Do you have a pair of old jeans that don’t fit right or have gone out of style? Follow these steps on how to make a backpack out of jeans. This is a great way to reuse your old jeans and save money on a new backpack.
This backpack is both fashionable and functional. The denim and pocket details give off a casual and carefree vibe. It’s perfect for a day out in the city. This backpack is also roomy and has a drawstring closure to fit all your essentials.
Introduction: The popularity of backpacks and the benefits of making your own.
Backpacks have been a popular accessory for years and are still going strong. They are a great way to carry your belongings and give you a chance to show off your style. So many different backpacks are available, but making your own is a great way to ensure it’s exactly what you want.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a backpack out of jeans. This is a great project for beginners, and the best part is that you can make them for anyone. I made this for my daughter, but you can adjust the size to make one for yourself.
Materials: A list of materials needed for the project
• 1 pair of jeans
• 1 yard of fabric for the lining and the straps
• 1/2 yard of fabric for the top part of the backpack
• 1/2 yard of fabric for the bottom part of the backpack
• 1/2 yard of fabric for the front pocket
• 1/4 yard of fabric for the pocket lining
• 1 yard of fusible fleece
• 1/2 yard of fusible interfacing
• 1/2 yard of heavyweight interfacing
• 2 zippers
• 1 magnetic snap
• 1 d-ring
• 1 swivel hook
• 2 rectangular rings
• 1 slider
• 1/4″ wide elastic
• 1/2″ wide elastic
• 1/2″ wide double-fold bias tape
• Leather scrap
including old jeans and other basic supplies.
The only thing you will need to buy for this project is a zipper. You may want to buy some fabric for the lining if you have none. But you can also use an old tablecloth or sheet.
This backpack is so roomy and has so many pockets! It’s perfect for school, a day trip, or even a diaper bag.
Finding the Perfect Jeans: Tips for selecting the right jeans for the project.
It’s important to note that the size of the jeans you choose will determine the size of the backpack you can make. I recommend using a size 12 or larger to make the backpack in this tutorial. Here are some other tips to consider when choosing jeans for your project:
• Choose a pair of jeans that have a straight leg, or are slightly flared. You can use skinny jeans, but the backpack will be much smaller.
• Make sure the jeans are in good condition. You don’t want any large holes or stains in the fabric. If you’re using a pair of jeans that have a hole in the knee, you can always patch it up with more denim.
• Consider the color of the jeans. If you want to add fabric to the top of the backpack, you’ll want to make sure the colors work well together. If you’re planning to add any extra fabrics to the backpack, you may want to choose a lighter color of denim.
Preparing the Jeans: How to properly clean and prepare the jeans for cutting and sewing.
Cut the Legs Off
You first want to cut the legs off to prepare the jeans for your backpack. You’ll want to cut them off as close to the top of the inseam as possible. This will give you the most fabric to work with.
If you use smaller jeans, you’ll want to cut them off below the crotch.
Measuring and Cutting: Step-by-step instructions for measuring and cutting the jeans to create the backpack shape.
1. Measure and Mark the Jeans
• Lay the jeans flat on the table and measure 14” from the top of the waistband. Make a small cut to mark this point.
• Measure 18” from the top of the waistband and make a small cut to mark this point.
• Measure 14” from the bottom of the waistband and make a small cut to mark this point.
• Measure 18” from the bottom of the waistband and make a small cut to mark this point.
Reinforcing the Straps: Techniques for strengthening the straps to ensure durability.
You will cut four 2” x 4” pieces of fabric to reinforce the straps. Then, fold the long edges in towards the center and press. Fold in half and press again. Stitch along both sides of the strap, about 1/8” from the edge.
Place the straps on the right side of the fabric, about 1/2” from the top of the fabric. Stitch the straps in place, about 1/8” from the edge.
Adding Pockets and Compartments: Creative ideas for incorporating pockets and compartments into the design.
It’s a good idea to add a lining to your backpack, allowing you to add pockets to the lining. You can also add pockets to the front of the backpack and on the side.
Adding a pocket to the front of the backpack is a great way to use the front of the jeans. You can use the existing pocket on the front or create a special pocket for the front of the backpack.
You can also add pockets to the side of the backpack. This is a great way to use the side seams of the jeans.
If you’re using a pair of too big jeans, you can use the excess fabric to create a pocket on the side of the backpack.
