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DIY Denim Bag ~ Ombre Hobo Refashion

When the last Tuesday of the month rolls around (already??) I get so excited that it’s Reduce, Reuse, REFASHION time. What does that mean? Well, I set aside this time to take something that most would see as fit for the dump and turn it into something useful. Last month, I took four pair of my husband’s jeans to make these awesome storage buckets. This month, however, as promised I’m showing you what I’m doing with the rest of the jean scraps. Let’s create a DIY denim bag in ombre fashion.

Strips of Jeans for Upcycling into DIY Denim Bag by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Reduce, Reuse, REFASHION series hosted by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Come learn to create for you and your home | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Since I used up the pockets and part of the legs of the jeans for the storage buckets, I want to make use of the rest of the denim instead of pitching it. As you can see, I already cut the remnants into strips. Also, don’t forget you can also make purses with the pockets too.

Upcycled Denim Pocket Purse Video Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

SEWING TIME

If you’re new to my scene, you wouldn’t know that I love to make bags and purses. Why? I don’t exactly know because the only time I carry a purse it in the summer, and only if I have to. And, I usually only have a few items in it. I’m a low maintenance gal. Check out this one I made from a feedsack I still use to this day six years later.

Handmade Feed Sack, Linen, and Leather Purse by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

So, since it’s been awhile and these are my JC’s jeans, I want to make a new purse for moi. A gal deserves a little sumpin’ sumpin’ too, right?

Here’s what you’ll need to make one too:

  • Strips of 3 colors of jeans cut into 1½” W (and as long as I could get out of them)
  • leather or duck canvas as base
  • fabric tape measure
  • sewing pins or clips
  • beige thread or your color of choice
  • sewing machine with denim needle
  • pattern – I used this one at The Stitching Scientist, but changed it to suit me.
  • heavyweight interfacing
  • purse/bag handle hardware (use a salvaged old purse)
  • zipper (optional depending on the pattern you’re using)

STEP 1

First, let’s assemble our sides and prepare our bottom. This project is merely an example for you to stem from and create your own design. Feel free to change it up and have fun with it. Since we’re after a DIY denim bag with ombre style, we want to assemble our strips from light to dark. Whether they are ascending or descending, that’s totally up to you. I’m aiming for ascending up to light. I lay them out and then eventually find using 10 strips is what I need to do.

Ombre Jean Strips for DIY Denim Bag | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

STEP 2

Then, it’s time to assemble our strips. I begin with the bottom piece and lay it ¼” over the bottom of the next strip up.

Sewing DIY Denim Bag Ombre Strips | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

However, before I call my denim strips ready for bag makin’, I add a heavyweight interfacing to the back. See how it looks plastic-y?

Denim Strip Fabric with Heavyweight Interfacing | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The point of interfacing is to make a fabric more stable. It comes in various weights, even in a flannel, and you can use it to stabilize any fabric. Also, you can even use it to adhere fabric to another for the sake of holding it in position to stitch down. Since I want my bag to stand on its own and have longevity, I use it to reinforce my strips. At this point, you can use this “fabric” we made for any purse/bag pattern. As mentioned earlier, I chose a hobo style from an awesome fellow blogger.

STEP 3

Here’s my pieces for the outside of my bag cut and ready to go.

Upcycled Denim Jean Fabric for DIY Bag | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Next, I need to cut my lining and base gusset. First, I pull out my leather scraps from my leather bench build. In addition, I’ve used it for my log reindeer, my upholstered office chair, and so much more. The problem is I don’t have a large enough single piece, so I cut 3 pieces to fit the pattern.

Cut Leather for DIY Denim Bag | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Finally, here’s all my pieces (except for my strap) ready to go. The best part is I found that fun lining fabric at the locally owned thrift store new and uncut.

Parts for DIY Denim Bag by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

STEP 4

At this point, I’m not going to go over assembly as the pattern you choose will cover that, however, I did make a few changes to my design to suit my needs.

Folding Edge of DIY Denim Bag Fabric | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I made my bag strap out of more denim strips and since I’m not using interfacing for it, I use Fray Check to ensure it doesn’t fall apart on me.

Fray Check for Denim Purse | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Prodigal Pieces Custom Handmade Bag Logo | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

THE REVEAL

Finally, after my stent of sewing my DIY denim bag is complete and I’m in love!

Repurposed Denim Jean Hobo Bag Purse by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #sewing #refashion #fashion #purse #bag

Zippered Hobo Bag from Upcycled Denim Jeans by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #sewing #upcycle #jeans

Aside from being made from my husband’s jeans, the best part is all the parts are repurposed. Obviously, the jeans, but also the zipper I salvaged from an item being tossed, the hardware is from an old leather purse I made into a saddle for my daughter. Also, the lining from the thrifted fabric. What more can a refashioning gal ask for?

