Handmade Reviews BYOB market tote made from jean scraps

Published on May 9th, 2008 | by Leslie Richard

52

DIY: Upcycle Old Denim Into Market Tote

BYOB market tote made from jean scrapsYou’ve now cut your old jeans to make a sexy upcycled mini skirtcraft supply organizer or I-pod case- what do you do with all those…well, leg scraps laying around? In a few simple & experimental steps you can have a super eco craft  that has double the earth loving power-  an upcycled denim BYOB (bring your own bag) tote! Not only is it eco savvy to reuse your old jeans but this crafty shopper will help stop the plastic bag litter that is poisoning ground water & soil.  This sassy project deserves 2 green stars!

byobjeanlegs.jpgYou Will Need:

  • legs left over from your last denim craft project
  • scissors
  • sewing machine or turn of the century hand sewing skills
  • thread of a fun contrasting color

 STEP #1: Choosing – I chose legs from two different stone washed jeans to make subtle contrasting stripes, but you can use any number scrap colors. You can also go for the mono color look, and let the thread be your main contrast.

STEP #2: Cutting – Now is the time to lay out those jean legs and cut them open. You will want to save the thick seams for the straps of the bag, so cut directly up the seams on both sides and remove them. Then cut 9 rectangles at 13inch X 5 inch  ( you can make them larger or smaller if you’d like to change the size of the bag, as long as every rectangle is the same exact size.)

STEP #3: Sewing- This is the fun part, that you can be experimental with! I took this as an opportunity to try out every bizarre stitch on my sewing machine, you know all those stitches that are zig zaggy, wavy and you don’t always know what they are for. I laid each jean strip right edge on top left edge, and then used a new (yet tight) stitch to sew each of the four front panels together. Repeat this step for the back four panels also. All eight stitch lines are totally different and unique, which makes the bag extra attractive. Now you have two pieces (each made of four panels), which you will turn inside out and prepare to sew the left and right sides, leaving the bottom and top completely open. (Kind of like making a pillow.) The one left over panel can now be sewn into the bottom. I put this in by centering the panel in the middle of the front piece and then simply sewing an inner seam by following along the edges (including the sharp turning edges).

STEP #4: Finishing Touches – The last of your finishing touches will be the straps and a snazzy decorative item. I turned the seam-line straps with the inside facing out, and placed them on the very inside corners of the bag (right and left) & used a very tight stitch over them. Make sure they are not twisted when you do this (cause that would stink). Now throw this BYOB baby in your wash & dry cycle with your next laundry load and let it make the 80′s fray. For the perfect finishing touch put an old and preferably gaudy broach from the thrift store on it and use as a clasp. Adorable!

Now go out and flaunt your eco craftin’ style at your local grocery & farmer’s market!


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About the Author

I live and breathe everything eco , from organic gardening, organic food, to green crafting, minimalist decorating and nature made art. On an average day you can find me planting seeds, loving on my kitty, working on my eco fashion store The Oko Box (www.theokobox.com), and blogging about something green. I love promoting eco lifestyles and participating in changing the future, for a greener earth. xoxo



52 Responses to DIY: Upcycle Old Denim Into Market Tote

  1. SuperNick says:

    That looks really awesome. Super crafty! Great Idea.

  2. SuperNick says:

    That looks really awesome. Super crafty! Great Idea.

  3. SuperNick says:

    That looks really awesome. Super crafty! Great Idea.

  4. Jenn says:

    AWESOME, AWESOME oh and did I mention AWESOME idea! My hubby just retired about 6 pairs of jeans, I am all over creating a few totes today. thanks for the creative inspiration, I love your blog so much :~)

  5. Jenn says:

    AWESOME, AWESOME oh and did I mention AWESOME idea! My hubby just retired about 6 pairs of jeans, I am all over creating a few totes today. thanks for the creative inspiration, I love your blog so much :~)

  6. Jenn says:

    AWESOME, AWESOME oh and did I mention AWESOME idea! My hubby just retired about 6 pairs of jeans, I am all over creating a few totes today. thanks for the creative inspiration, I love your blog so much :~)

  7. Jenn says:

    AWESOME, AWESOME oh and did I mention AWESOME idea! My hubby just retired about 6 pairs of jeans, I am all over creating a few totes today. thanks for the creative inspiration, I love your blog so much :~)

  8. Jenn says:

    AWESOME, AWESOME oh and did I mention AWESOME idea! My hubby just retired about 6 pairs of jeans, I am all over creating a few totes today. thanks for the creative inspiration, I love your blog so much :~)

  9. ChicagoGal says:

    Wow! Cool idea…and just in time for spring and summer farmers’ markets!

  10. ChicagoGal says:

    Wow! Cool idea…and just in time for spring and summer farmers’ markets!

  11. ChicagoGal says:

    Wow! Cool idea…and just in time for spring and summer farmers’ markets!

  12. ChicagoGal says:

    Wow! Cool idea…and just in time for spring and summer farmers’ markets!

  13. alex says:

    Hey! Thanks for all the great info. I was browsing through a bunch of green websites and blogs and I came across yours and found it very interesting. There are a bunch of others I like too, like the daily green, ecorazzi and earthlab.com. I especially like EarthLab.com’s carbon calculator (http://www.earthlab.com/signupprofile/). I find it really easy to use (it doesn’t make me feel guilty after I take it). Are there any others you would recommend? Can you drop me a link to your favorites (let me know if they are the same as mine).

