Craft: Recycled Jeans Purse

Make a statement, flower-child style, with this boho bag made from recycled denim. The fun of making these purses is that there are no rules - anything goes It's a great way to recycle favorite costume jewelry, use up bits and pieces of ribbon and trim and put creative juices to work for a truly one-of-a-kind result.


Approximate Time: 2-3 hours


  • old pair of jeans or shorts
  • glue gun
  • leftover fabric (for lining)
  • buttons, ribbon, trim, lace, rhinestones, charms


To begin, launder an old pair of jeans or jean shorts. Cut off jean legs or bottom of shorts to about 1-1/2 inch below crotch. Turn inside out and hand or machine stitch together. Now it's on to the fun part.

You may decide on a theme or color scheme first, or just plug in the glue gun, dump out the contents of your craft, quilting, scrapbooking or jewelry box, and get started. Begin by choosing a material to line the purse. Prettily-patterned scarves, bits of leftover quilting material or even old dresses or blouses with interesting detail all make fine choices. Cut the material to fit inside the purse with some overlap and use a glue gun to set into place. Trim material around the top of the purse and add a line or two of ribbon along the inside to give a finished look. Fit lace or ribbon around the "legs" at bottom of purse, again using the glue gun. Add sequins, beads, embroidery patches, bows, buttons, etc., to embellish. Attach strips of Velcro to the inside of the purse to close, if desired.


Choose a sturdy, stretchy fabric with some "give" for the handle. Purse #1 in the photo has a handle made from a narrow silk scarf, looped and double-knotted through the side belt loops. The handle on purse #2 is one I created by ripping lengths of floral material into 5-inch pieces and knotting together to form a 20-inch "rope."

I like to add quirky artwork to my purses. The photo on the back of purse #2 is of King Ludwig II of Bavaria (also known as the Fairy Tale king, an eccentric ruler and patron of the arts in Europe); I found the picture in an old songbook I picked up at a garage sale. Many herbal teas, such as Good Earth, print funny or thought-provoking quotes on their teabags. I snip and save the ones that interest me and glue them to the insides or back pockets of the purses, usually with an embellishment of a few rhinestones or tiny colored buttons.


Don't worry about getting too "matchy" or perfect with your boho bag. Instead, let the freewheeling flower child in you come out to play. The result will be a happy reminder of your own unique and creative spirit.

By Claire from Phoenix, AZ Pictures of purses made with jeans.

Photo of a jeans purse.
January 22, 20080 found this helpful

these look so cute & u wouldn't belive how much "crafters" charge for simmar wares

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
January 25, 20080 found this helpful

That, my friend, is very cool!:) Great job!

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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