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Picture of Jean Purse in a Flash!
Reuse/Re-purpose/Recycle ** Don't waste those old jeans!! Make something fun!! **

I found an old pair of jeans from when my son was younger; they  had too much damage to pass on (Darn boys!!)  I used fabric I had on hand and made a "NO COST" purse! Yay me!!  (Other embellishments would also be fun... add embroidery, fabric paint, buttons, snaps... Be creative!!)

This would be a great project for a gift or yourself.  Please adjust fabric dimensions to fit the jeans you're using.  If you have large jeans they could be used for a beach bag, baby bag, gym bag... Use your imagination!
 
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Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
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Materials:
1)  Old pair of jeans -- "pretty" is unimportant!
2)  Fabric to be used for strap and belt (optional)

Equipment: 
1)  Sewing machine (or heavy gauge needle and strong thread if you choose to do this by hand)
2)  Complimentary or decorative color thread ** I just used white, but if you may want to match what is already on your jeans. -- Another option is to use gray, as it tends to be less visible.
3)  Seam ripper (for oops'!)
4)  Heavy scissors (for cutting jeans)
5)  Small scissors (for cutting thread)
6)  Measuring tape/ruler
7)  Ironing Board/Iron
8)  Cutting mat and roller cutter

Step 2: Measure/Cut Jeans & Fabric

JEANS:  Turn them inside out, then measure and mark where you want to cut.  Make a mark toward the inner leg first then toward the outer leg using a fabric marker.  Use a ruler  to make marks or draw a line as a guide for a straight cut. 

I marked to cut about one inch below where the inseam starts so that when finished it will still look a bit like shorts.  You could choose to cut above the inseam and then stitch evenly across the entire bottom.  NOTE:  Be sure to take into consideration how your cut affects the pockets in both front and back.

Using my larger heavy duty scissors, I cut through both layers at the same time which left the front a bit shorter than the back; you may choose to cut around the leg and have the edges more even.

FABRIC:  Iron before cutting.  The amount that you need will depend upon the size of your jeans, how long and thick that you want your strap (adjusting for seam allowances, of course) and if you want to run a piece through the belt loops as I did (sewing this is optional, you may wish to just roll some fabric and have a fuller look.)

I used fabric that was leftover from another project thus I did have to sew strips together to establish the length that I wanted.  I used a piece for the shoulder that was 39" long and about 4" wide, raw.  For the waist I ran a measuring tape through the loops and then estimate how far I wanted it to hang down for tie, etc.

I used a rotary cutter and mat to make my cuts for the various pieces of strap and 'belt'.

Step 3: Sewing

JEANS: If you cut below the start of the inseam as I did sew up each leg hole separately, using about 1/2" seam allowance.  After the first seam fold up the bottom to allow for another 1/2" or so seam.  This will create a stronger bottom.

If you cut the entire bottom open just fold and pin at intervals to have a smooth seam, then sew using the 1/2" seam allowance.  I recommend double stitching the entire length across or folding up and sewing a heavier seam as I did with the two leg holes.

FABRIC: Pin your strips inside out before sewing edge using 1/4" seam allowance; do not sew the ends of the strips as you will need to turn them right side out after sewing.

Step 4: Add Straps & Complete

Picture of Add Straps & Complete
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After turning the straps and "belt" right side out, press lightly.  Pin the ends of the straps to the inside of each side of the jeans and sew using a double row of stitches for strength.

Turn the jeans right side out, add your 'belt' and whatever 'adornments' that you wish -- And ... YOU DID IT!! 

Enjoy!!
maltesergr82 years ago
Very nice Instructable -- lots of pics & easy to understand!

If I may add one thing... When I made a jean purse very similar ô this many years ago, I added a lining; very easy to do and is especially helpful if there are any holes / rips in the jeans! All you need to do is take 2 pieces of fabric, roughly the same size as your purse & you can either hand-sew it in or machine sew it in. I chose to have a flat bottom on my lining, but it's totally not necessary. I also made my purse straps from the jean legs ;)

Thanks for sharing your Instructable!

Beth
Cute! Love the addition of the "belt" :)