5 Minute Tank Top Tote

This recycled project shows you how to upcycle an old tank top into a environmentally friendly shopping tote in just 5 minutes.

5 Minute Tank Top Tote

What you need

Tank Top
Sewing Machine
Optional items for embellishing


For this project we used a plain tank top that has the most basic embellishment on it: Fabric painted dots.

Your embellishment ideas will only be limited by your creative abilities. You can add ribbons, iron on transfers or use marker pens to write environmental slogans onto the tank top tote such as. “Go Green”,  “This is not plastic” etc.

To create your 5 minute tote you will need a sewing machine or serger overlocker to close up the bottom of the tank top.  Sew across the bottom a few times to make it extra strong for vegetables or fruit.

You can sew directly across the bottom as shown or turn the tank top sideways with the arm holes on top of each other and then sew (this placed the handles directly in the middle of the tote).

This project is so quick to make it is perfect as a school or group  craft project, the children can take turns at sewing the bottom closed or have an adult standing by. The activity duration can be lengthened by allowing the group to decorate and embellish their finished totes.

Liked this project? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get more like this!


  1. I had to do an upcycling projectfor school and my teacher loved it! She thought it was very creative.

  2. craft_girl says:

    Great idea, got lots of compliments on it!

  3. simple idea awesome outcome!! SWEET!!

  4. This is so cool just sold em for 5 bucks each made 100 dollars.THIS IS THE BEST IDEA EVER.Thanks!!!!!!

  5. This project is so cool! I have a gazillion shirts in a basket in my room that I don’t wear anymore. Why give them to Goodwill when my soon-to-be-beach tote is sitting in right there? I LOVE this website!

  6. i had a tee shirt i wanted to make into a bag. i cut the sleeves off to make it a “tank” and sewed up the edge, not hemmed (so it wouldnt unravel all the way) to give it a torn look, and cut down the neck line on both sides to add to the torn look. i used an non-stretchy fabric so the tee wouldnt stretch. this was a great idea. i sold at a school event (they were school mascot/emblem tees) for 10$ each and i made 110 dollars total. each tee was 5 dollars to buy to begin with. i made great profits…..now i can buy more shirts!!!!!!! i love this idea. so simple and great. i would give this 10 stars if i could!!!!

  7. hannahkstnr013 says:

    I <3 this project! So easy,fast and simple!!! :D

  8. lncraftgirl says:

    Very cute!
    Love the idea, very useful.
    Go Green!

  9. hello brilliant thanks

  10. sounds coool is there any way I can print this?

  11. what an awsome idea

  12. The only problem is that it would start to stretch and distort horribly if you didn’t add a non-stretchy lining to the inside. :/

  13. oh my gosh gr8 idea! i wanna try making one!!! this is awesome! Its easy basic and cheap..all in my category! :P

What do you think of this project? Let us know!