Introduction: Upcycled Jeans Handbag

Its always fun to have a novelty handbag in your wardrobe! Nothing beats a novelty upcycled handbag!!

To make this handbag you need an old pair of jeans and something to line the bag with. An old t-shirt works perfectly for this! you also need sewing thread, a zip and a sewing machine with a needle made specifically for sewing denim. Smaller jeans make daintier bags.

Some tips before you start:

* Sewing denim is more challenging than softer materials, use a denim needle.

* The prettier the jeans the prettier the handbag!

* Be careful when sewing on the jeans portions, most jeans have metal embellishments, make sure you don't try to sew over any of these, they will break the needle!


* Old pair of jeans

* Old t-shirt or other scrap material to line the bag with

* Sewing thread

* Zip (I prefer a chunky zip for a bag). To measure the size of the zip needed, place your jeans on a flat surface and stretch the top opening as wide as possible. Measure the length and buy a zip at least 10 cm longer. For a two ended zip, buy two zip ends, otherwise a single zip end will work

* Small zip (for optional cellphone pouch)

* Sewing machine (with denim needles)

* Pins

* Scissors

Step 1: Cut the Jeans

* Cut the legs off the jeans from the edge of the jeans through the crotch.

* Lay the cut jeans on top of the t-shirt and cut a piece the same size / slightly large than the jeans piece. Cut through both layers so that you have two pieces of lining material

* Using the remaining material to cut a piece for the inside pocket (optional) - i used my cellphone as a measure and made the pocket a little larger than my cellphone.

* Cut a long wide piece out of the leg portion - for a short strap, you only need to cut through one layer, for a longer strap, you can cut through both layers.

Step 2: Sewing the Strap

* If you are using two pieces for the strap, pin and sew the pieces together on the short side (with right side together).

* With right sides together, sew the long sides together to make a tube.

* Turn the tube to the right side and set aside.

Step 3: Lining and Money Pocket

* With right sides together, pin and sew the lining pieces on three sides, leaving the side that will open at the top of the bag open.

* Hem the top of the bag lining (opening).

* Pin the back side of the zip to the right side of one pouch piece and sew.

* Open the seam out and pin the zip to the other side of the pouch and sew.

* Pin and sew the zip pouch beyond the length of the zip to close the top of the pouch.

* Mark center point of the main lining piece - where you would like the cellphone pouch. Cut a slit in the lining, the slit must be exactly the length of the zip.

* With wrong sides together oversew the pouch over the slit around the zip.

* Fold the pouch closed again (right sides together) and sew the remaining three sides closed.

Step 4: Final Bag Assembly

* With right sides together, pin and sew the open bottom of the jeans closed. Re-enforce the seam with zigzag or overlock stitch.

*Sew the strap onto the left and right side of the jeans and re-enforce seam with a zigzag (remember that the strap will carry the weight so re-enforcing this seam will help the integrity of the bag). Also make sure that the strap is not twisted before sewing on the second side!

* Thread the zip ends onto the zipper sides and sew both ends closed (if using a custom zip like i did, you can leave this step if using a standard zip).

* Pin the lining to the zip and to the jeans (right side of zip to wrong side of jeans and wrong side of lining to wrong side of zip - like a sandwich). With the zip fully open , sew from the middle of the jeans towards the edges, leaving and opening of about 8-10 cm on the edge (so that the zip end is not sewn into the lining). Zip closed and hand sew the last bit. If the jeans are too thick at the front button, you may have to hand sew this portion.

Enjoy your Jeans bag!!

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