DIY Denim bags from old jeans: 3 easy to make ideas

How to make denim bags from recycled old jeans with this easy to make denim tote bag patterns
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Making bags from old jeans – This is one DIY project that appeals to those of us who hoard old jeans. There so many old jeans in my cupboard belonging to all four of us in our family- some torn in all the wrong places, some not fitting anymore in girth, some too short, some not fashionable enough. All of them waiting for some easy recycling ideas – to be made into new and beautiful denim bags.

Jeans Bags diy

When I thought about recycling my jeans into bags I dug into Pinterest and when I came up my head literally buzzed with so many ideas. But there is only so much time. So I decided to make only three from those ideas with two from my pile of jeans and at the end of it, there is still fabric enough to make many more jean bags. Another day another project.

One advantage of a jean bag is that you do not have to care about your perfect stitching skills – the rugged look of the jeans fabric take care of all that. Then the seam stitching on the jeans is an added charm. You also get a readymade top edge if we use the hem or the waistband as the upper edge. You do not have to worry about interfacing as denim fabric is thick enough. 

How to make jeans bag at home

1. A sling bag from old denim

jean bag tutorial

Take your jeans and keep it folded with the zipper opening of the pant on one side. Mark a rectangle shape from the top edge – it will be slightly diagonal extending to the crotch level.

denim material cut off from old jeans

Cut it out

cut the denim of the jeans for the bag

Keep it together right sides to the inside and stitch the sides and the bottom edges. When stitching with a home sewing machine start stitching from the belt side (thicker area) and go down – the stitching will be easier otherwise the presser foot will refuse to ride up the thicker level.

recycled jeans bag pattern

For the Strap cut out the seam of the legs of both the legs very close to the stitching

Stitch the fabric pieces cut  off from old jeans into a bag

After determining that the length is alright Join together keeping one edge on top of the other and making an x stitch.

seams cut off from the jeans

The size of the bag will depend on the size of the jeans. As I made it with kids’ old jeans this is not a big bag – just enough to carry small books and your favourite DVD. Add velcro strips to the inside of the top edge if you want closure there

Update: The seam handles do fray a lot – so if you do not like the thread-standing-on-end look, use fray check on the sides of the strap, as soon as you have cut it out. You have the option of using other easy handles like ribbon, webbing etc. Check out this post on the 18 different types of bag handles you can use

old jean denim bag diy

2. Old jeans bag with another fabric

The jeans legs sewn in the shape of a bag

You can combine upholstery material or interfaced dressmaking materials with denim from old jeans to make your bag more interesting.

Cut out the leg portion of the jeans for this and cut it open on one side seam

lower part of the leg of old jeans cut off

Open it up

open up the leg of the jeans

Join the other fabric to the cut open edge ( the hem will be the upper edge of your bag)

match other fabric piece with the leg

Make straps from the upholstery fabric – just cut out the length you want and width you want and turn under the side edges to the inside and top stitch on either side.

You can also do some embroidery or applique on the denim at this point to match the fabric.

attach handles to the jeans bag

Cut out small hexagonal shaped denim tab pieces to cover the strap stitching. Stitch in place

Add jeans material over handles
Sew the jeans material piece

If you wish to add a lining to this bag, make a smaller lining bag of the same shape, with some extra for the top edge; finish the band and hem its upper edge; You can add snaps or velcro as opening to the lining bag at this point 

Keep the lining bag to the inside of the finished bag and then hand stitch the lining bag top edge to the main bag hem. 

jean bag pattern

A similar bag made with jeans leg. 

recycle jeans to bag

3. A simple Jean bag

denim tote bag

To use the front portion of the jeans as it is, is a simple plan for the  bag. You just need to stitch the bottom edge to make this bag. But there is a problem – the front crotch seam is curved. You will have to open it up and straighten it – but that is easy – the same way that you would do it for a jean skirt project. Infact  this was a jean skirt first before it got to be a bag.

Cut out the jeans straight on the crotch level. Open up the curved seam on the front with your seam ripper.

Cut open the crotch seam of the jeans

Reposition it straight and stitch it

sew the seam back

Side seams are already stitched for this bag but on the bottom edge you may wish to make a curved shape. Join the bottom edge and add a strap. You got your bag.

sew the bottom edges together

Make your own patchwork fabric from old jeans scraps and make this boxy pouch.

boxy pouch - old jeans recycle

Related posts :

Jeans types for women;

29 Different types of bags- how many do you own? 

History of jeans

Tips for a Distressed Denim Look

Steps to Achieve the Ripped Jeans Look

18 ways to embellish your old jeans

How to shorten and hem jeans

10 jeans recycle ideas.

reuse denim ideas

Bag making posts :  20 Best materials you can use to make bags including hardware; Best fabrics for bag making ; How to make and sell bags.

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

18 thoughts on “DIY Denim bags from old jeans: 3 easy to make ideas”

  1. WOW!!!
    So many ideas. I have lots of old jeans,faux fur and various other fabrics.
    Your wonderful projects have give me the boost I need to get my DIYs going,
    Thank you for this site.

  2. There are so many “make a bag from jeans” very few utilise the top portion incorporating the pockets- I have been searching for a couple of weeks before I found yours
    WONDERFUL have yet to make it – but explanation is very easy to read and understand
    Thank you

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