Make This Trendy Paper Bag Skirt From Old Pants

Pam Oduor
by Pam Oduor
6 Materials
2 Hours

You'd be amazed at what you can do with a pair of pants, apart from wearing them, of course. But if you have old, baggy pants lying around, not serving any purpose to you, why not transform them into something out of this world? In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a paper bag skirt from an old pair of pants. You won't believe how chic and elegant this paper bag skirt turns out. Are you ready for this unique transformation? Let's make a DIY paper bag skirt- keep on scrolling!

Tools and materials:

  • Elastic
  • Measuring tape
  • Elastic thread
  • Pair of old, baggy pants
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
DIY paper bag skirt

Measure and cut

Measure your desired length of the skirt and add around 3 more inches for the paper bag waist effect. Mark your measurement on the pant's leg section, with the pants folded in half, as shown.

Paper bag skirt pattern

Cut your pants and even out the edges of both pieces.

How to make a paper bag skirt

Next, cut or seam rip the side seam of both the pant sections. You should now have two, wide pieces.

Easy paper bag skirt

Assemble the skirt

Right, now it’s time to start assembling your DIY paper bag skirt. Join the pieces together by sewing them at the side seams. Start off by pinning the pieces and sewing down the middle. Remember that the fabric should be right sides facing. You should have one long piece of fabric.

Make a paper bag skirt

For the waistline, fold the top section inwards, at around 2 inches; this will also be the elastic's location. Pin the whole waistline and make sure there are no creases. Then sew along the folded edge with either an elastic thread or with a thin elastic. I prefer the former as it's easier to sew.

Sew a paper bag skirt

When you're done with the top part, sew the raw sides of the skirt together and your easy paper bag skirt is almost complete! 

How to sew a paper bag skirt

Add the elastic

Measure the circumference of your waist and subtract around 6 inches off of that. For example, my waist is 27 inches, so I cut a 21-inch piece of elastic. Sew the short ends together.

It's crucial to mark even points throughout the elastic and the waistline of the skirt. This will make life easier when attaching the elastic to the waistline. So, go ahead and mark four even points on both pieces. I folded my elastic evenly and marked the ends, and then I folded it again to add two more even points.

The same idea pertains to the waistline; fold in half , mark the middle pint, and of course, the side points.

Pin the elastic to the waistline by matching each point. Remember to pin on the wrong side of the skirt. 

Now, sew the elastic onto the waistline. Be sure to stretch the elastic as you sew, thus ensuring a paper bag effect all around.

We are done! This was super simple, and a great upcycle, turning something old into a functional, new clothing item. The best part is that you don't even need a paper bag skirt pattern, just a few measurements, and you're ready for the transformation! But wait, I am sure you're thinking what I did with the top pant part? I didn't discard that; I made a pair of beautiful…. fitted shorts. Want to see how I transformed that, too? Click here to see the super easy tutorial. I hope you enjoyed this upcycle. Now you know how to sew a paper bag skirt from old pants.


Suggested materials:
  • Baggy pants
  • Elastic
  • Measuring tape
See all materials

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