Old Jeans? New Purse

Old jeans, new purseNo matter who you are, we all have a pair. It’s those beloved old jeans that don’t fit anymore, or have more holes than fabric. They sit in the drawer because we can’t bear to part with them. Well, now you don’t have to. Turn your old favorite pair of jeans into a functional purse that you can use every day.

Your supplies for this project are simple:  old jeans, decoration – rhinestones, beads, etc – a sewing machine or needle and thread, and scissors.  Now let’s bring new life to an old pair of jeans.

Cut your jeans just below the crotch. Turn the pants inside out and sew the legs closed to form a pouch. A sewing machine with a heavy or denim needle would be your easiest way. You could also do this by hand with a needle and thread. Use a heavy standard sharp or a quilting needle. Denim is a heavyweight fabric and needs a strong needle to go through it.

Cut material from one of the leftover legs to make your strap. You can leave your edges raw and they will fray over time (like cut-offs) or you can hem them for a more finished look. The length of your strap is up to you but make the width about an inch when finished. Remember to add extra length to attach it to the purse. Hemming the strap is simple. Turn your strap inside out and sew the cut sides together. Then turn the strap right side out again.

Attach your strap to the inside of your purse. This will require you to sew it by hand. You will attach your straps to the inside of your purse. Locate the belt loops on each side. You will be attaching your strap in this area. Start with one end and line it up where you want it. The exact stitch you use is not really important but make sure your strap is secure. Attach the other end in the same manner.

Leave it “plain jane,” or get creative and decorate your purse with whatever you want.  You can sew on some pretty patches if there are holes that will cause things to fall out of the purse. Attach Velcro to the inside if you want your purse to close.

This is also a great project to do with little girls.  You can make a fun purse out of their favorite pair of jeans that they have outgrown. Add a few sequins or iron-on decals to really personalize them.

3 thoughts on “Old Jeans? New Purse

  1. My wife makes purses and clothing from “recycled” clothes she gets from thrift stores or stuff that’s been nearly worn out by us. There’s actually a fancy term for it called “UPcycling”. She sell her stuff on Etsy, which might be a good way for lots of crafty folks to make a little extra money in tight times: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SalvagedThreads

  2. What memories! I made a purse like this way out of a ripped pair of jeans (we called them dungarees then) back in the early 70s.