September 9, 2011

Niki's DIY of the Month: DENIM MESSENGER BAG

So you have a pair of jeans or two that you can’t seem to part with. Guess what? Your fairy godcrafter here to help. I’m going to show you what to do with them so you stop hoarding denim like you’re on an A&E docudrama. We’re going make a messenger bag!


–          Scissors

–          Velcro

–          A needle and thread

–          Flat pins

–          Chains – I bought these at Michael’s Arts and Crafts for about $5 a pack. They’re 42 inches long.

–          Buttons or brooches if you want to get kray and add some flair (but I won’t tell you how many pieces of flair you need to wear – that’s up to you. And if you haven’t seen Office Space and don’t get the lame joke I just made… sorry for being old).

–          A pair of jeans. Since I don’t plan on revisiting my wardrobe from 2003 any time soon, I chose this old pair of black denim bootcut jeans. Yep — they have metallic handguns embellished on the butt pockets. Don’t judge me.


Cut the legs off your jeans, as seen in Photo 1 below. Tuck the extra fabric away into your craft box (yes, you should have a craft box for all of the fun future DIYs we’re going to do together!) because yes, there are more fun DIYs we’re going to do together or you never know when you’re going to be inspired to make something.

Because the jeans I used are low-rise, I pinned the waistband together to make sure that everything was even before cutting. This is important because the Velcro you have is going to be sewn into the waistband in a later step (to hold the bag shut) so you’re going to need this to be even.


Turn the jorts (jeans that are shorts, duhhh) inside out and use your flat pins to pin the bottom closed. See photo 2 below.


Stitch across the bottom and be sure to reinforce the ends (see Photo 3 above).


Turn it right-side-out and stitch any openings together. Stick Velcro inside the waistband as the closure and stitch over to reinforce (see Photo 4 above).


Insert a chain through the belt loops, and sew the chain loops underneath the belt loops to the fabric, to hold the chain in place. Connect the ends of your second chain to the chain that’s around the waistband, on each end. This chain is the strap of your bag, and can be as long or as short as you’d like depending on if you want to wear your bag cross-body or over the shoulder. You can use wire cutters and clamps for all of this chain action, but because we keep it real classy… scissors and teeth work too. I’m just saying.

Check it out – you made a bag! Now you can put all of your everyday essentials where you used to put your ass. High five!

…And in my case, I can now walk around with a gun pointing at my crotch. That’s right, kids – there’s no shame in my game.

PS. I didn’t make this…. up. This DIY is inspired by the book PS. I Made This by Erica Domesek, which you can purchase at your local Urban Outfitters.


Niki Blasina is a fashion writer and publicist from Vancouver.




Posted by Niki Blasina in Fashion
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