Man Bag (Murse) Made From Old Pants!




You know you want one. Every guy does. Secretly, they have an urge to carry such an item, but don't have the juevos to get one. Be a man. (OR make one for your mother, every mother loves a tote!)

I've been wanting a new bag for a long time. Only one problem; inn my ho dunk town of Yakima, we don't have any stores that carry such an item. Only messenger bags. I wanted something manly, yet small and portable, while still being able to pack up for school. So, I made a quick pattern for my needs.

Also, I didn't want to spend any money (I'm a cheap-(censored). So, I recycled an old pair of pants that I didn't wear anymore, and used some leftover fleece.

Step 1: Get Your Stuff.

-Fabric for the outside (pants)
-Fabric for the inside (I used fleece, you could use another pair of pants...)
-Needle (or sewing machine, this is a long project by hand, short by machine)
-Paper for patterns (construction, newspaper, printing paper)

Unfortunately, my camera hates me, and wouldn't take a proper picture of my pants fabric, so I included a picture of what it looks like, up close and personal!

Step 2: Make Your Pattern.

You need to make a pattern to suit your needs.

My pattern was based on a school textbook. I needed something that would work well for school.

Faces: 14 inches by 18 inches

Side panels: 4 inches by 18 inches

Top and bottom panels: 14 inches by 4 inches

Edit your pattern to your liking! Man bags tend to be more rectangular than regular purses (see, there is a difference!).

Step 3: Cut Out Panels.

If you are using old pants, prep them by cutting down the crotch (from front to back), and then cut along the inseam. After a few attempts, I found this to be the best method for using the most fabric.
When cutting, do not forget to match up your seams so that when sewn, they will be level and straight with each other.

You will need to cut out:

2 side panels from the outside material
2 side panels from the inside (lining) material

2 bottom panels from the outside material
2 bottom panels from the inside material

3 faces from the outside material
3 faces from the inside material

Make sure to leave about a centimeter of fabric along the outside of your pattern (if you aren't familiar with sewing). It is for the seams.

unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the bottom panels.

Step 4: Sew the Main Portion.

You need to pin and sew one bottom panel, two side panels, and two faces together for each fabric. You will have one side panel and one face leftover. You should have two identical bag-like structures.

If you want pockets, I would add them now. You'll be suprised how difficult it is to add them once it's sewn up.

Step 5: Partially Make the Flap, and Add a Strap.

In order to make the flap for the front, sew one bottom panel to a face for each fabric. You will be left with two flaps (the front and back). Leave the two flaps separate for now.

Make a strap, or salvage one. You could use some scrap fabric for the strap, or you can use a strap from a salvaged backpack, or an old seatbelt, or an old belt, etc. Sew it to the outside fabric on the side panels (or use duct tape, I won't tell if you won't).

Step 6: Complete Sewing (well, Almost).

Sew the flaps to their corresponding bags, then pin and sew, leaving the end of the front flap open so you can flip it right-side out.

I found the strap a little difficult to sew through and work around. Be patient, and good things will come!

(picture one is of the joining of the two bags)
(picture two is showing that you need to leave the flap unsewn)
(I couldn't get image tags to work...)

Step 7: Don't Sew the End Shut, Button It!

You could sew the end shut, but I found a slightly better method.

Roll up the ends (fold it up twice), to whatever length you want your flap to end. Then take a couple buttons (or more), and sew them on, securing the end. It'll look sexy.

Step 8: Voila! You're Done.

Congratulate yourself. You are the owner of a murse / man bag.

If you come up with any creative tips or ideas, let me know, and I will include them! Just hit me up with a PM.



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    27 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    There's a lot of hoo-haa about what to call it (see below). Guys, it's okay to call it a 'purse' frankly, it is a purse. What do you think men did before pockets became popular? Yep - and they called them purses. Mostly, they were the on-the-belt sort, like a sporran (which means 'purse' in Scottish Gaelic). Every guy wore one, and they are mentioned frequently in Shakespeare and earlier literature. I don't usually carry that much gear, so mine's on my belt, but i like this instructable, good work. Men, have courage, call a purse a purse ( a word with nifty ancient roots - from Latin 'Bursa' ).
    Idea wise... the more that the inner pockets are fitted to specific items, the less rattle-around you get, and the easier things are to find.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    The funny thing is that 200 years ago most men (in North America anyway) carried them, called Possibles bags because it carried whatever you may possibly need. And those guys where very "manly". I started one myself from my old leather jacket I wore 20 years ago. I just need to stitch it up. I wanted it for day hikes and the like but I cut the pieces just the right size to carry my laptop as well :) Perhaps the secret to making it manly is to have a powder horn attached to it or maybe get an old wig and hack a chunk of it off to hang from the bag. If anyone makes fun of your "murse" you can tell them its the scalp of the last guy that made fun of you ;)

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I carry a Possibles every day! People try calling it all kinds of things and I correct them. One thing I do to further the idea that it is not a purse carried by a man is that instead of a strap, I hook it to my belt with a carribener. It has nothing to do with a trapper's Possibles bag but it helps distance it intellectually.

    Mine is in fact a tactical pouch that is designed to carry id. I tried finding a picture of something like mine but I can't find anything quite like it. Guess I'll have to take better care of it!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Functionally on the grossest level, yes. It has a built in wallet and is not part of the belt. Really there are a lot of differences so for most intents and purposes, no.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Ugh! I can't stand the word "murse"! It makes me feel gross.

    I would much rather just concede that I am carrying a purse. Modifying the word just sounds insecure, like I need to remind everyone that I am a man because they forgot or something.

    Well that's my rant. Very cool instructable!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    A 'murse' could also be a male nurse. So if you are a murse, you will love this murse! :D


    8 years ago on Introduction

    The term " Murse" was originally used for Male-Nurse. So satchel or Man Bag would be a better term. If you're a Metrosexual, just call it a purse.


    9 years ago on Introduction

     I see that someone else already mentioned the possibles bag the trappers/ mountain men of old carried.Please for God's sake quite using that word murse,  that sounds sick. Possibles bag, satchel or just plain bag.I carrying a bag as part of everyday living, I'd keep forgetting it.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     LMAO! Typical Alan from The Hangover... haha!

    True thou.. :)

    NOTICE : The video contains a swear word... the F one to be exact... 


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Looks great. I've been working on a couple of driver/golf hats since I decided to start trying to sew. I've thought about making a new bag since I have to carry alot of stuff for my work. This would be great. Good looking instructable too.

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    looks like you are in need of a pair of duct tape sandals. search


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, I have two of these! Or maybe one of them is technically a messenger bag, not sure, but this one I have right next to me is definitely a man bag. It must be manly because it's BLACK and it's got MOTORBIKES on it. Well, a vespa. But the point is the same. Are you carrying a tiny dog in step 8 image 2 in an ironic manner? :P

    1 reply
    Doctor WhatPKM

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    No, she just decided to invade my picture. I hate people that carry their dogs around, especially in bags. It makes me want to cry. That's what a leash is for!