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6 Ways to Reuse Old Jeans

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recycled denim bag

2. Upcycled Green Jeans Bag

This is perfect for a pair of flared or wide-leg jeans. Start by cutting off one leg so that it’s the height you want you bag to be plus 1/4″. Now, turn the leg inside-out and sew it closed along the edge where you just cut. Flip it right side out again.

To decide how long you want your straps, try measuring the strap on a bag that sits just right on you. Once you have that sorted, cut 2 strips from the jeans’ other leg that are the length you want plus 1″ and 2″ wide. Use your iron to press the strips in half lengthwise, right side out, so you’re left with two, 1″ wide straps. Pin, and use your sewing machine to zig zag stitch along the unfinished edge.

Now, you’re ready to attach the straps! Pin them in place, then use a “strong box” to make sure they’re very sturdy. To create a strong box, sew yourself a rectangle with an X in the center. You’ll most likely have to double back along one seam to complete the box, and that’s OK. Just sew carefully, and no one will ever know.

Once the bag is all sewn up, you can use fabric paint or scrap fabric (or both!) to embellish it however you like.

>>Next: Turn flared jeans into skinny jeans

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


+ add your own
5:00PM PST on Dec 31, 2013

the quilt idea is interesting

10:14AM PST on Dec 20, 2013


10:29AM PST on Dec 17, 2013


10:22AM PDT on Aug 29, 2013

I've actually tried my hand at a jean bag---sadly the bottom fell apart. You need a really good sewing machine to stich jean. Thanks

5:16AM PDT on Oct 8, 2012

Great ideas thanks .

11:50PM PDT on May 1, 2012

we used to make hand bags out of old jeans

8:27AM PST on Jan 17, 2012

I have made jean skirts from old jeans, denin purses, scarves, shirts, baby jumpers, bags and applied patches on several items. There are so many things to do with old jeans. The levi tags make great accents too! Thanks.

9:19PM PDT on Jul 26, 2011


4:25AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011


4:22AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

These ideas are just great. Thanks Becky.

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