Saturday 6 February 2016

How to Make a Denim Drawstring Bag

Today I'm going to show you another way to reuse the legs of pre-loved jeans, this time to make a denim drawstring bag. It's a super quick project, and if you're like me, you'll have lots of jeans in your stash just waiting to be upcycled into something new.

Learn how to re-use the legs of a pair of denim jeans to make a denim drawstring bag. Sewing tutorial ~ Threading My Way

To determine where to cut the leg, decide what the bag is going to be used for. Make it a couple of inches longer than you think you'll need, to allow for the boxed corners.

If possible, place what you want to put in the bag, inside the jeans leg to see if it fits.

Now pop over to my Denim Wine Bottle Gift Bag Tutorial and follow the directions to box the corners. Come back here when your corners are finished and we'll sew the drawstring casing.

To form the drawstring casing, cut two lengths of grosgrain ribbon. My ribbon is 1½" wide, but you can use any width that allows the drawstring to feed through easily. A piece of fabric with the ends turned under would do the same job.
  • Flatten jeans and measure the width.
  • Cut each piece of ribbon a little less than the width of the jeans.
  • Zig zag the ends of each ribbon.
  • Turn under the ends of the ribbon about ¼" and hem.
  • Decide where you want the ribbon. Mine is 2½" from the top of the bag.
  • Baste (long hand stitching) ribbon to the jeans.
  • Sew across the long edges of the ribbon and remove the basting.

The cords can be as long or as short as you wish.
  • Using a safety pin, thread one cord through the entire drawstring casing. Both ends of the one cord will come out of the same opening.
  • Repeat with the second cord and the second opening.
  • Knot the ends of each cord.

Decorative stitching will add to the look. If you don't have embroidery stitches on your machine, hand stitch with a running stitch and two or three strands of thread.

Initially, my drawstring bag was going to be another denim wine bottle gift bag. The first three photos are taken with a wine bottle inside the bag.

Ha, ha... Then I had a change of mind and decided my new creation would make a great travel shoe bag. My Skechers shoes fit perfectly!!! If I was starting from scratch again, I think I'd make a much smaller ruffle if the end purpose was to house my shoes. For a wine bottle bag, I'd leave the ruffle as is.

My joggers won't fit in this bag - well one will, but not a pair. I know I have some wider jeans buried in my stash. Time to dig them out.

Learn how to re-use the legs of a pair of denim jeans to make a denim drawstring bag. Sewing tutorial ~ Threading My Way

In recent times I've made two wine bottle gift bags from the legs of jeans...

What would you put inside a bag like this?

I'll be adding my denim drawstring bag to both the Denim Refashioning and the Drawstring Bags link parties.

... Pam

If you think others would benefit from reading this post, feel free to share on social media.


  1. Great way to do the drawstring - very pretty :) Was it hard, though, to stitch the ribbon on ... my machine has a very wide freearm and rolling up the denim (with thick hem seam) wouldn't go very easily for me ... ?!

    1. WOW am I ever brain dead! I actually went downstairs and grabbed a denim leg (pre-cut for a drawstring bag, LOL) to see how this would work, and of course the casing is stitched in the direction that the machine can easily handle and I'm a dork :D I"m going to blame it on the cold weather ;)

  2. The contrast between the denim and the ribbon makes this unique!

  3. Oh what a perfect idea to used this as a shoe bag!! Perfect! And another lovely bag Pam!

  4. Another winner! The ribbon casing is a nice contrast. Sandra is gonna be quite happy to see this. If I recall correctly, she did recently get 10 pairs of jeans at the Op Shop. (I am adopting your turn for the second-hand store which is so much nicer than any of those used here in the States.)

  5. What a great idea, I am always cutting my jeans legs off for shorts too :) Thanks for sharing,,

  6. Great idea Pam, I would use it to pack my hairbrushes when we travel to stop them tangling in my clothes.

  7. Cute bag! What a great way to use old jeans - love projects like that.

    1. Thanks so much, Kimberlee. Next to no cost and quick to make. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. I love this version, great idea with the ribbon and the decorative stitching really finishes it off. Does the denim bunch up OK with the drawstring or is it a bit bulky?


Thanks for stopping by! I love reading your comments and try to reply to all of them via email. If you don't receive an email reply from me, check back here.