This table top tote should be known as the 3 tee tote… It is made from 3 old t-shirts.
I LOVE re-purposing old tee shirts, if you read this blog, you’ll see it’s becoming a common theme. For this Project you will need 3 shirts that you can make t-shirt yarn from (they can’t have a side seam). Read – How To Make T Shirt Yarn, to see how to make 3 spools of yarn for this project. (from 3 t shirts, I used 2 black and 1 grey)
What You’ll Need:
- 3 old t shirts
- 5 spools of embroidery thread
- embroidery thread needle (plastic or metal)
Step 1. (after making the yarn) sew 3 ends together and braid the full length of all 3 spools together. When they are braided, sew the ends together to finish it. The braiding can take a while and can be kind of annoying, but you’ll get through it. I found that keeping the spools tight with a couple feet of lose yarn to braid worked the best.
Step 2. In a contrasting color embroidery thread, tie the thread onto the braid about 4 inches from the end. Wrap the end of the thread to the braid with the long end of the embroidery thread, about 6 times.
Step 3. Fold the wrapped end around so it makes a tight small circle. Wrap and tie the thread around the braids pulled together.
Step 4. Pull the needle with the thread through the center of the circle and then pull the needle through the loop the thread made. creating a knot looped around the braid. Continue looping around the braid this way until you have gown all the way around.
Step 5. Now you will start bringing the long end of the braid around the circle in a coil to start the base of the old t shirt table top tote. To do this bring the braid around the circle. From underneath pull the thread over the braid and through one loop that had been knotted on the the circle previously. Then pull the needle through the new loop you created. Repeat this through each one of the stitched on the circle you made, attaching the braid all the way around.
Step 6. Continue coiling and looping the braid together with the embroidery thread. The Loops will continue to get father apart as the circle base gets bigger. Add extra loops on to keep the circle flat, also don’t pull the base loops too tight. (Similar to crocheting, keep adding stitches to keep the circle flat)
* At some point you’ll run out of one spool of embroidery thread, and need to start using another. When this happens, just double knot the two ends together before you start a new stitch. Make a couple of stitches (loops) and then cut the ends. You’ll never see where the ends attach in the final product.
Step 7. Once the base is as wide as you want it (mine was about 10 inches in diameter) continue to loop the braid on, but DO NOT add any additional loops and pull tighter now. This will make the sides of your tote come up.
Step 8. When you have enough braid to go around 2-3 more times is when you’ll want to add your handles. To do this continue wrapping 8 inches of 1 braid then reattach it and knot the braid to the tote about 5 inches from the point you stopped attaching it. Continue to wrap it onto the tote until the point where you want your second handle, and only wrap the single braid for 8 inches, and reattach it after 5 again. The next time around you will go on top of the separated bits looping and stitching the braid on the whole way around.
Step 9. To finish it, stitch the end of the braid to the inside of the tote where it ends with a thread that blends in. Then carefully trim the end.
Now your table top tote is ready to use! I love re-purposing things in ways you’d never expect. People come over and see the table top tote, but never believe it really is just 3 old t shirts. Check out the rest of the blog for other great ways to re-purpose old t shirts.