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How to Wrap Your Holiday Gifts in T-Shirt Bags

by Allie on December 23, 2010 · 33 comments

in Fun Stuff,Gifts,Holidays

Happy Christmas Eve Eve! Today, I’m channeling my inner Martha and going the crafty route.

Last year, I wrapped my Christmas prezzies in paper shopping bags. It was a great way to recycle paper bags and it meant I didn’t have to go digging for our holiday gift wrap.

This year, I’m wrapping presents in reusable t-shirt bags.


I made these t-shirt bags as a guest post for Janetha a few months ago, but I’m bringing them back for the holidays.

I actually carry around my camera in one of these t-shirt bags (in my purse). Not the best protection, but it works. The bag has come in handy quite a few times when I’ve needed an emergency grocery bag while out and about. It holds quite a bit of stuff and can be worn on your shoulder, unlike most plastic grocery bags.

These bags can also be used for storing shoes in your luggage or even your dirty laundry. After all, you can just throw it in the wash!


So if you’re out of gift wrap, want to be a little more green this holiday season, and/or want to wrap a gift in another gift, here’s how to make your own t-shirt bag.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 T-Shirt
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine (optional)


1. Grab a t-shirt you don’t wanna throw away but don’t ever wear.

If you’re anything like me, you have a bunch of t-shirts that never see the light of day but you just can’t bear to throw them away. Perhaps they’re from past races, concerts, and/or school events.


2. Cut scoops along the seems of the collar and the sleeves. You’ll want to make them slightly larger than the seems because they will serve as the handles of your bag.


3. Turn the t-shirt inside out. If you have a sewing machine, sew across the bottom of the shirt to seal it up. If you don’t have a sewing machine (or if yours is ancient and broken), cut the bottom into strips (2-3″ long) and tie the strips together with a simple knot.

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4. Flip it back inside IN and you’ve got yourself a reusable bag!


Not only is it a fabulous way to recycle an old t-shirt, but you don’t have to deal with wrapping paper and you give an extra gift. For the sake of looking more festive, you can tie a ribbon around the handles and stick a bow on it.

No tape required!


Happy Holidays and Happy Wrapping!


Tell me: What is something you’ve done this holiday season to be a little more GREEN (environmentally friendly)?

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan December 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Such a cute idea!! I need to take some of my old shirts and do this. :)


2 Natalia - a side of simple December 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm

What a cute idea, Allie! Although I may just end up making these and using them all myself.. ;)
Does eating cookie dough scraps to make sure nothing goes to waste count as being green? Maybe just a little…?


3 Allie December 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm

DEFINITELY!! You know what I say….no food goes to waste!!!


4 suki @ [Super Duper Fantastic] December 23, 2010 at 2:01 pm

That is a great idea! What a nice way to reuse t-shirts and reduce waste. :)


5 Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean December 23, 2010 at 2:07 pm

this is an awesome idea! we have tons of t shirts at our house!


6 Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) December 23, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Smart! This is so creative! Love the idea! :D


7 Melissa@ I Never Imagined December 23, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Allie, you’re my favorite blogger for a reason. These bags are genius. I have sooo many t-shirts that I never ever wear. I can’t wait to get home tonight and make them into bags! Seriously… thank you!


8 Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) December 23, 2010 at 2:23 pm

This is a great idea! I’ve bookmarked it so I can try it :)


9 Molly December 23, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Al! THAT IS THE BEST IDEA EVER! that is fabulous! I want to go turn 1 of my million t-shirts that I seriously don’t even look at into a t-shirt bag! Is it Valentine’s day yet, because I really want to use one. Awesome. Thanks Martha


10 Heather @ Side of Sneakers December 23, 2010 at 2:45 pm

You’re SO clever :) I use the same gift bags over and over again haha.


11 Namaste Gurl December 23, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Mmm, good idea– definitely a plus for college students who have no money to buy wrapping paper :-)


12 ezzie December 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm

So smart!! Defiantly going to use this idea!! Thanks for sharing~ :D


13 Mary @ Bites and Bliss December 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm

What a cute idea! I have a lot of shirts that could be turned into bags. I’ll have to give it a try. :)


14 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) December 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Great idea! I hate to waste things (doesn’t everybody?!) so this is right up my alley :)


15 Bridget December 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I dig this idea! So creative!


16 Vanessa December 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm

That is GENIUS! I’m embarrassed to say I have one too many older tshirts sitting in my dresser drawers right now. If I didn’t already wrap my presents I would have given this a try!!


17 Heather December 23, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Oh my gosh! That’s friggin genius! I have to try that! I may even keep it right side out to tie the knots…kinda digging the hobo look!


18 Erika @ FoodFitnessFun December 23, 2010 at 6:05 pm

This is so CUTE! I have dozens of old t-shirts laying around! :-)


19 Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons December 23, 2010 at 8:04 pm

very green – go allie!

to go green i do sooo much. but my christmas greenery includes deciding to not wrap the boxes we got in the mail with wrapping paper. I dont want to waste paper… plus they are already sealed…. plus the amazon tree is really funny =)

happy christmas eve eve


20 Laura December 23, 2010 at 8:12 pm

awesome idea allie


21 Tatianna December 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I remember back when you posted about making bags out of old t-shirts.. and I have been DYING to make one. I just haven’t found an old t-shirt that I am ready to part with… they are all way too comfy to sleep in!


22 Felicity December 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm

The no-sew knot tying technique is brilliant!! Thanks for sharing!!


23 Errign December 23, 2010 at 8:56 pm

You are so crafty, Allie! I remember that post you did for Janetha, but of course, this jogged my memory :)

Happy Holidays!


24 Lauren December 23, 2010 at 9:24 pm

What a great idea! You are so creative. ;)


25 Katie December 23, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Great idea! I have so many shirts I never wear but refuse to get rid of hoarders buried alive style.


26 Kristina @ Life as Kristina December 23, 2010 at 9:55 pm

So creative-I used tin foil before:)
Have a great holiday!


27 Megan December 23, 2010 at 10:41 pm

I always wrap gifts for my family in old newspaper! So tacky, I know. But if it means less wrapping paper then I’m all for it!


28 Jeanne December 23, 2010 at 10:45 pm

What a great idea! And its also great for a green cause. Never thought of it before. Thanks for sharing.


29 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin December 24, 2010 at 9:34 am

These are adorable! And I love that they involve no sewing because I’m absolutely terrible at it! :P


30 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey December 24, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Cute idea – I <3 it!


31 Wei-Wei December 25, 2010 at 9:52 am

Awesome idea! You’re so creative :D


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