  14. alex says:

    Hey! Thanks for all the great info. I was browsing through a bunch of green websites and blogs and I came across yours and found it very interesting. There are a bunch of others I like too, like the daily green, ecorazzi and earthlab.com. I especially like EarthLab.com’s carbon calculator (http://www.earthlab.com/signupprofile/). I find it really easy to use (it doesn’t make me feel guilty after I take it). Are there any others you would recommend? Can you drop me a link to your favorites (let me know if they are the same as mine).

  15. alex says:

    Hey! Thanks for all the great info. I was browsing through a bunch of green websites and blogs and I came across yours and found it very interesting. There are a bunch of others I like too, like the daily green, ecorazzi and earthlab.com. I especially like EarthLab.com’s carbon calculator (http://www.earthlab.com/signupprofile/). I find it really easy to use (it doesn’t make me feel guilty after I take it). Are there any others you would recommend? Can you drop me a link to your favorites (let me know if they are the same as mine).

  16. alex says:

    Hey! Thanks for all the great info. I was browsing through a bunch of green websites and blogs and I came across yours and found it very interesting. There are a bunch of others I like too, like the daily green, ecorazzi and earthlab.com. I especially like EarthLab.com’s carbon calculator (http://www.earthlab.com/signupprofile/). I find it really easy to use (it doesn’t make me feel guilty after I take it). Are there any others you would recommend? Can you drop me a link to your favorites (let me know if they are the same as mine).

  17. gabi says:

    I am so excited to make this bag, maybe out of all my cargo pants that i am making into shorts!

  18. gabi says:

    I am so excited to make this bag, maybe out of all my cargo pants that i am making into shorts!

  19. gabi says:

    I am so excited to make this bag, maybe out of all my cargo pants that i am making into shorts!

  20. Melinda says:

    I just blogged about upcycling today as a matter of fact and have recently made attempts to find small ways to minimize my personal impact. I just love your idea!

  21. Melinda says:

    I just blogged about upcycling today as a matter of fact and have recently made attempts to find small ways to minimize my personal impact. I just love your idea!

  22. Melinda says:

    I just blogged about upcycling today as a matter of fact and have recently made attempts to find small ways to minimize my personal impact. I just love your idea!

  23. Melinda says:

    I just blogged about upcycling today as a matter of fact and have recently made attempts to find small ways to minimize my personal impact. I just love your idea!

  24. Melinda says:

    I just blogged about upcycling today as a matter of fact and have recently made attempts to find small ways to minimize my personal impact. I just love your idea!

  25. Pingback: 25 Things To Do With Old Jeans » TipNut.com

  26. Judy Rogers says:

    I have nice denim fabric to use instead of “legs,” how much fabric is needed? Thanks

  27. Judy Rogers says:

    I have nice denim fabric to use instead of “legs,” how much fabric is needed? Thanks

  28. Judy Rogers says:

    I have nice denim fabric to use instead of “legs,” how much fabric is needed? Thanks

  29. hey Judy!

    If you have nice fabric then you can make the tote as big or small as you want – just make sure to cut each rectangle the same size :)

  30. hey Judy!

    If you have nice fabric then you can make the tote as big or small as you want – just make sure to cut each rectangle the same size :)

  31. hey Judy!

    If you have nice fabric then you can make the tote as big or small as you want – just make sure to cut each rectangle the same size :)

  32. Pingback: Eco Buying » Six Creative Upcycling Projects

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  35. Belinda says:

    Cool idea, I got lots of old pants that I hate to just throw out. I think I’m gonna make one of these.
    Thanks

  36. Belinda says:

    Cool idea, I got lots of old pants that I hate to just throw out. I think I’m gonna make one of these.
    Thanks

  37. Belinda says:

    Cool idea, I got lots of old pants that I hate to just throw out. I think I’m gonna make one of these.
    Thanks

  38. Pingback: DIY Upcycling Projects | Sustainablog

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  41. Michelle says:

    I’m so glad I stopped by your blog. I love your fun ideas. I’ll be back!

    Warmly, Michelle

  42. Michelle says:

    I’m so glad I stopped by your blog. I love your fun ideas. I’ll be back!

    Warmly, Michelle

  43. Michelle says:

    I’m so glad I stopped by your blog. I love your fun ideas. I’ll be back!

    Warmly, Michelle

  44. Sara says:

    I received a picnic blanket as a wedding gift made from old jeans. It is the best! She used all the pockets as well so that kids can stash stuff in there. Just another idea. :)

  45. Sara says:

    I received a picnic blanket as a wedding gift made from old jeans. It is the best! She used all the pockets as well so that kids can stash stuff in there. Just another idea. :)

  46. Sara says:

    I received a picnic blanket as a wedding gift made from old jeans. It is the best! She used all the pockets as well so that kids can stash stuff in there. Just another idea. :)

  47. Lynn Minney says:

    I wanted to let you know that I featured your denim tote on my blog LynnMinneyDesign.wordpress.com because I love your idea so much. You can take a look at it here http://lynnminneydesign.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/re-use-those-jeans/

    If for any reason you would like your link or photo removed from the post, please let me know & I’ll remove it ASAP. No hard feelings! I promise :)

    Happy crafting!
    Lynn

  48. Noname says:

    Hi I’m an ICT GCSE student.Can you give me permission to use your information and images.
    Thanks much appreciated

  49. Pingback: 5 Top Tips to Upcycling – Urban Times

  50. Pingback: Jean Genie | Living It Little

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