Making a backpack from a t-shirt is a fairly simple task. It is a rather quick project that can be completed in one sitting. You can find a variety of instructions on the Internet through a good search engine. The directions presented here are an evolution of those directions and altered for what worked best in our situation. I was working with a group of young teenagers. We were able to make the backpack in about an hour sharing tools and only having one of each tool to share.
4 yards of clothes line rope
Grommets – large
To begin, turn your t-shirt inside out. Align the shirt along the bottom edge as best as possible and place it on a flat surface. Smooth out any wrinkles.
Using your ruler and marker, place the ruler down on the shirt from armpit to armpit and draw a straight line across the shirt. This is where we will cut the shirt. Go ahead and cut now. The sleeves and top part of the shirt will be discarded or used for another project. The bottom part of the shirt will become the backpack.
Sew a seam along the edge you just cut. Make sure to lock the ends of your sewing by backstitching over each end so the seam does not come undone during use. Turn the t-shirt to the right side.
The hem of the shirt will become the channel that you string the rope through. It is the top of the backpack. Cut a slit or remove a small V shape from each side of the shirt. You will have made two cuts.
Cut your clothesline in two, so each piece measures 2 yards each. What you are going to do is thread each piece through the hem of the shirt. Visualize a U shape in one direction, this is the clothesline, and then another one in the opposite direction. When done, you have two loose ends coming out of the t-shirt on each end.
In each of the bottom corners place one large grommet. Secure them in place using the hammer. Thread two ends of the clothesline through each grommet and tie a knot.
Now pull the clothesline and you will have a cinched top to your backpack.
-Use a Men’s small t-shirt.
-Dye the shirt before making the backpack – or tie dye
– Grommets can be replaced by a button hole the additional t-shirt material can be used to make a pencil bag or cell phone pouch