How to Make a Satchel Bag Out Old Jeans - Easy DIY Tutorial

10 Materials
2 Hours

Here is an adorable denim satchel sewing pattern to help you make a satchel bag out of jeans - perfect for yourself or a gift! If you’ve been looking to make a satchel bag, this DIY denim satchel tutorial is for you! Here’s how to sew a satchel in just a few hours.

Tools and materials:

  • Old jeans
  • Lining fabric (usually cotton or cotton blend)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Faux or real leather 
  • Buckle
  • Half ring tabs
  • Sewing machine with a heavy-duty needle for denim and leather
  • Glue
  • Pliers for the buckle
DIY satchel sewing pattern

1. Make the pattern

You’ll need to make a pattern out of the jeans.

Both the outer layer of jeans and the inner lining should measure 32 inches long. The flap should be 8 inches, the back and front should both be 12 inches, and the width of the bag should be 16 inches.

How to make a satchel out of jeans

You’ll use the leg of the jeans that’s been cut off and opened up on the inseam. The bottom hem seam should be the top of the flap of the bag. Mark these measurements on the jeans and the fabric, and cut to match.

How to sew a satchel

2. Sew the bag bottom

Lay the jean fabric down and the lining on top so the right sides are together. Sew the short sides on the base side, not the flap side, together with a straight stitch.

Making a DIY denim satchel

3. Sew the rest of the bag

Open up the fabric and mark the flap area.

Sewing the lining to the inside of the bag

Fold the lining so the lining is properly folded by the front and back area. Then, add the fold to the flap. Clip the lining to the jean fabric.

Sew the side seams on both sides and across the flap with a straight stitch, leaving a 2 inch opening at the top of the flap to turn it inside out. 

Trimming the excess seam allowance

Cut any excess seam allowance. 

Attaching the belt loops from the jeans

4. Attach the tabs

Cut off belt loops from the jeans. Fold them in half and sew them just below the flap on the inside.

How to make a satchel bag

Turn the bag right side out. Use the scissors to straighten the corners at the top of the flap.

Making a handle for the satchel

5. Attach the handle

Use a 3½-inch piece of the faux or real leather. Smooth out the raw edges by folding them in and glueing the hem down. Fold it in half and open it up to apply glue to one of the halves and then refold.

Sewing the handle for the satchel

Sew all along the edges with a straight seam.

Attaching the handle to the satchel

Then sew to the top of the bag using a box X stitch.

Attaching the clasp and buckle

6. Attach the clasp and buckle

Glue the wrong side surface of the leather and fold it in half. Press it smooth with your hands.

Folding the leather buckle tab

Sewing the tab to the inside

Sew the leather buckle tab on the inside. Sew all along the edges.

Cutting a hole in the leather for the buckle

Mark the leather with the shape of the buckle and cut the hole. 

Making a buckle for the DIY satchel

Attach the buckle holes into the leather tab. Mark the fabric for the buckle pin.

Buckle for the bag

Attaching the buckle pin

Attach the pin as per the instructions for the buckle pin.

Drawing a pattern for the tabs

7. Make the leather tab attachments

Freehand draw a bow style pattern on paper that fits the half-ring tabs.

Testing the tab buckle with the paper pattern

Insert the tab buckle to adjust the fit. Fold the paper so it goes on properly. Once the pattern is right, use the paper as a pattern on the faux or real leather.

DIY leather tab buckles

Cut out 4 of these leather pieces. Attach them to the tab buckle.

Attaching the straps to the tab buckles

8. Make the straps

Cut a long strip of fabric from the jeans. Fold in half lengthwise with the right sides facing together. Sew with a straight stitch lengthwise. Use a loop turner or chopstick to flip it inside out.

You can watch this belt and strap tutorial for more detailed instructions on making straps.

Attach the straps to the bowties by gluing and sandwiching it in.

Sewing a box X stitch to attach the strap

Do this to both sides of the straps. Sew the leather to the denim strap using a box X stitch. Add the strap to the bag.

Make a satchel bag

Make a satchel bag tutorial

You’ve just made a beautiful and practical DIY denim satchel! What a great way to upcycle old jeans. Let me know in the comments if you’ve made this bag and what you use it for!

Suggested materials:
  • Old jeans
  • Lining fabric (usually cotton or cotton blend)
  • Scissors
See all materials

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