Make a Shopping Bag out of a T-Shirt.
Then Take it Once Step FURTHER.

My name is Karen. I have 4 reusable shopping bags in my trunk.  No wait.  That’s not right.  Let me count again.

O.K.  done.

My name is Karen.  I have 7,542,376 reusable shopping bags in my trunk.  And 4 hanging off my kitchen doorknob.

Dear stores.  Enough with the shopping bags. I do *NOT* under any circumstances need another reusable shopping bag that has the name of your store on it.  For one thing, I don’t even like your store half the time so why would I walk around advertising for it?  I can’t even find the cheesecloth  in your store.

And once when I was in your store looking reallllyyyy bad, like “OMG. I wonder when Karen became homeless, do you think we should give  her a dollar?” bad, I ran into half the people I went to highschool with.  Who all looked like they just came back from sailing with Ralph Lauren.  So.  Clearly, this is your fault and I do not have a fondness for your store because of it.

So, what’s a logical girl to do when she is overrun with shopping bags?

Make some more.

Of course the very distinct difference between my shopping bags and the ugly, advertising ones from the stores is the fact that MY shopping bags are cute.



I’m sure a lot of you have seen the posts around the Internet on how to make a reusable shopping bag out of a tee shirt.  The first time I saw it was way back in 2007 when Martha Stewart featured it.

Last week I decided I was going to get  rid of the majority of my old, ugly reusable bags and replace them with half decent looking bags that I could throw over my shoulder depending on my mood, outfit or how I thought it would look with whatever produce I was buying sticking jauntily out of the top.  Just kidding on the last one.  Just kidding about just kidding on the last one.

So I made a few different styles of bags, one of which was the tee shirt bag.  It turned out fine.  Just a plain gray tee shirt turned into a reuseable bag.  It’s the one on the right in the picture above.

Step By Step 2


THEN I took it one step further.

I scoured my drawers and the local thrift store for sweaters.   Sweaters.  Yup.  And a chicer bag your toilet paper and tomatoes never will see.

Incidentally … depending on what type of tee shirt or sweater material you’re using this project will take 5 minutes at the least and 10 minutes at the most.

The steps are the same as for the tee shirt bag with one difference.  If your sweater is the type that unravels you need to stitch around the areas you cut.

Sweater 2


1.  Grab yourself an old sweater that you don’t wear anymore.

Maybe it’s itchy. Or ugly.  Or too hot.

Cutting Sleeves


2. Cut the sleeves off.  That’s right.  Cut em off.

When you cut your sleeves make sure you DON’T cut through the seam

where the sleeve is attached to the body of the sweater.  Just just along the outside of that seam on the sleeve side.

This will help your soon to be shopping bag from unravelling like Dina Lohan on the Dr. Phil show.

Sleeves Cut Off


3.  Zig zag or serge around the sleeve opening.  This is not necessary with tee shirts, or with sweaters that don’t unravel.

Then, turn the sweater/tee shirt inside out and sew the bottom together.

Done.  Yes.  You are already done.




And this is what you end up with.

The sweater on the left needed the sleeves zig zagged.

The sweater in the middle did not.

The tee shirt on the end … that’s the fella’s tee shirt, so it’s huge.



If I’m in the grocery store getting crap loads of canned goods and kitty litter and such, I don’t use these bags.  I use the ugly ones.  Sigh.  But if I’m just running in to pick up a few things, I go for the good ones.  And I prance around hoping, P R A Y I N G … I’ll run into those people from highschool again.



Wanna see what that pretty picture above looked like BEFORE I Photoshopped it?  

Have a look here.  The difference is pretty shocking.


  1. Arlete says:

    Very cool it looks, the same I have also done so. At the moment I tried the simplest but much less nice see how this will come out again.

  2. Chrissie says:

    In the big island of Hawaii plastic bags have been banned. It is awesome! It is not impossible to create a crew to ban them!

    • Karen says:

      I don’t want them banned! I reuse them all the time for cat litter, freezing things, keeping herbs fresh etc. We have to pay for them at the grocery store in Canada (.05) but everyone recycles everything so they’re just turned into something else over and over and over again. ~ karen!

  3. Jamie B. says:

    Just discovered your blog, and I got many laughs out of this post. You are too funny! Thanks for the great grocery bag idea and the chuckles.

  4. Jamie B. says:

    Just discovered your blog, and I got many laughs out of this post. You are too funny! Thanks for the great grocery bag idea and the chuckles.

  5. everythingguru says:

    You are So funny! Love it — Love your writing — Keep doing what you do! :)

  6. My Texas Table says:

    Hi Karen! You may not care, as you may be growing chickens and veggies for the DIY fun rather than any personal concerns about the environment or health…however if you are doing these things out of a personal conviction, you may want to know that the Corn Refiner’s Association is advertising on your top bar in the United States. The link leads to a website that compares the sugars in high fructose corn syrup to that in cane sugar. It’s a very misleading site for those who are not educated on the topic. While the sugar impact may be similar, 85% of corn grown in the US is genetically modified to withstand spraying with Roundup. Scientific studies are showing this has a very adverse effect on female reproductive health. GMO sugar cane is not yet developed. I’m not telling you this with any accusation, nor am I upset. I love your blog and will continue to be a loyal reader and subscriber. I just know that you’ve mentioned that you cannot see what is on the ads in the US and that you might like to know that this particular advertising is sending a very different message than that of your blog content. Have a happy weekend!

    • Karen says:

      Hi My Texas Table! Thanks. I always appreciate people telling me what ads my blog is running. At this point I don’t really have any control over the ads. I hope to one day become a big, bad blogger who gets to select every ad I get, but at this point I’m not that gal. I trust (hope) a lot of people who read my site are aware of the modified corn issues around North America right now. I have a friend whose entire hive of honeybees became sick and died because of this corn. (long story) Hopefully it isn’t a long lived campaign and will be gone soon. If not … hopefully people will read your comment. :) ~ karen!

      • My Texas Table says:

        Yep! I get it regarding advertisers. My condolences to your friend’s bees.

      • Amanda says:

        Also High Fructose Corn Syrup causes the plaque on your teeth to go nuts and eat more, causing more decay. They don’t react that way to cane sugar, or anything else. But they do love Xylitol almost as much (it is a sugar from trees) but they can’t metabolize it, so they starve and the plaque die. It also causes them to lose their sticking ability to your tissue, and they can’t hold on. It decreases decay hugely, but also helps with ear and sinus infections, since it gets those bacteria too. A teaspoon 3x/day is all it takes to get ’em!

  7. Julie Pruett says:

    My sister Jodie, sent me your website and the neat idea about the T-shirt shopping bag… I just got back from the Denver-Boulder area and saw how they liked “green” items…

    Have you ever seen a pattern for ladies open fingered winter mittens/gloves made from used wool sweaters? Cute, yet practical way of using sweaters that you were going to donate or toss…

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