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Friday, December 18, 2015

DIY Star Wars T-Shirt Tote Bag

DIY Star Wars T-Shirt Tote Bag
It's that time of month again when the Blockbuster Bloggers get together to make food and crafts inspired by the release of a new movie to theaters. This month's choice was easy since today marks the release of one of the most anticipated movies ever, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I grew up with the original trilogy and now my kids have grown up with all six episodes, so the whole family is pretty psyched to get to theaters (though we'll be waiting a week or two...because no matter how big a fan I am, I despise packed theaters - I lied, we totally went and saw it today!! Loved it.).

Originally I intended to make some really fun Star Wars Mod Podge shoes, but the fabric I ordered online didn't make it to me in time (it's also holiday postal madness out there), so I switched course. A while ago I saw a really simple tutorial for making a t-shirt tote bag in a really cool book called DIY T-Shirt Crafts by Adrianne Surian, and thought it would be the perfect project to take the place of the shoes.

Although I used a Star Wars t-shirt in honor of the release of episode VII, you can repurpose any of your favorite old t-shirts (or buy a new one) into a tote bag.
DIY Star Wars T-Shirt Tote Bag
This project is super simple to make - if I can do it, anyone can. It doesn't require a sewing machine, however if you have a sewing machine, it would be even quicker to flip the bag inside out after step 2 and sew the bottom together to make a seam. But, for the other sewing machine-challenged out there, here's what you'll need to make your very own t-shirt tote bag:

  • 1 t-shirt (any size - the size of your shirt determines the size of your bag)
  • fabric scissors
  • ~30 inches of iron-on seam adhesive
  • iron
  • ~48 inches of embroidery floss
  • needle

Step 1: Fold the shirt in half vertically; if it has a design on front, fold it so the front is facing out. Cut off the sleeves, following the seam. Next cut off the neck opening following the seam if you really don't want to cut into the design (option 1) or making it even with the sleeve opening (option 2) for more realistically proportioned handles. This really depends on how badly you want to preserve the design...I couldn't bring myself to cut of Vader's head, but normally I'd go with option 2.
Steps 1 and 2
Step 2: Unfold the shirt and open it up so that your "handles" (what used to be the shoulders) now line up. Cut off the bottom hem of the shirt, curving slightly at the edges.

Step 3: Trim your adhesive seam to fit the length of the opening. Flip the top edge of the tote up and iron the adhesive on to the inside bottom edge of the fabric. Once it has fused, remove the paper backing and line up the edge of the top portion of fabric to the bottom; iron again so that the seam fuses together and you have a closed seam on the bottom of your tote bag. Allow to cool.
Steps 3 and 4
Step 4: Using the embroidery floss sew a basic whip stitch along that new bottom seam of your tote bag. This both helps to reinforce the seam and adds a bit of decoration. You could use matching or contrasting colors depending on the look that you're going for.
DIY Star Wars T-Shirt Tote Bag
Your t-shirt tote bag is now ready to use! I love it because it folds up and slides into my purse or the glove compartment. I've tested it out both at the store and at the library so far. While it can hold quite a bit of weight, I wouldn't test your abilities by filling it with too many hard cover books. It carries a good load of magazines and paperbacks, I brought my fruit and veggies home easily, and I bet that throwing extra clothes or towels inside would be ideal.
Food, crafts, and ideas inspired by Star Wars The Force Awakens #BlockbusterBloggers
Are you ready for some other fun projects inspired by today's release of The Force Awakens? Check out these fun ideas by some really talented bloggers—there's something for everbody to enjoy!