Upcycled Denim Book Bag

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Summary:

Whether your child is going to school for the first time or returning for another year, you can really bond with him or her by creating this denim bag together.

One practical item is this great tote bag made from an old pair of denim jeans. Go ahead, have some fun with your kids and create a masterpiece together!

What You Need:

  • One pair of large old blue jeans – preferably with a pant leg width of 8 to 12 inches.
  • A pair of scissors.
  • A sewing machine.
  • A paint brush (number 6 size will work wonderfully, but any small brush will do).
  • Fabric paint in the following colors: white, black and peach.
  • A pencil or pen.
  • A piece of draw string (cotton cord) or sturdy boot lace: 28 inches long.
  • A safety pin.
  • A printed copy of the folk art cow pattern found HERE. You should feel free to paint whichever design you choose. You can find many more patterns at KinderColor or the Folk Art Life Free Patterns page, or, come up with your own design.

What You Do:

Step One:
Place your jeans on a sturdy surface and cut the material from the knee straight across. Do the same thing at the top of the pant leg. (You want to cut the top of the pant leg because it will be slightly wider than the bottom of your pant leg.)

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Step Two:
Smooth out the cut fabric. The length should be about a foot or so.

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Step Three:
Turn the material inside out and fold the narrow end over about one and a half inches.

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Step Four:
Use a sewing machine to sew around the folded edge. You can also do this step by hand if you don’t have access to a sewing machine.

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Step Five:
Now sew the widest part of the pant leg, making the stitches about half an inch from the cut end. Do this twice (for strength) as this will become the bottom of your bag.

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Step Six:
Turn the sewn product right side out.

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Step Seven:
With the scissors, make a small cut on the inside of the folded material so that you can add a drawstring.

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Step Eight:
Take your safety pin and fasten it to your lace or draw string.

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Step Nine:
Now push the closed safety pin through the opening you cut with the scissors.

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Step Ten:
Work the string all around the top of your bag by grabbing onto the safety pin through the material.

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Step Eleven:
Print off a copy of the folk art cow pattern and cut the cow out using your scissors.

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Step Twelve:
Place the cow pattern/template on the tote bag and trace around the outside using pen or pencil.

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Step Thirteen:
Cut the pattern along the lines so that you can trace in the details of the cow.

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Step Fourteen:
Using your fabric paint and brush, paint the black areas of your cow. You can use regular acrylic paint but if you want the ability to wash the tote bag, you will need to use fabric paint.

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Step Fifteen:
Paint the white areas and finish with the peach on the udder. Clean up any edges.

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

Finished Product:
You have just created the greatest Folk-Art Tote bag ever. Use it for books, running shoes, or even lunch!

Make a folk art book bag out of a pair of old denim jeans. KinderArt.com

 

This post originally appeared on Folk Art America.

❖ Similar Categories: Crafts for Kids, Recycling and Upcycling Art Ideas
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