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Easy Denim Tote with Floral Brooches




There's more than one way to wear a pair of jeans. With a length of denim, the perfect tote bag is a few stitches away.


  • Denim
  • Basic sewing supplies
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Safety pins


  1. Step 1

    Choose or cut a piece of denim half the width of the finished bag and 1 inch longer. (The depth of the bag is half the width of the fabric.)

  2. Step 2

    Fold the fabric in half with the right sides together so the selvages meet. Turn the fabric so the selvage edges become the top of the bag. Sew along the right and left sides with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  3. Step 3

    Cut two lengths of denim or other sturdy fabric for the handles; they can be as short or long as you like. Pin the handles in place, then sew them on the inside of the bag. Use thread to match the fabric. Turn the bag right side out. Embellish the tote with easy denim floral brooches (see below).

  4. Step 4

    Rip a denim strip (1 1/2 inches wide and the length of a pair of jeans). Beginning 1/8 inch from edge, sew two rows of running stitches 1/8 inch apart. Pull on the ends of the threads to gather. (On a sewing machine, use a denim needle and a wide stitch length; tug on the two bobbin threads.) Hand-sew the gathered edge in a spiral shape as shown. Attach a safety pin to the back.

Martha Stewart Living, October 2005



Reviews (5)

  • sandracanmom4 14 Aug, 2012

    I go to used stores, and buy the most lived life blue jeans.The pockets on the jeans, are super wonderful you don't need to make pockets, their already made.Cut down the sides of jeans where the jeans are sewen together, the long strips you cut off of each leg make a great handel for your bag. The top of your waist of your jeans,is the top of your bag.cut the jeans for the bag before the jeans legs start.Then sew across bottom, it makes bottom of your bag. Decorate with sewing,beads,paints,etc.

  • marvalas 19 Jan, 2011

    gee - blue jean denim - wouldn't a project that uses real blue jeans be even more chic? Could even incorporate the holes in a bag for teen girls.

  • brendastarstudios 15 Jan, 2011

    this is great - for more cool denim ideas look at -- very glam!!

  • ellasc 14 Jan, 2011

    I don't see when the long 'stem/leaf" is this the piece that is gathered? thought that was the .brooch' or flower..

  • eikcaj 24 Sep, 2008

    i would do the "brooch" before stitching the side seams closed. you can stitch it by machine and go so much faster.