ShabbyShe

I like upcycling, repurposing and crafting with my kids

Denim Handbag from Upcycled Jeans

This denim handbag was quite simple to make and was another way to repurpose some outgrown children’s clothing. This bag began life as a pair of girl’s jeans (age 2-3 years, so only small ones for my first attempt!)

Handbag made from denim jeans

Upcycled children’s denim jeans – now a handbag!

Having researched various projects like this on Pinterest, I settled on a trouser-leg bag which simply folds over at the top – the top of the bag being the bottom of the leg. Once I’d put it together though I decided to make a fastening to make it more secure and add a bit of style. I used the poppers (snap fasteners) from a kid’s denim shirt which my daughter flat refused to wear (and which I’m glad to say was handed down to her, not bought!) I like the gingham reverse on this detail, don’t you?

Popper fasteners and pocket detail on denim bag

The popper fastener and pocket, both cobbled from other pieces of clothing

The pocket detail is from another pair of girl’s jeans, glued on the front of the bag for a phone or card wallet. I was going to reinforce the pocket with stitching but it was quite thick and would be too complicated to machine stitch on – I didn’t want to undo any leg seams as they were already finished nicer than I could do them! Anyway it seems to be holding quite well!

Read on to find out how it’s made…

For this project you will need:-

  • One pair (or possible 2) of children’s denim jeans
  • Fabric glue
  • Sewing machine with denim needle (or a good strong needle if hand stitching)
  • Popper fastener pinched from an old shirt (or you could use a button and elastic hair bobble, which also looks cute)
  • Stretchy jersey / t-shirt fabric for straps
  • Fabric scraps for straps to fasten to bag (bit complicated to explain, see steps below)
  • D rings, available from craft shops & haberdashers

The steps are as follows:-

1. Cut the trouser leg above the knee
2. Turn inside out and stitch together the raw edges (I used a denim needle on my sewing machine). This is the bottom of the bag.
3. Turn right side out and fabric-glue the pocket on the front (having first decided how far down the fold-over top should be)
4.  Pin and stitch the popper strips in place, remembering the top strip needs to be fixed to the back of the bag (which folds over to close the bag)
5. Next turn the bag over and, using some small rectangles of scrap fabric which you’ve tidied up with hems etc, pin and stitch them in the position you want the straps to begin – remembering to insert the D ring before you stitch the fabric to the bag!! (Hindsight is wonderful, but I only bodged this up once!)
6. Cut three long strips of stretchy t-shirt fabric about 3-4 cm wide (1 1/2 inches) and 1 metre (40 in) long and plait them like hair
7. Knot the plaited strap onto the D rings and you’re done! Step back and admire your amazing creation 🙂

Bag fasteners - denim bag

D ring fasteners with jersey fabric straps attached

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