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Upcycled Tea Towel Backpack

Upcycled tea towel backpack

This upcycled tea towel backpack project was designed by Louise Briggs.

Simply use two brightly coloured tea towels and make this useful backpack – it’s reversible too!

How to upcycle tea towels

You will need…

Two tea towels measuring approx. 16 x 28 inches

6 metres piping cord 





Sewing machine

To Sew

Please use a ¼ inch seam allowance throughout.

1. Take two tea towels and remove 5 inches from the bottom of each. Put the cut pieces of fabric to one side. 

Free upcycling projects

2. Turn over to the wrong side and pin a 1 1/2 inch channel at the top of each tea towel.

How to make a reversible drawstring bag

3. Stitch the channel down with a straight stich making sure to reverse stitch at each end.

How to stitch a hem

4. Take your two tea towel scraps and cut two 5 x 3 inch rectangles. Pin right sides together, sew down pinned edge, cut excess and turn through.

Upcycling sewing projects

5. Fold in half again and stitch.

What can you use tea towels for?

6. Place the two tea towels right sides together sandwiching the two tabs 3 inches from the bottom.

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7. Sew around the tea towels up to where the stitching for the channel begins at the top.

Upcycling tea towels to make a bag

8. Cut excess fabric and make a diagonal cut up to the stitching on the bottom corners.

How to sew a drawstring bag made from tea towels

9. Turn through and press.

how to sew a bag using tea towels

10. Cut your cord in half and attach a safety pin onto one end of the first piece of cord. Thread through the channel as shown in the images below then repeat on the other side and with the other piece ofr cord and loosely knot. 

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How to sew a reversible drawstring backpack
How to make a drawstring PE bag from tea towels

11. Adjust the straps to the length wanted and knot tightly.

Simple reversible drawstring backpack project

Here is your finished upcycled tea towel backpack!

Reversible upcycled tea towel backpack project

For other upcycling projects visit our free sewing projects page and click the upcycling tag.