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How to Turn Ripped Jeans into a Purse

Transforming old clothing into useful items is smart and fun. It upcycles things that would otherwise be thrown away and gives you something new without having to buy it! Why not put those worn out old jeans you love to good use? They might have holes, but that doesn’t meant they’re garbage! Follow these steps to make a purse from an old pair of jeans.

Step 1: VIEW IN GALLERYjean-purse-step1

(Photo source: A Continuous Lean)

Find a pair of jeans to transform. Always make sure you’re using jeans that you actually have permission to cut up! Your sister won’t be pleased with you if you turn her new Lucky 7’s into a purse.

Step 2: 

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(Photo source: Denim Therapy)

Wash the jeans. People tend to wear their jeans many times in a row, but you want them to be clean before you cut them up. You’re much less likely to put your purse through the laundry, so this is their last shot at freshness!

Step 3: 

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(Photo source: Wikihow)

Cut the legs of the jeans off along the top, where they begin at the in-seam. Set the legs aside; you’ll use them later! To make sure your cut is straight across on the front and back, line up the waistlines at the top. Leave enough space that you don’t cut the pockets.

Step 4: 

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(Photo source: Wikihow)

Cut and sew an inner divider so that your purse has two main compartments. Make the divider from a panel of one of the legs you cut off. The dividing piece should be roughly the same size as one side of your purse. Measure that by flipping the top part of your jeans inside out and matching the divider to the size of that. To get a clean edge at the top of the divider, fold it down about two inches and sew it all the way along.

Step 5:

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(Photo source: Marvel Art Studios)

Match your thread. As you cut your jeans, you’ll notice that they’re probably sewn with brown or tan thread. If you’d rather the stitches be invisible, choose a denim blue. For a funkier look, choose a bright colour that really stands out!

Step 6: 

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(Photo source: Wikihow)

Keeping the top section inside out, line up the divider panel against one side. Make sure your neat top edge is at the same end as the waistband, which will be the top of your purse. Sew through the central piece and the divider piece all along the bottom of the purse, closing the opening where you cut the legs off.

Step 7: 

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(Photo source: Mom’s Sewing Room)

Make a strap! Down one side of the leg, cut a strip about 5 cm wide. Use the side seam of the leg to form a neat top edge for your strap. Cut the strip as long or as short as you need depending on where you want the purse to sit when you wear it.

Step 8: 

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(Photo source: Wikihow)

Turn your strap inside out so that the inside of the denim shows on the outside. Sew all along the edge to attach the two open sides of the strap. Try to keep your seam straight!

Step 9: 

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(Photo source: Wikihow)

Turn the strip right side out so the outside of the denim shows once more.

Step 10: 

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(Photo source: Wikihow)

Sew on your strap! The sturdiest place to sew the strap on is at the waistband, on the inside edge. If you’d like your purse to have only one strap, sew the ends level with the top of the side seams, near where your hips would have sat in the jeans. If you’re worried about the strap coming off, try sewing a small square shape with an X through it from corner to corner. This will minimize the chances of you pulling the strap off when your purse gets heavy!

Step 11: 

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(Photo source: Chic Soah)

If you’d like, your purse can have two straps! Make a second strap using the same method as before. Instead of sewing the ends on the very sides like you would for one strap, however, sew each strap to one side, space the ends out along that side depending on how you’d like the purse to sit when you wear it.

Step 12: 

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(Photo source: All Women’s Talk)

Accessorize your purse however you want! Sew contrasting fabrics to the front, add beads, spikes, or studs, or paint it! Personalize it and let people see how awesome handmade items can really be.

Step 13: 

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(Photo source: Factory Handbook)

Load your purse up! Put in everything that you’d normally take with you during the day and give the purse a test run. Pay attention to the bottom seam and where the straps are attached. If the purse holds up well, put in a little extra stuff and see how it does when it’s very heavy. If it’s all good, then you’re set! If, however, you notice straining along the bottom seam or at the straps, empty the purse, turn it inside out again, and reinforce your sewing.

Stap 14: 

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(Photo source: Make it & Love it)

Wear the purse out for a day! See how it holds up during regular wear and tear while you travel on the bus, drag your school books around, and take things in and our of it all day.

Step 15: 

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(Photo source: Between Naps on the Porch)

Touch the purse up as necessary. The beauty of DIY projects is that they can be altered and mended very easily since you know exactly how they’re made! Until repairs are needed, however, enjoy your purse!

Have you made your own DIY jean purse? Tell us how you customized it in the comments below!