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How to Make Bags from Old Clothes: A Step by Step Guide

Have you ever wondered whether it’s possible to make bags from old clothes? You’re not alone. This is something that a lot of people are also interested in, and the good news is that it can be done. Making bags is an easy and creative way to save money, use up fabric scraps, and express your style all at the same time. In this post, I will show you how you can easily make a bag with old clothes in the most efficient manner.

Should You Use Old Clothes to Make Bags?

Yes. You can use old clothes to make bags. It’s a great way to recycle them and give them new life. Plus, you can save money by making your bags.

The following are some of the benefits of using old clothes to make bags:

1. You Get to Recycle

You can recycle old clothes that you’re not using. If the clothes are still in good condition, it makes sense to reuse them to make bags. After all, there’s no point in throwing away perfectly wearable items just because they don’t fit anymore or if your style has changed.

2. Saves You Money

It makes sense to use your old clothes for making bags because you can save money. You don’t need to buy new materials or fabrics. All that is required of you, in this case, is some time and patience when it comes to the actual process of bag-making.

3. You Can Make Reusable Shopping Bags

If none are available, it’s a great way to make reusable shopping bags. People are already aware of the benefits of using reusable grocery bags to reduce their carbon footprints.

Therefore, it makes sense for them to get into the habit of making these items at home.

4. Variety of Bags

You can also make other types of bags from old clothes. Bags that you can consider are purse/handbag patterns and laptop or briefcase covers. It all depends on the type of clothes you’re using.

You can make bags for kids too. If your child has an old pair of pants or jeans in good condition, it makes sense to turn them into a bag. The possibilities are endless when it comes to this activity. You can use any item of clothing (e.g., shirts, pants, or dresses) with enough fabric to make a bag.

5. You Get to Be Creative

You can also use old clothes to make bags for special occasions. For example, if you have a summer picnic and want to bring some food and drinks, you could make a bag from an old dress or shirt. Just be sure to wash and dry the fabric beforehand not to smell bad.

The great thing about making bags from old clothes is that you can be as creative as you want. There are no rules for this activity – have fun with it!

So, should you use old clothes to make bags? Absolutely!

ALSO READ: How to Vacuum Seal Bags

How to Make Cloth Bags from Old Clothes: Step-by-Step

make bags from old clothes

Now you know the benefits of recycling clothes into projects like bags and purses. Here is a guide on how to do these projects:

What You Need

  • Cotton fabric – 1/2 yard
  • Complimentary cotton fabric for the inner lining – 1/2 yard
  • Heavy fusible interfacing – 1/2 yard
  • 42″ of canvas strap
  • Rotary cutter or fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • An iron for flattening the bag’s bottom and edges

Step 1: Cut the Fabric

Cut two 18″x14″ rectangles of outer and inner cloth, as well as two 18″x14″ squares of interfacing. After doing that, cut the canvas straps in half.

Step 2: Snip the Corners

Cut 2″x2″ squares from only the bottom corners of all rectangles on the long side. Repeat for the interfacing. This will be the bag’s foundation.

Step 3: Add Interfacing and Sew Sides

When working with laminates, the lining should first adhere to the Outside layer fabric. Always align your interfacing correctly so that it will adhere correctly when heat-sealed.

Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s directions for heating and sealing your interfacing to the right side of the outer cloth rectangle.

To keep the seams from fraying, line up the outer fabric’s right sides together and stitch a straight 1/2″ seam along the side and bottom of the piece.

Do not finish the top or two snipped corners. Lastly, open seams after pressing them open.

Step 4: Create the Bag’s Corners

To finish, pinch the snipped corners together to make a smooth surface. To create a flat bottom, pin straight across and sew a 1/2″ seam. This procedure adds depth to the bag and results in a flat bottom.

Step 5: Sew Liner Sides and Corners

Pin the inner (liner) fabric rectangles together and repeat the process.

Step 6: Piece Together and Pin

Place the inside liner right-side-out in the outside fabrics with the right sides. Between the inner and outer fabrics, tuck canvas straps between two edges of one face and two edges of another face, ensuring that both faces are facing forward and backward.

Pin the ends of each canvas strap four inches from the side seam and pin fabric edges together around the bag’s opening perimeter.

Step 7: Sew the Bag’s Opening

Begin by stitching a 1/2″ seam approximately halfway around the tote, stopping 4″ before where you began.

This will leave an opening to turn the bag right-side-out.

Step 8: Turn and Press

Weave the sides and straps of the tote bag through the 4″ gap, turning it right-side out. To remove creases, lightly iron the totes with a warm iron.

Step 9: Finish by Top-Stitching

Finally, top-stitch around the tote bag’s entire opening to finish edges. This will also help reinforce canvas straps and shut the gap left in the previous step for turning.

At this point, your bag is complete! You can now fill it with your favorite goodies and head out the door.

How to Make Gift Bags from Old Clothes

Using old clothes to make gift bags is a great way of keeping them out of the landfill while giving them new life.

How To Make Gift Bags From Old Clothes: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re looking for a way to repurpose old clothes, making gift bags is a great idea. These bags are sturdy, attractive, and, best of all, eco-friendly.

All you need is a pair of old jeans or pants with interesting patterns, some fabric from an old shirt or blouse, and a little bit of sewing know-how.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Cut the legs of the jeans off at the knee. You only need the top part of each leg, so cut them as close to the knee as possible.
  2. Fold each leg in half and then sew along the long edge, using a zigzag stitch or serger. This will create a tube shape.
  3. Turn the tubes inside out so that the seams are on the inside.
  4. Cut a piece of fabric from an old shirt or blouse to use as the bag’s bottom. The size will depend on how big you want your bag to be.
  5. Sew the bottom piece of fabric to the bottom edge of one tube.
  6. Sew two pieces together at their short edges, right sides facing in and leaving a half-inch space unsewn.
  7. Turn them inside out and stuff it with something soft like stuffing or cotton balls before you sew up that gap completely. This will be your bag’s lining.
  8. Sew the lining to one end of the bag.
  9. Fold over and sew down both long edges on your main fabric piece, which will be your bag’s exterior. You can add a zipper or velcro closure to this if you like.
  10. Sew both pieces of your bag together along their long edges.
  11. Leave an opening at the top so you can turn it inside out and stuff it with something soft like stuffing or cotton balls before sewing up that gap completely.

There you have it! How to make a gift bag from an old pair of jeans or pants.

Final Thoughts

Making bags from old clothes is a great way to reuse materials and keep them out of the landfill. Not only are you reducing your environmental impact, but you’re also creating something new and stylish!

If you’re feeling crafty, give this project a try. It’s easy to do and can be completed in just a few hours.

Anne Hogan
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