Upcycling Jeans To Make A Handbag

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This week, a pair of my little girl’s jeans got a hole in the knee. This and the fact that they were getting a little bit small for my growing girl made me decide to make them into something new for her. Upcycling jeans to make a handbag may not be anything new. But I did want to show you what I did to make a pretty little shoulder bag that my little girl loves.

Want to make one too? Read on!

Upcycling Jeans To Make A Handbag



My little girl is growing fast. And these size 4/5 jean jeggings were just getting a little snug when I noticed that they also had a hole.

I decided that they were perfect for an upcycle project. If you read my blog often, you will realise that I hate throwing things away if I can turn them to some other use. Well this is the perfect use for a pair of jeans!


You Will Need


Old Jeans With A Hole In The Knee


  • A pair of old jeans
  • A Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread
  • Some material for a lining
  • A button or other fastening


How I Made The Bag


I cut off the legs just above the crotch. I turned this part inside out and sewed a straight seam across the bottom to make the bottom of the bag.


Cut off jeans


Then I cut the jean legs into pieces to make the strap, joining two pieces to make a long strip. I pressed a seam allowance on either side of this jeans fabric. Then, a strip of pretty material  (also with a pressed inwards seam allowance was sewn to the inner side of the strap handle.

Inside strap detail

I made a small rouleau loop of fabric also from the jeans fabric.

And then I sewed both the handle and the loop to the inside top edge of the jeans. Sewing the strap to either side, and the rouleau loop to the inside back of the jeans opening. This stitching is going to be covered by the lining, so it need not be incredibly neat. And you may need a thick needle as you are sewing through multiple layers of denim.


Lining The Bag


I used another piece of the pretty strap fabric to sew the bag lining. Measuring the approximate dimensions of the bag that I had made so far, I cut two pieces of fabric that were marginally wider than the jeans top opening. And about 3cm longer than the length of the bag.

I sewed a small seam allowance down each side and along the bottom edge. Then folded over the top edge to the outside so that the top edge was neat.

inside top of bag detail

Then I placed the lining inside the jeans bag, so that the wrong sides were together, and only the neat edge of the lining showed. I sewed the bag lining inside the jeans top edge. The leggings had a slight stretch so I used lots of pins! And this is also why the finished lining is rushed slightly around the top. 

Finally I added a button to fasten the loop around ( I love this oversized one) and the bag was done!

Upcycling jeans to make a handbag - great DIY upcycling project. Full Step by Step sewing tutorial, perfect for beginners. Reuse old clothes.


I love recycling and upcycling projects. Here are some more of my upcycling ideas…

Do you think that you might have a go at making a bag like this? I’d love to see your finished project. Comment here, or show me on social media.

And please do pin this post for later!

Upcycling jeans to make a handbag - great DIY upcycling project. Full Step by Step sewing tutorial, perfect for beginners. Reuse old clothes.


6 Replies to “Upcycling Jeans To Make A Handbag”

  1. Barb says:

    Such a cute project! I love it! I’ve pinned it. I can imagine making this bag for my little granddaughter.

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you. Yes, my little girl has already nabbed this bag for herself.


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