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Gift ideas: DIY Denim Bags and Pouches

Posted by Kelly OConnor Digital and Events Marketing Coordinator

16th Jan 2015

Blog post by Lucy McIndoe

Looking for an innovative and fun gift? All out of ideas? Turn an old pair of jeans into a fashionable clutch bag, purse or tablet sleeve in a few simple steps. 

You will need:

  • 1 x Pair of old jeans
  • 1 x Colourful top or fabric
  • 1 x Pair of scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine [/or needle and thread]

Optional extras:

  • A zip or press stud fastenings
  • Buttons, ribbons, studs, sparkles…

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Step 1:

Decide on what size you want your bag to be. I have chosen to make an oversized clutch, as seen on many of the catwalks last year.

Step 2:

Take the jeans and cut off the legs, shortening the crotch to the desired length.

Remember to take into consideration the seam allowance and leave an extra 2-3 cm on the bottom.

Step 3:

Turn the jeans inside out and pin a line 2-3 cm from the bottom as shown. Sew along the pinned line.

If making a smaller pouch or purse, pin and sew along three sides, making sure that you don't sew up the opening!

Step 4:

If lining the bag, take a colourful top, such as this children's smock top or a piece of fabric and cut out a rectangle, twice the length of the jeans.

If using a top like this one, you only need to cut along the bodice in order to get a perfect rectangle.

Step 5:

Turn the fabric inside out (making sure that the two sides that you want to show in the lining of the bag are facing together).

Place the jeans on top of the fabric and cut the lining to the correct size, again remembering to leave an extra 2-3 cm for the seam allowance.

Step 6:

Pin along the sides of the fabric, and sew along the line as in Step 3, remembering to leave one side open and leaving 2-3 cm for the seam.

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Step 7:

Turn the jeans and the fabric the right way out and place the fabric inside of the jeans. Fold over the top of the fabric as shown, in order to create a neat finish and pin to the inside of the jeans. If you want to add a zip, you can do so here.

Sew along the pinned line in order to attach the lining to your bag.

Step 8:

Add any embellishments that you like: buttons, studs, sparkles…

Pockets can be added inside and out by cutting out squares of fabric and sewing along three sides.

Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Miu Miu have all produced their own versions of the denim clutch if you need some designer inspiration.

Et Voilà … One DIY gift using your old jeans!!


Blog post written by Kelly OConnor

Digital and Events Marketing Coordinator

More by Kelly OConnor