Avoid Plastic / Reduce Plastic with Reusable Produce Bags

Avoid Plastic / Reduce Plastic with Reusable Produce Bags

Like so many other eco/cost-conscious shoppers, I love to bring my own tote bag(s) to carry my groceries home. Any time I can avoid plastic or reduce plastic, I take it! So, I decided to make some reusable produce bags (i.e., veggie bags or fruit bags) by upcycling some kids t-shirts. They are plentiful at thrift stores and on a smaller scale that is perfect for produce!

I went to my local thrift store and found a couple of fun kiddie shirts- a Paris Barbie shirt and this charming aqua shirt from Georgia. As in, Georgia the country. Georgia in Asia. I mean, how kooky-awesome is that?

Kids t shirts to be upcycled into reusable produce bags, veggie bags, or fruit bags by Sadie Seasongoods

With colorful kids t-shirts in hand, I was ready to transform them into washable, reusable produce bags! This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Making Veggie Bags from Old T-Shirts

After washing the kids t shirts, I first spread one out on the floor (my work surface for now). No need to iron it or anything at this stage!

Recycling old t shirts into reusable produce bags to reduce plastic or avoid plastic by Sadie Seasongoods

Then, I proceeded to cut off the neck and sleeves- essentially transforming the tee into a tank top.

Cutting off sleeves and neck of kids t shirts to upcycle them into veggie bags and fruit bags by Sadie Seasongoods

I turned my “tank” inside out and folded up the bottom seam on both sides, pinning it in place.

Sewing the bottom of a reusable produce bag made by upcycling some kids t shirts by Sadie Seasongoods

Then, using my sewing machine, I double-stitched across the folded seam, effectively sealing the bottom of the shirt.

Recycle old t shirts into vegetable bags or produce bags to avoid plastic by Sadie Seasongoods

Adding Structure to Reusable Produce Bags Using Kids T-Shirts

Now, the next step is optional, but easy enough and adds a nice structure to the bag. While still inside-out, I decided to box the corners by folding the shirt across the front and back (lengthwise). This means that the original side seams of the t-shirt are now in the center of my t-shirt bag.

Sewing box corners on t shirt bags to use as reusable produce bags by Sadie Seasongoods

Boxing the corners adds a nice seam perpendicular to the bottom of the bag, giving the bag structure at the bottom.

Anyway, a couple of inches up from the corner, I pinned a line perpendicular to the side seams.

How to sew box corners on a t shirt bag or market bag by Sadie Seasongoods

Then, I double stitched a line over the straight pins.

Upcycling kids t shirts into veggie bags or reusable produce bags for farmer's market by Sadie Seasongoods

To finish off my bag, I then folded over the raw edges along the sleeve and neck holes, and gave them a nice zig-zag stitch.

Using a zigzag stitch on a sewing machine for beginners to finish t shirt bags by Sadie Seasongoods

And before you ask, I purposefully used white thread on the bright aqua shirt-bag because I liked the contrast. Also, you could totally use a regular straight stitch on this step…but the zig zag adds a fun element!

How to Reduce Plastic / Avoid Plastic with Reusable Produce Bags

And there you have it! An awesome reusable produce bag that is washable and durable. Ready to go to the grocery store and farmer’s market!

Reusable produce bags made from kids t shirts to reduce plastic at the farmers market by Sadie Seasongoods

Remember how I said that boxing the corners gave the t-shirt bags some structure at the bottom? This is what they look like when your reusable produce bag is right-side-out.

Thus, the bottom of the bag is wider and more accommodating, and I think it adds more durability to your bag, too.

Reusable produce bags made from kids t shirts are a great way to reduce plastic by Sadie Seasongoods

Oh, and I’m totally using the Georgia bag for peaches this summer. I’m punny like that!

How to reduce plastic and avoid plastic with reusable produce bags made from kids t shirts by Sadie Seasongoods

Think about how many cute kids t-shirts you could transform into reusable produce bags! And what a fun way to use your children’s favorite tees after they grow out of them? Plus, these are just a wonderful way to avoid plastic / reduce plastic, which is SO important to consider.

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for reusable produce bags, then you might also be interested in this reusable grocery bag or market bag project idea, too!

How to repurpose a framed cross stitch or counted cross stitch into a reusable shopping bag or burlap bag by Sadie Seasongoods

Craft on!


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  1. These are great! I love that you can easily wash them too.

  2. chris aka monkey says

    i just came from home talk’s post with the bucket of portulacas and the spigot which i adore and have spent an hour scrolling through your posts….. i think we could be best friends so i signed up for emails, as arnold said i’ll be back xx

    • I’m so glad you came over!! Are you a crafter/upcycler, too? Thank you so much for the sweetest compliment- and if you’re on Facebook, I have a very active Sadie page where I post project sneak peeks, pics from my picks, etc. 🙂 (www.facebook.com/sadieseasongoods)

  3. Diana Rambles says

    Great idea! Pinned!

  4. how super cute these sound so easy to make and I love reusing what we don’t need
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  5. What a great post! This are a great way to upcicle some old t-shirts… 🙂 x
    I stopped by from the linky craftasticmonday.

  6. These are perfect because A) I have many spare shirts sitting around my house. B) The bags would be so simple to clean (that’s my hesitation with most reusable bags) C) They are cute!

