Saturday, January 28, 2012

How to Make a Recycled Denim Bag by Repurposing Children's Overalls

Supplies Needed:
  • Children's overalls (A favorite pair of outgrown overalls from your own children, or thrift store finds)
  • Tacky glue
  • Red t-shirt
  • Sewing machine or serging machine

Recycled Tote Bag Made from Children's Overalls


The size of overalls chosen will determine the finished size of the bag. Pockets on the overall add extra storage capacity to the finished bag also.overalls3
  1. Turn the overalls inside out.
  2. Cut the legs off, beginning above the crotch of the overalls. The goal is to have a straight raw edge across the bottom of the overalls.
  3. Sew across the bottom edge with a serging machine, or sewing machine. If you are using a sewing machine, stitch with a zig-zag stitch to strengthen the bottom seam. If the pockets of the overalls were cut, be sure they are sewn shut at the bottom as you sew the seam, so that they may be used as storage also.
  4. Cut a t-shirt to fill in the side gaps of the overalls just below where the arms would be if someone were wearing them. Do this by measuring the open gap between the front and back of the overalls on each side. Cut two pieces of t-shirt material wide and long enough to fill in the gap on the side of the overalls.
  5. Using a sewing machine or serger, finish any raw edges of the t-shirt.overalls1
  6. Glue the t-shirt to the inside of the overalls with the wrong side of the t-shirt facing up.The right side of the t-shirt should be facing the inside, as this is the side that will show when the bag is finished.
  7. Set the bag aside to dry overnight.
  8. When the glue is dry, turn the bag right side out and it is ready to use immediately.
  9. You can embellish the outside of your new totebag with rhinestones, fabric paint, buttons and other objects if you wish.
  10. Take your new recycled tote bag with you when you shop or run errands to help transport your items, or use it to store and organize craft supplies, sewing supplies, toys, or other household items.
If you enjoyed learning how to make a recycled denim bag, you might also enjoy other denim crafts. Old jeans and overalls can be reused in many ways. In addition to this tote bag, you can make pocket potholders, denim roses, photo album covers, storage units for the wall, quilts, rugs, and lots of other crafts. Jeans have so many ways to be repurposed. For many more ideas, see "How to Reuse or Recycle Denim." Recycled craft ideas to repurpose other discarded items around the home, such as plastic, toilet paper rolls, soup cans and milk jugs, can be found at: "Reuse It All - Waste Zero."


Photos by HS Schulte.

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