DIY Leather Hobo Denim Bag Refashioned by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #leather #bag #diy #sewing #refashion

Leather Boho Bag Purse Bottom by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #bag #purse #diy #sewing

Even my chopped up bottom is perfect for standing it up on its own. I haven’t stuffed the bag to show you it standing up. It perfectly rests on its own.

Boho Deer Head DIY Denim Bag by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #bag #sewing #boho

Lined Boho Purse | DIY Denim Bag Refashion by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #sewing #refashion #bag #style

Upcycled Jean Boho Purse | DIY Denim Bag Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #sewing #refashion #bag

SHARE

Additionally, let’s inspire others to try their hand at refashioning. Pin and share, and even give it a try yourself!

Don't toss those old jeans! Instead create a DIY denim bag in hobo style by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #bag #diy #sewing #refashion #fashion

  • Hand-Painted Chest of Drawers with Vintage Truck by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | available at shop.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #shopping #furniture
    Chest of Drawers ~ $295

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Also, more refashion fun like my DIY denim bag:

Grab Dad's swim trunks and make an upcycled swimsuit bag with insulated lining. Details by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces at prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #swimming #diy #home #fashion #summer #fathersdayA thrifted pair of pants gets refashioned into a DIY Linen Smock by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Head to prodigalpieces.com to see the steps | #prodigalpieces #diy #refashion #clothing #style #women #linen #handmade #farmhouse

 

Comments

  1. Rebecca - NC says

    LOVE it!!!? You make it all look so easy…. I have trouble just sewing on a button!?? Seriously, another mind blowing
    makeover!!! ??

    • Larissa says

      I wish I could pull you alongside. It’s fun! 😀 Thank you, Rebecca.

  2. Darlene says

    You are so talented, love seeing what you do next. You are the upcycling Queen!

    • Larissa says

      You sure are a sweet soul, Darlene. Thank you for making my day and for the giggle!

  3. Audra says

    That is seriously so cute!

    • Larissa says

      It means much to hear from you…my readers. Thanks! This bag has meaning as it’s JC’s jeans, but also the story of where I got the parts.

  4. Marie B. says

    That is recycling at its finest! Such a lovely denim bag, especially the ombre effect. You make it look so easy, Larissa. If only you could sit on my shoulder and walk me through it.

    • Larissa says

      I wish I could sit with you too. It’s fun to try, but most of all sharing with my friends makes it fun. Thank you, Marie.

  5. Mary says

    So very cute Larissa! And you have inspired me to create a bag from my sister’s jeans (and perhaps line it with one of her cute T”s??) for my nieces as my sis has passed on. They loved the pillows I created for them last year, but I had saved her jeans for something special…this is it! Thank you soo much for inspiring me once again with your gift of design and ingenuity! ❤️ Blessings!

    • Larissa says

      You’re the sweetest sister, Mary. That would be such a treat, I’m sure. Thank you for the smile and have fun creating! 😀

  6. Joanne H. says

    Such a cute bag. Jeans seem to pile up over time so always great to find new uses for them. Thank you for your creative ideas.

    • Larissa says

      They sure do, especially in my family of 8. 😀 I’m delighted you enjoyed my work. Thank you!

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I love it! Larissa is amazing. She listened to what I wanted and then she took care of the rest! This is my second piece I've bought from her and I'm in love! I highly recommend her.

~ Laurel

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2020-03-21T21:34:13-04:00

~ Laurel

I love it! Larissa is amazing. She listened to what I wanted and then she took care of the rest! This is my second piece I've bought from her and I'm in love! I highly recommend her.

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2020-03-21T21:39:34-04:00

~ Stephanie

I love this cart, it's exquisite. The item was received in extremely secure packaging, no damage to the item. The delivery person was very professional and courteous. Larissa of Prodigal Pieces is so very amazing. A rating of 10 is deserved. Thank you, Larissa.

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~ Mikki

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2020-03-21T21:43:16-04:00

~ Mikki

I should have left this review MONTHS ago! I absolute love this lunch bag. I honestly carry this 5 days a week. It is the perfect size! Not only can you put your lunch in it, it can also hold your book. I enjoy reading at lunch, so I have all I need in one cute bag. Thank you so much Larissa!

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2020-03-21T21:45:37-04:00

~ Sharon

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2020-03-21T21:52:00-04:00

~ Deanna

Perfect purchase from start to finish! Absolutely adorable piece so creatively thought out. Packed with the greatest of care with lightening fast delivery. Very customer-oriented and friendly crafter. Could not ask for more! Thank you!
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