  7. These are very cool. I have tons of reusable bags and now I know what to do with those old shirts of my grandkids. Linking up fom Making Memories Monday

  8. Going to have to try one of these out. Thanks for sharing.

  9. How cool are these! Love, love love this idea, and I have a million t-shirts I can do this wih! Thank you so much Sarah for sharing these on Making Memories Mondays! 🙂

  10. This is such a great idea! I love having lots of little bags at the market because it seems like everything gets squished otherwise. I also have a lot of little shirts that I I want to keep even though my little has outgrown them. Seriously love this idea. Thanks for sharing! p.s. stopping by from the Something to Talk About Link Party.

  11. What a crazy good idea. I hate throwing out shirts my girls have ruined for wearing or outgrown but are still cute. Pinned for later and following on bloglovin. 🙂

  12. This is handy and looks like fun! Thanks for sharing on Idea Box! Come back this Thursday and share more!

  13. These are so cute, and easy to make. I could make several in no time at all. And I’m not much for sewing. And they can be washed. Thanks for sharing! Pinning for later.

  14. This is great! Thanks for sharing!

  15. I love this! I keep on meaning to make my own produce bags for when I go to the grocery store (I hate those plastic bags they give you to put your produce in). I will be featuring this post on Idea Box on 3/19! Thank again for linking up, hope to see some future posts!

  16. Great idea on repurposing. So clever! Thank you for joining us at #purebloglove. We enjoying having you every Thursday at 8PM, EST through Sunday night. ~Cydnee

  17. These are so cute! I’ve made these before, and they are a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing this awesome post at Totally Terrific Tuesday Link Party. If you haven’t linked up this week, be sure to stop by. The party is still going on! Enjoy the rest of your week!
    Christie ~ Sparkles of Sunshine

  18. Another clever, creative idea! I am so impressed with all of your ideas. Thanks for sharing at Grandma Ideas Sharing Time.


  19. Really cute idea–and the shirts you used are awesome.

  20. Kids have the best t-shirts! I’ll have to remember this when all the various free grocery bags I tend to accumulate start to fall apart. Visiting from Inspiration Galore party.

  21. What a great idea!! Now I know how I can repurpose some of the old tshirts my kids have outgrown.

  22. I need about a dozen of these to use as grocery bags. Those plastic bags multiply like rabbits and I always think I’m going to need them so I have way too many on hand.

  23. Dorky Mama says

    I love this! My daughter has been wanting to make these but it seems like every tutorial I find for it does something other than sewing them…and they just don’t seem sturdy to me lol. You have solved my problem though, thank you haha! We are so doing this now. I love all of the possibilities you have with thrifted shirts…you never know what you can find to make something with lol.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      It’s so funny you should say that- I’ve wondered the exact same thing!! And trust me, the sewing of these is super basic, which is all I’m capable of doing at this point- so I think you’ll find these really easy to make. 🙂

  24. Thanks for sharing at the Pleasures of the NW DIY party

  25. These are so cute, I know I have some old tee shirts that would be fun to use as bags. I might just have to ask my sister to sew them for me, though. I am not handy with my sewing machine. We just don’t like each other very much! Thanks for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

  26. Oh my goodness, I’m going to try this! I’m not much of a sewist (super beginner) but this tutorial looks so doable. I always love your tutorials—thank you!

  27. Really cute upcycle. Thanks for sharing at To Grandma’s House We Go.

  28. These are great, Sarah! What a fun and cute way to upcycle the child’s t-shirt. Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle. We’ll be featuring this at tomorrow’s party.

  29. I’ve got to try this. My sewing skills are extremely basic. Thank you for sharing your clever idea for produce bags at the Snickerdoodle Create~Bake~Make link party!

  30. I am featuring your adorable sewing project at Snickerdoodle tomorrow.

  31. Love how these turned out. Thanks for sharing.

  32. Will definitely be making some, such a green idea. Thanks for sharing

  33. These are super cute! Great way to upcycle old t-shirts. I need to make some and they look pretty simple. Even someone that doesn’t like sewing could probably whip some out pretty quick.

  34. I love this idea. I lost quite a few pounds the past two years and so many of my favorite shirts are all way to big. I am a fan of “Christine Alexander” whose T Shirts and loaded with rhinestones. I hate to part with them and now I don’t have to. I made a few bags out of lace tablecloths and curtains that I picked up at thrift stores and garage sales really “CHEAP”. I just make them with drawstring closer. I use these for fresh fruits and veggies. I wouldn’t use them for anything heavy. I use my serger to do the seams. You could also use french seams…..turn your fabric wrong sides together, stitch…turn your fabric right sides together and stitch again. Makes your seams a little stronger…..just saying! Thanks so much for your inspiration.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Oooh, thanks for the tip about French seams! I may be old hat at upcycling, but still have a LOT to learn about sewing!


  1. […] Thrifted T-Shirt Produce Bags, by Sadie Seasongoods […]

  2. […] DIY Reusable Farmer’s Market Bags from T-Shirts @ Sadie Seasongoods […]

  3. […] Kid’s t-shirts make a perfect upcycle into produce bags. Images courtesy of Sadie Seasongoods. […]

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