How to make a drawstring bag: Take One Pair of Jeans Challenge

I missed out when Missie Lizzie B ran her Take One Jumper Challenge. I never quite got around to making the things I planned to: I never found the right sweater. So when she reached out on Twitter, suggesting that I might be up for a Jeans challenge, I was a little more responsive. I cut out the fabric almost immediately. And then I did nothing with it: progress of a kind.

And yet a flurry of activity today gave me some progress. Following instructions, I am now half way through making this brilliant upcycled apron  I found at Girl and a Glue Gun. It will be perfect for the LBG, whose personalised apron has- seemingly overnight- become too small for the neck strap to fit over her head.

jeans upcycled to handbag

I also made a very easy shoulder bag for her too: I cut off the bottom of one leg, hemmed the unfinished end, and used a seam as the strap. I plan on adding detail with embroidery thread and buttons.

upcycled jeans into drawstring bag

But my main triumph is my marble bag. I have seen a large round playmat that draws up into a large bag somewhere and it was the inspiration behind what my mother pointed out to me today was a ‘Dolly’ bag.

Firstly, you cut a large circle from your fabric. In my case, I used a large dinner plate as a template to cut rounds from both my jeans and a scrap of fabric I had left-over from some skirts I made for the Little Misses.

start with two circles of fabric
 Sew the two together, right-sides facing each other, leaving a small gap.
sew and edge

Turn the fabrics right-side out through the gap you left and then you can sew the hole closed.

push fabric through hole to turn right side out
Iron, and sew around your fabric frisbee again, about 1/2inch from the outer edge.

sew a channel

Sew around again, this time 1/2 inch from the last line of sewing, creating a channel. Cut (carefully) a slit between the two lines of sewing, from top to bottom, but only through the outer layer of fabric (jeans in this case.)

attach safety pin to end of cord

Attach a safety pin to the end of a length of piping cord, and thread this through the hole and around the channel until you exit the slit once again.

thread through channel

Laying the ‘frisbee’ flat, trim your cord ends, then tie off.

tie ends of cord together
You have now made a simple drawstring bag for toys, trinkets and, in this case, marbles.

drawstring marble bag

I shall add photographs of other projects as I make them. I am unlikely to use every last bit of denim as Lizzie did. I lack her determination and thrift!! But I do have lots of great ideas on my Pinterest Upcycle board.


  1. says

    A lovely little pouch. I have seen a toy bag like the one you describe and would love to make a full sized one from old jeans. I think mine will be a crazy pieced one – taht way I can use all the scraps of denim I am creating with my other projects!

  2. says

    Wow! This is so amazing. So professional.

    I’m very very impressed.

    I love the sound of Girl and a Glue Gun too!

    Really liking the idea of an apron, I’ve pinned one on Pinterest too but I did wonder if a pair of jeans would yield enough fabric.

    Thanks SO much for joining in x

    • Domestic Goddesque says

      If I’m honest, Liz, I think that it would make a great apron for a slimmer version of myself. i am going to make it for LBG as her need is greater. It’s a great idea though, as denim is very durable and perfect for making an apron!

Go on! You know you want to tell me what you think!