Check Out This Upcycled Denim Mini Bag

Angelina Tongbram
by Angelina Tongbram
12 Materials
2 Hours

I was thinking about my next fashion upcycle when I found an old pair of jeans in my closet. I knew I had to create a new gorgeous denim piece with my old jeans. I decided to DIY an amazing denim mini bag! I totally transformed the jeans to create this absolutely gorgeous handbag. If you are looking for your next denim DIY, this bag is definitely your next project. Follow my simple and easy, step-by-step tutorial and get started on this awesome upcycle which will see you take your old pair of jeans and refashion them into a stunning, denim mini bag.

Tools and materials:

  • Jeans
  • Lining fabric
  • Interfacing
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pins
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine
Upcycled denim ideas
Make a pattern

To get started on this amazing denim bag, I started by drawing a rectangle shape on a piece of paper that was 10-inches by 7-inches. I added a curve to one end which would be the shape of my new bag. I also drew a line down the center of my rectangle. 

Cut the paper

Once I had drawn my rectangle, I folded it in half and started to cut out the shape for my amazing new bag. 

Mark the paper

With my shape cut out, I marked on the paper where exactly I wanted the fold of the bag to be. You can make these markings according to your preference. 

Cut the folds

Next, I cut along these markings leaving a small hinge at the top of the paper to hold all the pieces in place. 

Tape them down

I fanned out the pieces so that they had a gap of 1.5 inches in between them. I then stuck them down to a piece of paper using tape. I made sure to add 3-inches to the top before I cut out the pattern. 

Denim upcycle ideas
Cut the denim

I had my pattern ready and I traced it onto the pair of jeans. 

Upcycle denim jeans

I then cut along the traced lines to get the front and back piece for my awesome, new denim handbag. 

Upcycled denim bag

For the bottom piece, I cut a small rectangle of denim 4-inches by 6-inches. 

Mark the length

Once I had all the pieces ready, I marked the length of my new DIY bag on the denim. 

Measure the curve

Next, I measured the length of the curve of my bag, using a measuring tape. 

Mark the side pieces

Using the above measurements, I marked and cut out the side pieces for my bag. 

Make the handle
Make the handle

I placed this new piece over the fabric and cut out the shape for the handle which ends where the center marking on the side piece is. 

Sew the handles

I placed the two pieces, right sides together, and then sewed them together. Once I had sewed, I turned the piece right side out making an amazing strap. 

Add interfacing
Add interfacing

To make the denim a bit stiffer, I cut out interfacing for all of the pieces and then pressed it on with an iron. This helped make the bag more durable and definitely helped the fabric sit better. 

Add the pleats
Add pleats to the fabric

Once all my denim pieces had interfacing, I marked the folds on my back and front pieces. I pinned the folds in place so that I could make the pleats. I absolutely love this detail of the bag. I hopped on over to my sewing machine and sewed along the back of the folds. 

Fold to the right length
Sew the bag together

I folded the fabric to the length of my handbag and sewed the fold in place. 

Sew the front and bottom piece

It was finally time to start putting this bag together! I pinned the front piece to the bottom and side pieces, right sides together. 

Sew the pieces together

I headed over to my sewing machine and sewed the two pieces together along the edge. I just loved seeing this handbag come together! 

Pin on the back piece

I pinned on the back piece of fabric and like I had done before, sewed it on along the edges. 

Turn right side out

Once that was done, I turned the bag right side out to make sure that the bag was looking good and just as I had imagined it. 

Cut scrap fabric
Add lining

To give this bag a gorgeous finish I knew I needed to add a lining to the bag. I used a scrap piece of fabric and cut it flat. 

Cut a long strip

I cut the shape of my front and back pieces and also made sure to cut a long 4-inch wide strip of the scrap fabric. 

Pull on the lining

I sewed the lining pieces together. I then turned my bag inside out and pulled the lining piece over the interfacing. Although I used scrap fabric, I totally love this lining with the denim. I had removed the straps of the bag to make them a little shorter but you can do this step with the straps intact. 

Hand sew the lining

Once the lining was in place, I hand sewed it on. I left the two sides open so that I could reattach my sleeves later. 

Reattach the straps
Reattach the straps to the bag

I had shortened my sleeves and to reattach them, I slipped them in between the lining and the denim and sewed them in place with a straight stitch. I couldn’t wait to see the end result. 

Add ties
Attach ties

I then decided to add ties onto the bag so that I could close it. You can add a zipper instead if you prefer. I took two small strips of the scrap fabric and folded them to create a small tie. I then hand sewed a tie onto each side of the bag opening. 

Denim upcycled projects

I am totally obsessed with this upcycled mini denim bag! What details would you add to this bag? Let me know in the comments below! 

Suggested materials:
  • Jeans
  • Lining fabric
  • Interfacing
See all materials

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