. The hem pieces need to
     be on the top edge. Pin away from the raw
     edge. Because we are going to sew the
     pieces, you need to be especially careful to
     remove the pins before you get to them. The
     hem strip should start and end 1/2” from the
     ends. This way it won’t be caught in the side

7.  Sew the hem strips to the top of each of the t-shirt

8.  Sew the sides and bottom. Be careful not to catch
     the hem strips in the side seams.

9.  Turn right side out, and insert the “Eyelets”
     following the package instructions in the two lower

10.Cut the cord in half. Insert the end of one cord
     into one of the eyelets, and tie a knot. Thread one
     of the ends into the front hem/casing and around
     through the other side into the back hem/casing.
     Bring it back down into the same hole as the
     first end and knot off. If you have trouble getting
     the ends through the hole, wrap tape around the
     end. Repeat, starting at the eyelet on the other side.
     Try on your back bag, and adjust the cord as needed,
     cutting off the excess.

Fill your bag, and you are ready to go!


Sponsored by Husqvarna Viking



Home | Television | Projects | Book Order | Helping Kids | Teachers | Philosophy
E-mail questions about Hands On Crafts for Kids to info@craftsforkids.com
© Copyright 2009 Katherine Stull, Inc.