Make a stylish jean purse or bag by upcycling an old pair of jeans and an old belt. A great way to repurpose old jeans, plus you can make a cute gift by personalizing the denim.
I found a picture of a jeans bag on Pinterest from a tutorial by Between the Lines, and I thought it would make a cute purse. I knew that my teen and tween daughters would both love to have one, especially if I added a design that personalized each bag. It was easy to make and used supplies that I already had. And a huge benefit was that I didn’t have to throw away some old jeans with holes in the knees and add to the landfill. Budget-friendly for me, a great gift for my daughters, and beneficial for the environment.
Jean Purse Supplies
- Old jeans – I used men’s jeans
- An old belt – mine was just a cheap vinyl belt
- 6 screw posts, also called chicago screws
How to Make a Jean Purse
Make the Jean Bag
Cut off the pants below the knees so that the knee-wear won’t end up in your purse. You can cut it shorter, if you’d like a shorter purse. Sew the pant leg closed near the cut off. I sewed 1-inch from the cut. Then I went back and serged the edge to prevent loose strings. If you don’t have a serger, you can always sew a zig-zag stitch along the edge.
To make the bottom of the purse flat, I sewed the across each corner. Then turn the whole thing right-side out.
Add Personalization or Design
This is completely optional; you can decorate your denim purse however you’d like. I used Crafter’s Ink by Clearsnap because it works well on fabric. It’s the same stuff I used to embellish my water bottle holder, and you can see all the details on how to use it there. I used Clearsnap’s mandala patternClearsnap’s mandala art screen with lime green ink.
My other daughter loves Warrior cats, so I used freezer paper to make a thunder clan logo for her purse. You can see the process I used in my post on decorating a t-shirt.
Make the Purse Clasp
Buckle the belt together on the last hole. Then cut the belt on each side of the buckle, about 3 inches from the buckle, to make the clasp.
The posts of the screws is a little smaller around than a pencil so I stuck a pencil through the last two holes of the holes to enlarge them. Those are the holes where the post screws will attach through and onto the jean purse. Don’t enlarge the other holes because the buckle will clasp through them.
To make the holes in the buckle side where there aren’t any, I used a leather awl to pierce a hole through the vinyl, then used my pencil to enlarge the hole again.
Attach the Clasp to the Jean Purse
Fold the jean bag top over twice, so it looks how you want the finished purse to look. Place the clasp you cut from the belt across the fold of the bag, again how you want it to look finished. Mark where each hole of the clasp sits on the bag with a marker.
Use a leather awl, or another sharp point, to make the holes in the denim at the marks (just be careful not to poke through the opposite side of the purse).
Line the hole in the clasp up with the correct hole in the denim. I used masking tape to keep everything in place while I worked. Press the post side of a post screw through the hole (it may take some pressure) and then screw on the other side of the post screw. Repeat the process for all of the post screw attachments.
Attach the Purse Strap
Use the remainder of the belt for the purse strap. You can cut it shorter, but I used the entire thing to make the strap. Make holes at each end of the strap, just like with the clasp. Then, clasp your purse together and decide where you want the strap to attach. I attached it at the top of the purse, just before the fold. Make holes in the denim and connect the strap to the purse with screw posts, like before.
My daughters love their purses and use them all the time to carry a sketch book and art supplies or a book to read or whatever stuff they need on the go.
A jean purse is a great way to repurpose an old pair of jeans, keep waste out of the landfill, and make a cute accessory.