making Jean Purses

Wait! Don't Throw Away Those Fav Jeans!

We can all be sentimental about our jeans, right? Well here's a way to give 'em a new life when those old jeans just can't quite get up over the ... Well, when you decide you just can't wear them anymore!

I had a great pair of jeans with beautiful beaded flowers at the bell bottom of each leg. Before I knew it though the waistline became a problem so I just couldn’t wear them anymore (they kept shrinking in the wash is all I can say). But I just couldn’t bear to part with them so finally I decided to make something from them so they would still be useful to me. That’s when I cut them up and made purses (3 in fact!). One purse was made from each of the two legs (one is pictured here) and one purse was made from the top (see the next two pictures).

Making a Jean Purse from the Legs of a Pair of Jeans

It was very easy! I cut the legs off at the top of the inseam and then cut down the inside of each seam (allowing about 2 inches) until I got to around the knee to create shoulder straps. This let me keep the largest section of beading.

I laid this flat and cut a duplicate of it from a piece of thin pale cotton for the lining and sewed the edges so it fit perfectly inside the leg of the jeans. Then I sewed the bottom of the jean leg.

I sewed together the tops of the shoulder straps on jeans and lining (ending up with two separate bags – one jean and one lining). Then sewed the lining inside the jean purse (one side on the machine and the other by hand with a blind stitch).

Notice the flap? I saved a piece of the fabric cut out to leave the straps and fashioned this little flap. I sewed this in on the side that I did on the machine.

I made two of these jean purses (one from each leg) and shared one with a friend. It was a nice gift!

Making a Jean Purse from the Top of a Pair of Jeans

Here is the purse that I made from the top of the jeans after I cut off the legs for the purses made above.

I sewed along the bottom (tops of the legs) and then made a lining to fit neatly inside out of a funky tie-dyed fabric. I put a zipper in the lining to keep stuff safe.

Using some of the left over fabric from cutting out for the shoulder straps of the purses above I made the hand straps and the two beaded pockets (this pair of jeans didn’t have back side pockets). This was a great way to save even more of the artful beading.

The shoulder strap is a vintage weaved belt that I picked up at the thrift store. One side is fringed and the other has a brass loop which turned out to be great for hanging stuff on (like a key chain or chap stick on a clasp).

Front View of the Purse

Here’s a picture of the front of the purse. Those front pockets come in handy too.

I tied a bauble string of beads and a peace sign charm from the eye of the zipper for decoration and it’s helpful in pulling the purse opened and closed.

This is just a brief description of how I put together these purses. It’s intended to pass along some of the ideas I have come up with so you can take it from there and create your own masterpiece. But if you want a more in depth explanation and some really cool tips and ideas on this subject, check out Making A Purse From A Jean Skirt where I go step by step through the whole process.

By the way, I don’t show it here but I sewed a pocket on the inside of the fly for even more storage.

This was a cool little skirt that I picked up at the thrift store too. I just loved the embroidered design near the bottom plus the corduroy yoke at the top with the fringe. I found this cool tie belt too which has more embroidery in almost the same colors and a couple of light blue rhinestones that sparkle. When sewn on the belt ties dangle mimicking the fringe on the skirt yoke. It’s like they were meant to go together.

I’m not sure you can tell but the bottom of this purse is a solid oval. I cut two pieces of tough upholstery fabric and sewed them to the bottom edge of the skirt with a strong piece of cardboard in the middle. This really opens up the chamber inside and makes the purse very spacious. It’s more of a tote bag or even an overnight bag.

So that’s a quick peek at just a few of the possibilities of making jean purses from old jeans or skirts. Of course the possibilities are endless!

Take care and keep on Crafting!