The Craf “TEE” tote……..tutorial

The craf”tee” tote 
 – a total DIY refashioned/upcycled handbag
(can me made with any size tee or hoops. But here’s the measurements and sizes I used)
1 t-shirt for the handbag (used yellow youth tee size 10-12)
1 Embroidery hoop set (2 rings) mine where about 9″ – handles
Ribbon (5 1/4 yards)
glue gun
sewing machine
2 large grommets
misc embellishments – buttons, zippers, fabric, tshirt scraps, etc. 
Step 1: Turn the tshirt you are using for the main handbag inside out and lay flat. Fold in half lengthwise. Round the bottom by cutting only the bottom hemline about about 5 inches up the side.

Cut a diagonal line few inches under the arm to the middle of the tshirt. Open and lay flat.

My shirt ending up measuring about 17.5 inches from top point to bottom. Turn right side out.

Step 2: Embellish! Cut out shapes from fabric lay out in a design you like, pin and sew. Add ruffles, rosettes, buttons, sequins, etc.

Step 3: Once it is embellished turn right side out. Pin the bottom edge rounded edge together and sew closed with your sewing machine. 

Step 4: Handles – Wrap each embroidery hoop with wide ribbon. Use hot glue to secure the end and wrap tightly overlapping the ribbon. Every few inches add another drop of hot glue to keep the ribbon in place and from unraveling. 

Step 5: Attaching the handles – Lay out the purse and fold back the top. Place the handle so there is about 3 1/2 – 4″ from the handle to the top point.

 Add a small running bead of hot glue to the handle and fold the fabric over it.This will help the fabric from bunching up to tightly and keep it spread out wide. Repeat on the opposite side with the other handle.

Step 6: Finishing – To keep the folded triangle piece around the handle in place and add some extra design interest, add a large grommet to the center under each handle.

and you are done! My total cost was $3.75!

If you make one share a photo in the Brassy Apple Flickr Group! I’d love to see! 
I will be sharing this idea and linking up here over the next week

Positively Splendid


  1. I picked up some gorgeous T-shirts from our local QVC consignment store for just £0.99 each, and have been looking for something to make from them.

  2. I have to admit I was skeptical at first, but then I read through your tutorial, and now I’m super impressed! What a cool tote! I love how you embellished the tee and how you wrapped the embroidery hoops with pretty ribbon. Now I have a use for those laying around my craft stash. Thanks for sharing such a cool project!

  3. I think your embellishments are adorable! Cute idea!


  4. I love this!! So cute and so easy! I have several t-shirts I was going to just throw out…now I know how they’ll be transformed!

  5. cute! I love the refashion. The colors are vivid and the purse is adorable!

  6. What a fun idea, I love how you embellished it and you can’t beat the price. Thanks for sharing it on A Crafty Soiree.

  7. Amazing! Absolutely amazing! You are very talented!

  8. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [10 Jun 12:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  9. What a fun and easy idea! Thanks for sharing this! Awesome!

  10. THis is adorable! I saw it when your first published it and thought “what a great use for embroidery hoops!” I am featuring this today at

  11. I love it!!!

  12. I love this bag! I will be rummaging around for a t-shirt I don’t use anymore for me to upcycle! Thanks for the idea!

  13. Love this! The design is so chic, yet fun and a great upcycle. Thanks so much for linking up!

  14. Your embellishments are so creative!

  15. Megan, you never cease to amaze me with your creativity! I included this in my Saturday Seven lineup this week. 🙂

  16. I absolutely LOVE this! I would have never thought of using embroidery hoops as purse handles! It turned out gorgeous! I would love for you to link this up to my Summer Lovin’ Soiree at Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 🙂
    Homemaker in Heels

  17. Megan this is amazing!!! I love the way you embellished it and the embroidery hoop handles are so clever!!

  18. Brilliant refashion! I love all your little embellishments!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  19. So adorable!!! I can’t wait to make one!

  20. Super Cute blog!! 🙂 I am your newest follower! I will definitely be keeping an eye on your blog to learn new things!! If you would like to take a look at my blog that would be wonderful and follow me back! Look out for some giveaways also like mineral make-up. I am new to this but excited to share ideas on yummy food!

  21. Thank you so much for linking up at my Summer Lovin’ Party at Homemaker in Heels! I am featuring this tonight:) Hope to see you again soon! Have a great weekend!
    Homemaker in Heels

  22. This is an awesome tote! I have to try it out!!!! I’m another new blog follower for ya 🙂

  23. This is such a great idea! I would love to feature this on Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle. Feel free to stop by and grab a featured button. Thanks!

  24. Lovely tote. I can’t wait to make one for myself.

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  26. What a lovely tote!!

  27. I just wanted to say–how different this is—I am going to try to make some you are very creative

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