How to Create Bags from Old Clothes & More: Re-purpose & Upcycle!

Bags Made from Repurposed Fabric Items

Hold on! Before you toss out that old t-shirt, skirt, sweater or pillow case, read this post! You just may have a bag, tote, pouch or clutch waiting to be made out of these discards. Check out these clever sewing (and no-sew!) projects we discovered. And you’ll realize what practical possibilities lie tucked away in your closets.

Imagine, you get creative ways to fill your homebound time, repurpose rather than throw away (or keep forever but never use), and end up with practical items you’ve proudly made yourself for next to nothing. How cool is that!

Bags Made from Repurposed Fabric Items

These 10 DIY projects range from sew-with-a-machine to sew-by-hand to no-sew. So take your pick. Then, get to work transforming that old clothing item into a unique and useful tote, pouch, clutch or full bag!

How to Create Bags from Old Clothes & More! Re-purpose & Upcycle!

An easy starter could be this pillowcase tote (1) from Hey Wanderer. Simple to make for even a sewing beginner.

Then, see what you can do with old t-shirts! You can create a fun tote bag (2) like this one from Creating Laura, a handy grocery tote (6) as found on Paper N’ Stitch, or a no-sew boho-style bag (8) like Practically Functional did.

Another no-sew project is this cute zipper clutch (5) that Snap Guide made from a flannel shirt. While Suzer Space transformed the pocket part of an old dress shirt into this cool shoulder-sling purse (9).

Got a worn winter sweater? See how 2 Bees in a Pod transformed sweater sleeves into nifty wine bags (3) for gift giving. Our tip: These could also keep bottled drinks nice and cold at a picnic or bbq cookout!

And here are some ideas for the more seasoned sewers out there. How adorable are these DIY insulated lunch totes (4) upcycled by Prodigal Pieces from a linen wrap skirt? Or this charming plaid tote bag (7) we found on Quilting Digest, using a flannel shirt and keeping the pockets and buttons intact. Or a dapper little boy church bag (10) assembled from a striped button-up shirt and Dad’s tie, as seen on Make It & Love It!

So which clever and creative bag projects are you planning to make from some cast-offs? Happy upcycling!


  1. Upcycled Spring Home Decorations
  2. 14 Ways to Craft Upcycled Wedding Decorations
  3. Upcycle It: Wooden Pallets Get a New Use
  4. From Trash to Treasure: 10 Projects for Decorating Your Home

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