Friday, April 30, 2010

Crafty Bluejean Bags

Monday's subject for my little "Castle School" (home schooling) class was the invention of bluejeans. We read a few books about Levi Strauss (his story is quite interesting) and then we used a pair of jeans to create purses/bags.

For this project, I bought a large, cheap pair of jeans at Wal-Mart ($9) and cut them into 7 pieces trying to keep as many of the seams as possible.
Since I wanted the girls to do their own sewing, I let them use very large needles and string. They were able to stitch up whichever sides were not already connected once I cut the jeans. For some of the pieces (the leg pieces), this was only one side. I was pretty pleased that my 4-7yos handled this project easily, though I did need to put on the finishing touches and stitch the ribbon-handles on for them.
If I were doing this project myself (for gifts, for instance) I would do these things differently:
1. I might try out used jeans--if they weren't too worn, though for a certain look, the more worn the better.
2. I would stitch with a machine or at least more closely than we did with these bags.
3. I might line the bags (though this is not really necessary; the inside of the jeans made a a good inside for these bags.)
4. I would definitely use larger ribbon, the largest I could find, and I would make bows or use buttons to cover up where the ribbon is connected to the bag (unless I was inserting a lining; then I would sew in the ribbon between the lining and blue jean material.)
I think these would make great bags to stuff for gifts! For a teen you could put in some nice bath gel or lotion or for a little girl a few small toys. And for approximately $1.50 a bag, it's a price you can't beat!
Linked to Only the Good on Friday,Frugal FridayFiner Things Friday, and I'm Loving It.


  1. What a cute idea! We have several pair of jeans with holes in the knees that would make interesting bags.

  2. So cute!! I'm bookmarking this for later.

  3. Those are darling! I'm sure there are a few pairs of jeans around that could be much better off as bags. :)

  4. What a cute idea!
    Thanks for sharing and linking to I'm Lovin' It! Have a GREAT weekend.

  5. What a great recycling craft project; they're like portable pockets! It's so important to teach the skill and processes of timeless crafts to the next generation. I fondly remember being shown how to cross stitch by my grandmother: handling the needle & thread, stitching tightly but not too. I loved the way my tiny little fingers could so easily handle the needle. This is the best age to learn to sew!

    This project has skills upon with future projects can be built. Love the idea of lining with colorful recycled fabrics to highlight each child's personality. You could machine sew the linings and have the kids whip stitch the top edge to the inside. Also adds durability to the bag so they can proudly use them. They could sew colorful buttons to the outside to further encourage creative expression.

    A great way to prepare them for life apart from computers! Even boys should be taught how to sew on buttons. Just so they know, you know?

  6. Oh, that brings back memories. We made jean purses in jr. high home ec!

  7. I love this idea. My son's favorite jeans just tore and I have been thinking about turning them into a bag like this, maybe to 'collect' things while on a walk or something. Very nice.