How to Make Denim Bags

Updated February 21, 2017

Denim is sturdy, easy to clean and attractive. All the reasons you love your denim jeans also makes denim a good choice for a handbag. If your favourite pair of old jeans are falling apart and you can't bring yourself to throw them out, then turn them into a purse. You can recycle your old jeans into a pocketbook with a few supplies that you pick up at a crafts store. No special sewing skills required.

Wash and dry your jeans. If you wash them several times with fabric softener, they will be easier to sew.

Zip and button the fly of your jeans and turn them inside out.

Fit your sewing machine with the denim thread and denim needle. You need special thread and a special needle to sew through denim because it is very tough. Denim will break a regular needle.

Sew across each leg of your jeans, just below the crotch area where the leg openings begin. Make sure that you sew from end to end of the leg openings so that your handbag doesn't have a hole in the bottom. Sew across the openings twice, if you want your handbag to be extra sturdy.

Remove your jeans from your sewing machine. Trim any excess thread and tie the ends of the thread so that your stitches remain securely in place.

Cut off the legs of your jeans with your scissors, approximately 1/4" below the stitches you just made.

Turn your jeans back right side out. You should now have a denim pouch.

Cut one of the legs up the seam so that you have a length of denim fabric. Trim the leg so that it is approximately 3" longer than you want your purse strap to be. Cut out a strip of denim, with no seams, that is 4" wide.

Fold this denim strip in half vertically, with the inside of the jeans facing out. Sew up the length of the strip.

Turn the strip of denim you just sewn right side out. Sew the ends of the strip into the pouch where you want your purse straps to attach. Most likely, this will be at the sides of the waistband.

Attach the Velcro strips to the inside of the bag, facing one another, so that you can seal your bag shut. If you want to make the Velcro strips especially secure, hand-sew them into place.

Things You'll Need

  • Jeans
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Denim needle
  • Denim thread
  • Velcro strips
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About the Author

Elizabeth Hannigan began writing freelance articles in 2005. Her work can be found in "Orientations" magazine. She holds a Master of Arts in art history from the University of Delaware.