Summer is here and it’s time for picnics, movies under the stars and fun in the sun at the beach!
In the summer, I carry tote bags with me everywhere I go. We load them up with sunblock, basic picnic gear and flip flops. Today I’ll show you how to whip up a simple mesh beach tote using old tee shirts and very basic sewing skills.

These chic bags are reminiscent of the netted French filet shopping bags, often crochet or made of straw. You can fill them with local produce from the farmer’s market or bring a few to carry your flea market finds this weekend. Carry towels and sunscreen to the neighborhood pool or make kid-sized versions for the little ones to carry shovels and buckets to dig in the sand.

vintage 1960s plus size casual style and bouffant hair via Va-Voom Vintage

1960s bouffant hair via va voom vintage

I've been living in comfy knits and big 60s hair this summer with new headbands that I made for my shop! My new favorite beauty product is dry shampoo. A little teasing and dry shampoo can't be beat by the rainforest humidity of St Louis.

 1960s plus size casual style and bouffant hair via Va-Voom Vintage
 1960s plus size casual style and bouffant hair via Va-Voom Vintage

Turn your tee shirt inside out and cut it into a rounded shape of a bag. The bottom opening of the shirt will be the top opening of your bag.
Stitch the rounded edge closed. You can finish the edge with a nice zig-zag stitch for a little more strength and durability.
With the bag still inside out, use a ruler or yardstick to mark dashed lines. I marked mine about an inch long and and inch apart but you can do them any size that you like. Stagger the rows all the way down the bag until you have about 3-4 inches left. Stop there and mark one large line in the center for your handle opening.
Use a rotary cutter or scissors to slice the marks open. The rotary cutter makes this job so fast because you can easily slice through both layers and they’ll be even on both sides!
Turn the bag right side out and you’re done!

mesh beach tote 9
A few tips:
  • These bags stretch a lot, so if you want a smaller tote, cut the bag shorter.
  • If you will be carrying smaller items like fruits and vegetables, make sure to cut shorter holes.
  • Look for stripes, polka dots, chevrons and bold colors for really cute tote bags.
headband- made by me
top- Target
capris- Family Dollar
mesh tote- made by me