How To Make A Tote Bag Out Of Blue Jeans

How To Make A Tote Bag Out Of Blue Jeans

While hanging out at home, I was cleaning out closets and coming up with projects to make and do and I decided to figure out how to make a tote bag out of blue jeans. Simple and fun, this is going to be a super useful project that I could make in an afternoon without too much fuss, plus you are upcycling some old jeans.

How To Make A Tote Bag Out Of Blue Jeans

Which, at this point, projects that are useful and don’t cause me to have too much stress are the name of the game. I mean, there’s enough going on that I don’t want to be making anything that takes just too much brain power. I’ve only got enough of that to go around lately! LOL!

So, stumbling on the idea of a tote bag with an old pair of jeans in hand, I was pretty stoked to try this out. And, with a few modifications on the concepts I’d seen elsewhere, I think I came up with a great tote that will really last me a long time as a shopping bag or beach bag! Let’s get started making tote bag out of blue jeans!

What You’ll Need for Blue Jean Tote:

materials for how to make a tote bag out of blue jeans

One thing to keep in mind is that the resulting tote bag’s size will be strongly dependent on the size of the jeans. So, if you want this to be a purse, go for a smaller pair of kid’s jeans. But if you want your tote to carry several boxes of cereal or bags of chips–you know, your normal grocery shopping fare or beach-bag type stuff, well, you’re going to want a big bag.

To make the bottom of the bag more stiff, I found a piece of old plastic sheeting I had laying around, but you could use cardboard, a particle board, or any kind of thin sheet of something that’s stiff. 

How To Make A Tote Bag Out Of Blue Jeans

measure and cut material for blue jean tote bag

First, you want to cut off the bottoms of both legs of the jeans. I wanted my tote bag to be tall enough for a box of cereal, so I cut my pant legs off at 21-inches from the waist down, which leaves plenty of room for a cereal box, plus space to make the bottom of the bag.

cut seam

Next, you’ll cut out the hem on the interior of each leg, all the way up to the crotch of the jeans. This should allow you to make a clean rectangle of the jeans, when laid out nicely.

cut material for blue jean tote bag

The crotch may need to be trimmed to make the clean rectangle, which you should do at this time.

turn inside out and pin

Turn the jeans inside out and lay them out like you’d wear them with the front side facing you, making the neatest rectangle you can possibly make. Press the two cut edges of leg interiors of the front sides of the legs together and pin them in place in a nice line.

reinforce stitch for blue jean tote

Sew that pinned line up, being sure to go all the way from one end to the other, sealing it completely. Because you will be using this tote bag for potentially heavy stuff, you may want to use a zig-zag stitch or a double stitch. 

sew hems of blue jean tote bag

Flip the tote bag over and repeat sewing the interior hems together on the back side of the jeans. Trim any excess fabric from the interior of the hem on the front and back seams. You should now have a tube of jeans that are inside out. 

sew bottom of tote bag

With the tube of jeans still inside out, lay them out like you would wear them, with the front side toward you and pin together the bottom opening from side hem to side hem. Sew this line, using the same reinforced stitch you used previously. 

turn tote bag inside out

Take the now one-end-sealed tube of jeans and turn it over so that the sealed end of the jeans is up and gently open the tote bag, pulling it open, upside down and inside out, and pin a line on the corners of the bottom, about 4-inches from the point on each side. Sew each of these pinned lines.

fold in corners of tote bag

Fold these two sewn corners toward the center of the bag’s bottom and either tack them in place with a little hot glue or a couple of stitches by hand.

finished corners

This is what it should look like right-side out.

measuring bottom of blue jean tote
cutting plastic sheet for bottom

Turn the bag right-side out and measure the bottom. Cut your plastic sheeting or cardboard piece to fit the bottom. But do not insert it yet. Just set it aside.

cutting strips for handle

For the next step in how to make a tote bag out of blue jeans take the section of the pant leg that you initially cut off, cut four strips of jean fabric 3-4 inches wide.

fabric strips for handle
sewing handles for blue jean tote bag

Sew two of the strips end-to-end. Repeat with the other two sets.

