Friday, May 29, 2009

Sarah's Tshirt tote.

We've talked about how much kids love getting their hands dirty, and making sure the rowdies wear an old Tshirt or overshirt while they are creating really messy art, (it's all messy!). How about incorporating the two...when my granddaughter Sarah visited from Arkansas we decided to take one of these old Tshirts and sew up her very own tote bag.

Sarah's tote bag.

This is not a new idea, I have seen lots of these done in various ways...just google how to sew a Tshirt tote, and you find all kinds of projects. I like doing these because they are such a great way to recycle and everybody has an old Tshirt.

Yardstick and chalk marking.

First thing to decide is how big you want the bag. Measure it out on the front of the Tshirt with a yardstick,(easy for the rowdies to use) and chalk, you may also want to measure and chalk the back. Sarah cut the front first,layed this piece down on the back and cut around it. Rowdies love to work with chalk, they love tools of all kinds of course they want to do the cutting. If you have a rotary cutter introduce the grandkids to this handy dandy little item...they are amazed!!!

Sewn strap, use a chopstick to turn it.

The straps are very easy as well, make them as long or short as you want by cutting strips from the Tshirt. When you have cut the strips of material place the right sides together and sew a seam. Turn the strap right side out, (a chop stick works really well for helping little hands work the strap back to the right side.) Sarah did a lot of the sewing of the straight seams on her bag, I sewed the straps on for her since it was a rather small area and had to be backstiched.

I am not going to go into detail on how to sew the bag, again you can google tons of ideas for sewing it up. The main thing I wanted to share was the way she chose to decorate it. We had a blast painting her hands in bright colors of acrylic paint and smacking handprints all over her tote, front and back! She then used dimensional paint to write her name on both sides of the bag. (We painted the Tshirt before we sewed it, it might be better to paint it after.)


If you have a favorite Tshirt with a cool logo just be sure you cut your bag to incorporate the logo, additional paint may be added...cause they have to paint! When Sarah wanted a second, smaller bag we cut pieces from other old Tshirts and sewed them together before we made our tote. For this bag we used an old sweatpant drawstring for the handle, you could also use shoelaces or ribbon for handles.

Scraps of Tshirts bag.

If the grandboys don't want to make a tote bag have them handprint a plain Tshirt they can wear, make a pillow to sleep on, or do a simple collage on construction paper. I do have a grandson who loves to sew and he has made several pillows, and silly creatures from old clothes.

Moo Cow design.
Acrylic paint on a pair of jeans, may also be done on a Tshirt.

Take a peek next week, I have two of the grandgirls with me for a few days and we are going to make one on our favorite projects......Altered Flip Flops!!!


Debra L. Stokes said...

I know you said there were many instructions on the web on how to make a t-shirt tote, but yours is the best, by far! Love the "hand" painting to make it really personal. I'm looking forward to engaging in some of your creative activities with my Grands!

Kathie said...

As a new grandma-to-be I look forward to doing things with my own grandchildren.

Cheryl said...

Great stuff. My 4 year old doesn't have a lot of patience when it comes to some things but painting, especially on clothes, will keep occupied for minutes at a time... That's long in his world! ;0)

Beverly Mahone said...

This is a clever idea--I know it's not necessarily a new idea but it would be fun to watch some of the process as a "How to do this..." kind of thing.

Keep saving these ideas up because they're sure to come in handy for Boomer Diva TV!

Carolee / Home4ever said...

Cool as usual, Grandma!

Pam Archer said...

You amaze me! The memories you are creating for your grandchildren, and the talents, skills, and creative genius you are developing in them, is quite the legacy.

I love this T-Shirt idea. I have some T-shirts that my employees wear. They have seen better days, so it's time for new ones. I think I'll cut them down, line them, and make something out of them like a tool belt, or a tote.

Thanks for the inspiration!

I will tweet about this!

Cindy Shepard said...

Thanks so much ladies, as always I appreciate all of your comments!!

PopArtDiva said...

Oh, I remember making purses out of old jeans - in fact, back in the 80s some artists did it for the craft shows.

I really miss having a sewing machine when I see things like your post!

You are always so creatively inspirational with those grandchildren of yours!