Sewing Techniques: Basic sewing techniques are needed for this project
The basic sewing techniques that you will need to know for this project are: how to sew a straight stitch, how to sew a zigzag stitch, how to sew a buttonhole, how to sew a button, how to sew a lining, and how to make a drawstring.
If you don’t know how to sew a buttonhole, don’t worry. You can use a grommet instead, or you can use a buttonhole foot, which is what I did for this project.
Including how to use a sewing machine.
This project is a little more advanced, but you’ll do great if you’re comfortable with a sewing machine.
We love how this tutorial takes the time to add a little extra detail to the backpack, like the cute lining and the leather accents.
Stitching the Pieces Together: Guidance on how to sew the pieces together to create the final backpack.
Once you have all your pieces cut out, it’s time to start sewing! Start with the front panel. Sew the two side panels to the bottom panel, then sew the bottom panel to the front panel.
Next, sew the straps to the back panel. I also added a small piece of fabric that I sewed to the top of the back panel to hold the straps together.
Then, sew the back panel to the bottom and side panels.
Adding Finishing Touches Ideas for personalizing the backpack with decorative elements such as buttons or patches.
Patches and buttons are a fun way to add extra personality to your backpack. If you’re making a backpack for a kid, you can let them pick out their own designs.
We added a few decorative elements to our backpack, but you can add as much or as little as you want.
Creating a Lining: The importance of adding a lining to the backpack and how to do it.
Adding a lining to your backpack will make it look more professional and protect the seams from the inside, making the backpack last much longer.
The lining will be sewn inside the backpack to create a pocket. I used a soft, lightweight cotton fabric for the lining, but you can also use a thicker fabric like canvas or denim.
Attaching Zippers or Buckles: Instructions for adding closures to the backpack.
Pin the two pieces of the buckle to the top of the back of the backpack, about 1/2″ from the top edge. Sew the two pieces in place by sewing a rectangle with an X inside of it. Then, sew a long rectangle on top of the rectangle you sewed. This will reinforce the buckle to stay in place when you use it.
To attach the zippers, sew the zippers to the top edges of the back of the backpack. Sew a rectangle with an X inside to reinforce the zipper, then sew another rectangle on top of the rectangle you sewed.
Tips for a Professional Finish: Tips and tricks for achieving a polished and professional look.
• Topstitching: This is the key to a professional-looking bag. It’s not for decoration; it also reinforces the seams. You can use a regular sewing machine for topstjsones, but having a machine with a longer throat (the space between the needle and the machine’s body) makes it easier to topstitch the larger bag pieces. You can also use a longer stitch length to help the fabric move through the machine more.
• Ironing: Pressing as you sew is the key to a professional finish. Working with thicker fabrics can be a bit more challenging, but it’s so worth the effort. It’s especially important for this project because we’re using denim, which can be quite bulky. You’ll want to use a lot of steam and pressure to get those seams nice and flat.
• Topstitching thread: I used regular all-purpose thread for most of the sewing, but I switched to topstitching thread for the topstitching. It’s thicker than regular thread and makes the topstitching stand out. You can use an all-purpose thread in a coordinating color if you don’t have the topstitching thread.
• Clips vs. pins: When sewing thicker fabrics, like denim, clips work better than pins. They’re easier to use and don’t bend like pins can. I used Wonder Clips, but you could also use binder clips.
Making Straps Adjustable: Suggestions for making the backpack straps adjustable for comfort.
• You can add a buckle to the top of the straps before attaching them to the bag. This allows you to adjust the length of the straps and the angle they are on the bag. I used this method for the last backpack I made, and it was a great success.
• You can also use a buckle to adjust the straps at the bottom of the bag. You must add the buckle before you attach the straps to the bag.
• You can also add a buttonhole at the top of the strap and sew a button to the bag. This is a simple way to make the straps adjustable. You can also add buttons to the bottom of the straps and sew a loop of fabric to the bag to make the straps adjustable.
Adding a Handle: How to add a handle to the top of the backpack for easy carrying.
1. Cut a 2″x 6″ strip of denim. Fold the strip in half and sew the strip together as close to the edge as possible.
2. Cut two 2″ strips of interfacing. Place the interfacing in the middle of the strip and fold the sides over the interfacing. Sew the edges of the strip down. This will make the handle more sturdy.
3. Place the handle in the center of the top of the backpack. Sew the ends of the handle to the top of the backpack.
4. Cut two 2.5″x 6″ strips of denim. Fold the strips in half and sew the strip together as close to the edge as possible.
