Cargo pants can be kind of hard to upcycle. They get worn as hard as jeans do, but they’re half the weight. They don’t lend themselves to the sorts of heavyweight projects that denim is best for, but because they’re pants, you don’t think of them when you’re making lightweight projects.
Poor cargo pants!
Well, I happen to be a BIG fan of cargo pants as the butch alternative to shorts, and so I always have plenty of beat-up pairs to upcycle. Here, then, are my favorite ways to upcycle your cargo pants–some are easy, some are more complex, but all are awesome, and all are great ways to craft green.
13 Ways to Upcycle Your Cargo Pants
1. cargo skirt. This tutorial actually forms the skirt’s cargo pockets from the pants legs, but it would also work with existing cargo pants pockets.
2. ditty bag. This bag isn’t super cute, but who cares? Not you, when you see how much stuff it holds!
3. dog cooling vest and backpack. You know you want your dog to carry some of your stuff. But that will make it hot, so you’ll also want to help it stay cool. You can do both using cargo pants!
4. drawstring baby pants. I LOVE cutting down adult clothes into kids’ clothes. All those finished hems and pockets and details make sewing a breeze!
5. e-reader bag. This e-reader bag looks great, and it has a handy carrying strap.
6. messenger bag. This is my FAVORITE way to upcycle your cargo pants! I think that this project, more than any other, is suited to the particular style and fabric weight of cargo pants, and that side pocket? Of course it goes on the front flap!
7. patchwork cargo skirt. It’s okay to piece your skirt together; this one, for instance, uses the technique to create a cute ruffle at the bottom of the cargo skirt.
8. pocket belt. Make a multi-tool belt out of your old pair of cargo pants.
9. reversible bucket bag. Here’s a nice, big reversible bag that will hold all your things.
10. shorts bag. This project is a great one for cargo shorts, or for cargo pants that have had the pants legs cut away for other uses.
11. toddler romper. Piece part of a pair of cargo pants with some cutely contrasting fabric to make an adorable toddler-sized romper dress.
12. water bottle sling. Because sometimes you don’t want to carry a backpack or other bag, but you ALWAYS want to carry a water bottle.
13. yoga mat bag. Pants legs are made for yoga mats, Friends. And once again, cargo pants legs give you a bonus present of extra pockets!
Photo credit: cargo pants image via Shutterstock