Make your Own Homemade Bag From Old Clothes

Updated on November 13, 2016
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Hearty Cindy is a registered nurse from the Philippines who learned to love writing while working online part time.

Cute Homemade Bag

How to Make Your Own Homemade Bag from Old Clothes

Whether you are looking to save a little money or just want to be creative, this is the place for you.

Why make your own bag with old clothes? Because making a bag of your own is a wonderful challenge. Because it also saves tons of money compared to those "homemade" designer bags, and because the bag you make will be original, one-of-a-kind, and utterly personal, a thing you will wear with pride for many years.

Who knows? You might end up selling your creations someday but of course, we have to start with the basics.

Below, you'll find step-by-step instructions for making your own bag, plus many photos and videos to use as inspiration!

This is the OUTCOME: CUTE BAG for my NIECE

More Stuffs I did for Her

Diy: Tools You Need

Things You Will Need

  1. Old clothes. Use any old thing you have and love. Of course, the project you design will have to match the weight and pattern of the fabric, so keep this in mind.
  2. Sewing machine. If you have one and know how to use it, that is. I sew with a needle and thread as I do not know how to handle a sewing machine, but my mother always tells me that I sew like a sewing machine because my stitches are so clean. But if you think it's too hard to do it by hand, of course a machine will work!
  3. Scissors.
  4. Thread that matches the color of the fabric you're using.
  5. Elastic to gather the edge.
  6. One large safety pin.
  7. A big sheet of paper for the pattern. You can even use a paper bag for this.

The Steps in Making the Bag

Here are the Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Make a paper pattern for the bag you want to make. Draw it out on paper then cut it out and hold it together to see if it's going to look like you want it to. Take your time in this stage perfecting the cut of the pattern so that when you move to cutting fabric, you won't make any mistakes (and waste fabric!). Don't forget to make a pattern for the straps, as well, and for a pocket (if desired). For this little purse, I cut two 9" squares.
  2. Place the two pieces together, with the "right" or "clean" sides together and the "wrong" sides (the side of the fabric that you don't want to see) visible on the outside.
  3. Pin and then sew the three sides for the bag, leaving the last side open.
  4. Flip the top edge over so that a one-and-a-half-inch fold of the "right" side can be seen in at the top.
  5. You will want to sew this fold down about an inch from the top of the bag, all the way around, creating a channel. Instead of sewing the full circle around the bag, leave a small section unsewn.
  6. Take a 10" piece of elastic. Pierce one end with the safety pin and use the pin as a kind of needle to draw the elastic through the channel.
  7. Before you sew one end of the elastic to the other and sew the little hole shut, make sure this is the amount of gather you want at the mouth of your bag. If you want the opening to be smaller, now is the time to cut off more elastic and make that adjustment.
  8. Now for the strap: Take a piece of the fabric that's 8" long and 2" wide. Fold the lengthwise edges in so that they touch, then fold the whole strip down the middle. Sew the the side of the straps down the middle leaving both ends open.
  9. Attach the ends of the straps to the made bag.

Another Bag I Made with Upcycled Jeans Using Crochet

Add Some Accents

Adding accents is also a great idea to personalize the bag and tailor-fit it to your own character. Adding a pocket is great idea, too.

Consider any or all of these embellishments:

  • Buttons
  • Ribbons
  • Laces
  • Belt
  • Sequins
  • Paint
  • Keychains
  • Pictures printed on fabric

Another Creative Idea Using Old Shirts!

Just sew them together at the bottom and voila!  It's a shirt-bag!
Just sew them together at the bottom and voila! It's a shirt-bag!

Homemade Bags: How-To Video

Turn Old Denim Jeans Into a New Bag!

Little Pocket Purse

A Gallery of Photo Inspirations!

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Please leave me your comments and suggestions!

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    • profile image

      Mrs. Brenda Coffer 

      2 years ago

      thank you

    • profile image

      sithi batcha 

      3 years ago

      very nice good ideas

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Faboulous idea to make a cloth baggg...

    • heartycindypen profile imageAUTHOR

      Hearty Cindy Penaranda 

      7 years ago from Ormoc City

      @expressly: thanks so much for the visit too...

    • expressly profile image


      7 years ago

      Great Ideas and I am glad that I visit your lens

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 

      7 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      I like how your bag turned out. I enjoy making bags from old clothes too. Nice lens!

    • heartycindypen profile imageAUTHOR

      Hearty Cindy Penaranda 

      7 years ago from Ormoc City

      @Essentially Ind: thanks, you inspire me to do more!

    • heartycindypen profile imageAUTHOR

      Hearty Cindy Penaranda 

      7 years ago from Ormoc City

      @crstnblue: thanks so much, I feel so inspired with your encouragement!

    • Essentially Ind profile image

      Essentially Ind 

      7 years ago

      Lovely ideas.....too good. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very nice lens & ideas! Thanks for sharing!



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