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Database Provider


PBS Kids


K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th


Visual and Performing Arts

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom
  • Projects

Regional Focus




Let's Make a Bag!

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  • In this activity, students can make their own reusable bags by repurposing an old t-shirt. 
  • Students will learn that recycling old t-shirts and using reusable bags at the store can help reduce waste. 
Teaching Tips


  • This activity empowers students to take action and recycle and repurpose old clothes. 
  • The activity is fun and allows students to personalize their own designs. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers and students will need old t-shirts, chalk or fabric pencils, fabric scissors, and a ruler to make the bags. Donation stores would be a good place to find used shirts if the students do not have any.
  • Teachers will need wax crayons, an iron and ironing board, newspaper and plain paper, and printouts of the various character designs for the optional bag decorations.
  • Students will need extra instruction on how to safely use fabric scissors because they are very sharp, and adults are needed for the iron-on decoration.


  • The activity could be used in a lesson about taking action for the climate and reducing waste.
  • Students can personalize their designs by choosing a character printout or by creating and decorating the bags with their own designs, fabrics, or materials.
  • Buttons, zippers, and snaps could also be incorporated into this project for more advanced students.
  • Have students present their t-shirt bag to the class or put them all on display for a week to showcase them to the school.
  • Younger students could work in pairs or in groups to help complete the different steps of the project.
  • Try pairing this activity with these upcycling projects or with this digital picture book about waste.
Scientist Notes
The resource is creative and is suitable to guide students to create a cloth bag, so as to limit plastic pollution. This is a good recycling lesson and it is recommended for the classroom.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • K-ESS3-3 Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.K-2 Identify ways to take action to help address local, regional, and global problems.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 1 - Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
      • VA:Cr1.1.2a Brainstorm collaboratively multiple approaches to an art or design problem.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 3 - Refine and complete artistic work.
      • VA:Cr3.1.3a Elaborate visual information by adding details in an artwork to enhance emerging meaning.
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