Old Jeans, New Purse

I’m a bit of a Pinterest junky. By that I mean I see so many ideas that I get overwhelmed with all the inspiration. I’ve had a huge stack of jeans lying around for a couple years that I’ve been wanting to do something with. My kids seem to blow through the knees quickly, so I thought I might make a quilt with what could be salvaged. It’s a great way to use up the legs, but what about all those cool pockets and seams?


As I was staring at the pile of pockets I thought about making a new purse.  With no idea what size or shape I wanted, I took an old bag and started pinning scraps onto it.  Not pretty.  So…I started over by pinning the pieces together. No plan, just putting what I thought looked cool together.

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It helped that I had so many shades to use–light blue from my little kids to my own deep indigo trouser jeans.

017I kept one button from a waistband intact because I thought it looked interesting.  However, if you do this, make sure you anchor it with stitches all around.  Otherwise it may move and/or pull fabric.


You won’t need a lot of supplies…just old jeans, needles, thread – I used less than one spool, really good scissors and pins.  FYI – I went through three needles:  one is lost somewhere in the sofa, one broke in a thick stack of belt loops and is still in there and the final one was to finish the project.


Since red happens to be one of my favorite colors I started stitching it together with red thread.

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Mine turned out to be approximately twelve inches high and three feet long. Then it was folded in half and the ends stitched together


Don’t forget to stitch all the pockets closed so they don’t catch on anything.

020Turn inside out…

024and then sew up the bottom, keeping the stitches close together. You don’t want your lip gloss to fall out!

023Cut the inseams of the pant legs out in one strip.  They work well for the purse handles!046I then stitched four strips together with a piece of pant leg onto the back.


This was my finished product.

Things I learned:

  1. I HATE sewing machines.  My mother-in-law was generous to let me borrow hers. However, after 4+ hours trying to figure it out with the help of the original manual, YouTube guidance and a lot of cussing I never conquered the evil machine.
  2. Hand-stitching is always faster for me!  Since that’s how clothes were made for hundreds of years, I’m pretty sure it will hold for whatever I’m making.
  3. Whoever invented the thimble was a genius!  I wish I had a few for this project. There are holes in my fingers.

**I might put in a cute fabric for a liner.  If I do, I promise to update the photos!

8 Replies to “Old Jeans, New Purse”

  1. So cute Heather!!! Way to go:). I am one that prefers the sewing machine. Though, I do enjoy hand sewing to take on the road. Love ya!

  2. I am so inspired by your handbag I’m going to make my own also. I have lots of jeans around the house as well I’ve been wanted to do something like this for a long time and I can’t wait to get started thanks for sharing! ?

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