Let’s Upcycle Blue Jeans into Denim Tote Bag
Are you ready to Upcycle Blue Jeans into Denim Tote Bag? It’s doesn’t seem that long ago that I was sorting through piles of blue jeans to make my grandson’s rag quilt. How is it that the pile never seems to go away? It’s a good thing there’s always something to make with blue jean scraps and I’m ready to make this pile disappear!
When I saw this DIY Denim Tote online, I wanted to make one for me. Color blocks are a favorite design element I like to use, plus who can’t use another bag? There’s always something that needs to be carried from here to there.
Planning to Upcycle Blue Jeans into Denim Bag
My initial goal was to make a blue jean tote bag and add some rag ruffles around the bottom layer. They’re adorable as ruffled rag quilt borders and I think they’d be a fun addition to a tote bag. But since this design is all about the color blocks, I’ll save the ruffles for another project.
The original denim tote post from Christie Chase includes assembly instructions. It’s a quick project that went together quickly for me. The construction is straightforward and in a couple hours you’ll have a finished tote bag. Since I used the denim strips I already had on hand, my blue jean tote bag came out a bit taller and narrower. It’s very functional and will get a lot of use.
My bag is made of regular denim cut from old blue jeans. I don’t like the idea of using the stretchy jeans for a tote bag as it may not hold its shape very well. Fortunately, my pieces were in different denim colors to make the bold color block design. The lining is made from a blue cotton sheet and worked perfectly.
How to Upcycle Blue Jeans into Denim Tote Bag
How To Make Denim Tote Bag
Here are some photos I took at various stages so you can see how I made this tote bag. A 1/2″ seam allowance was used on all seams. You can also read more details about how to cut your old blue jeans for sewing into projects.
How To Make Straps for Denim Tote Bag
The easiest way to make straps is to use webbing. It’s durable and requires no seams or turning! The only long pieces of denim I had were stretchy, so I used fusible interfacing to reduce the stretch a bit. While a good idea in theory, it made turning the straps a nightmare. The turned fabric wouldn’t glide very well next to the interfacing, so it took some serious pulling with a pair of needle nose pliers to get them turned right side out. Webbing will definitely be on my list next time!
Also if you’re interested in making an interior base to keep your tote bag’s shape better, you’ll find those instructions in this Hobo Bag article.
How To Assemble An Upcycled Blue Jeans Tote Bag
How To Sew Lining in Your Upcycled Blue Jeans Tote Bag
More Ideas to Upcycle Blue Jeans into Denim Bags
Any upcycled blue jean denim tote bag is a fun project. This bag was a learning endeavor for me and I’m very happy with the results. I will make more of these bags and want to add a bright print lining and a closure snap (or Velcro) so it doesn’t hang open. Since my bag is narrower, the open top doesn’t get too floppy, so I didn’t worry about a closure this time. My last comment is that I’d like it to open wider, so I’d notch a deeper cut for the gusset. And of course, some rag ruffles around the bottom would be a sure hit!
This is not a beginner’s project as the gusset construction is a bit fussy. But certainly try starting with a basic, straight bottom bag first and then work up to this one. If you have some sewing experience, you’ll enjoy this project. Either way, I hope you give it a try.
Also be sure to check out this wonderful DIY Reversible Hobo Bag. It’s a perfect gift for any women in your life. They’ll love it!
Don’t forget to post your project to #createmorebeautyinyourlifeeveryday.