Incorporating Sustainable Practices: Ideas for making the backpack eco-friendly using sustainable materials or techniques.
1. Make your own fabric
If you have a sewing machine that can handle it, you could make your own denim fabric using old jeans. This is a great way to upcycle the fabric and make sure no waste is left behind.
2. Use organic cotton
If you cannot use old jeans, you could buy new denim fabric made from organic cotton. This means that the cotton is grown without pesticides, which is better for the environment.
3. Use a waxed canvas
Waxed canvas is a great alternative to denim, and it is also water-resistant. You can buy waxed canvas fabric or make your own using beeswax.
Troubleshooting: Common issues that may arise during the project and how to fix them.
• The sewing machine isn’t feeding the fabric through. Make sure the feed dogs are up, and the presser foot is down. If that doesn’t work, rethread the machine and try a test piece.
• The stitches are loose, loopy, or puckering. This may be caused by incorrect tension, not holding the thread tails when sewing, or not using the correct needle or thread for the fabric. Rethread the machine, hold the thread tails, or try a new needle or thread.
• The needle is breaking. This may be caused by using the wrong needle or a dull needle. Make sure you’re using a denim needle, and replace it if it’s dull.
• The bobbin thread is jamming. Ensure the bobbin is wound with the thread going in the right direction. Rethread the bobbin and insert it correctly.
Alternative Design Ideas: Inspiration for creating a unique and personalized backpack design.
There are so many ways to adapt this design to create a backpack that is unique to you. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Add a top handle
Adding a top handle to the backpack is a small detail that can make a big difference in the usability of your bag. You could use any fabric you like to make a handle or even a pre-made one.
2. Add a zippered pocket to the front
A zippered pocket on the front of a backpack is a great way to add extra storage and keep things organized. You could make the pocket as big or small as you like, and even add an extra pocket to the front of the pocket to keep things even more organized.
3. Add a side pocket
Adding a side pocket to your backpack is a great way to keep a water bottle or umbrella within easy reach. You could use any fabric you like for the pocket, or even use a pre-made pocket.
4. Add a padded laptop compartment
Adding a padded laptop compartment is a great idea if you want to use your backpack for carrying a laptop. You could make the compartment as big or small as you like, and even add a pocket to the front of the compartment to keep things organized.
5. Add a drawstring closure
If you don’t want a zipper to close your backpack, use a drawstring instead. A drawstring closure is a great way to add a unique touch to your backpack. You could use any fabric for the drawstring or a pre-made drawstring.
Care and Maintenance: Tips for keeping your handmade backpack in good condition and extending its lifespan.
• When you’re not using your backpack, hang it up to keep it clean and prevent the fabric from creasing.
• Spot clean your backpack regularly to remove any dirt, dust, or stains. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the fabric, and let it air dry.
• If your backpack is looking a little worse for wear, you can wash it. Use a gentle laundry detergent, and hand wash your backpack in cold water. Let it air dry, and don’t wring out the fabric.
• If your backpack is made from leather, you must condition the leather to keep it soft and supple. Use a leather conditioner, and follow the instructions on the packaging.
• If your backpack gets wet, let it air dry. Don’t use a hairdryer or put it in the sun, as this can cause the fabric to fade and the leather to crack.
Conclusion: A final word on the satisfaction of creating a one-of-a-kind backpack and the potential to use this project as a starting point for other DIY projects.
The best thing about sewing is the potential for creativity. As you can see, you can use a few simple patterns to create a unique backpack with only a few simple materials.
Not a fan of the denim look? There are so many fabrics out there to choose from! You could use a cool patterned fabric, soft leather, or durable canvas material to create a custom look. You could add some embroidery to your backpack to make it even more unique.
If you find that this project is a little too much for you, then you could use it as a starting point. You could make a smaller backpack version and use it as a lunch bag. Or you could use the same techniques to make a small tote. The possibilities are endless!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial about making a backpack out of jeans. It’s a fun and unique project to work on.
I love the idea of upcycling old jeans into something new. It’s a great way to keep them out of the landfill and give them a new life.
This backpack is functional. You can use it for school, work, or as a casual bag. I love how it has so many pockets to keep everything organized.
It’s also a great way to show off a unique pair of jeans. If you have a pair of jeans that you love the pattern or color but don’t wear, this is a great way to show them off.
This backpack would also make a great gift. It’s perfect for a student, teacher, or anyone who loves a fun and unique backpack.
Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this how to make a backpack out of jeans tutorial and if you will be making one.