making handles for blue jean tote bag

Then fold each of the long strips inward on each side to make a hem on each side and sew in place. Fold each of the long strips inward once more in half and sew in place.

sewing strap on blue jean tote bag

Sew one end of each strip to the waistband of the jean tote bag. Use an “x” shape when sewing the handles onto the waistband to make sure the handles will stay affixed when you’re carrying your groceries around. Add in plastic sheet and you’re done!

finished tote bag out of blue jeans

If the handles are too long, you can tie them up in a knot and, because the fabric is jean material, the knots will stay in place. And, you can use the pockets to carry smaller items like your wallet, keys or anything else you need!

completed tote bag out of blue jeans

This is just such a fun and useful project, I can’t tell you how excited I am to have made it. I think I could have used this in a smaller format (using kid-sized jeans) for a purse, but really, the larger the pair of jeans, the more groceries I’m going to be able to fit in them, so I’m glad I went with the biggest jeans I could find.

How To Make A Tote Bag Out Of Blue Jeans

If you liked how to make a tote bag out of blue jeans, make sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share it with friends on social media. If you decide to make this fun and handy project on your own, make certain that you take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing what our readers are making!

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How To Make A Tote Bag Out Of Blue Jeans

Blue Jean Tote Bag

Recycle your old jeans with this fun sewing project! We show you how to make a tote bag out of blue jeans! You can use kid's jeans, your jeans, any jeans! Obviously the smaller the jeans, the smaller the bag. This is a great project for beginners. Start off your sewing journey by making something original and cute!

Prep Time 2 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $3.00

Materials

Instructions

  1. First, you want to cut off the bottoms of both legs of the jeans.
  2. Next, you’ll cut out the hem on the interior of each leg, all the way up to the crotch of the jeans.
  3. Turn the jeans inside out and lay them out like you’d wear them with the front side facing you, making the neatest rectangle you can possibly make.
  4. Press the two cut edges of leg interiors of the front sides of the legs together and pin them in place in a nice line.
  5. Sew that pinned line up, being sure to go all the way from one end to the other, sealing it completely. You may want to use a zig-zag stitch or a double stitch. 
  6. Flip the tote bag over and repeat sewing the interior hems together on the back side of the jeans.
  7. Trim any excess fabric from the interior of the hem on the front and back seams. You should now have a tube of jeans that are inside out. 
  8. With the tube of jeans still inside out, lay them out like you would wear them, with the front side toward you.
  9. Pin together the bottom opening from side hem to side hem.
  10. Sew this line, using the same reinforced stitch you used previously. 
  11. Take the now one-end-sealed tube of jeans and turn it over so that the sealed end of the jeans is up.
  12. Gently open the tote bag, pulling it open, upside down and inside out.
  13. Pin a line on the corners of the bottom, about 4-inches from the point on each side.
  14. Sew each of these pinned lines.
  15. Fold these two sewn corners toward the center of the bag’s bottom and either tack them in place with a little hot glue or a couple of stitches by hand.
  16. Turn the bag right-side out and measure the bottom.
  17. Cut your plastic sheeting or cardboard piece to fit the bottom. But do not insert it yet.
  18. With the section of pant leg that you initially cut off, cut four strips of jean fabric 3-4 inches wide.
  19. Sew two of the strips end-to-end. Repeat with the other two sets.
  20. Then fold each of the long strips inward on each side to make a hem on each side and sew in place.
  21. Fold each of the long strips inward once more in half and sew in place.
  22. Sew one end of each strip to the waistband of the jean tote bag. Use an “x” shape when sewing the handles onto the waistband.
  23. Enjoy your new blue jean tote bag!

Notes

You can certainly use smaller jeans, even kid-size jeans, but the thing to keep in mind is that the resulting tote bag’s size will be strongly dependent on the size of the jeans. So, if you want this to be a purse, go for a smaller pair of kid’s jeans. But if you want your tote to carry several boxes of cereal or bags of chips--you know, your normal grocery shopping fare or beach-bag type stuff, well, you’re going to want a big bag.

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