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Denim Eyelet Tote Bag

Posted on August 1, 2010

This is my new denim eyelet tote bag. I am so excited about how it turned out. I bought this big piece of denim from a yard sale and set out to make a nice new purse for myself.

It is my first time using eyelets on a tote bag for the handles. In the past I’ve always found it tough sewing the heavy denim handles or straps to the bag. Most of the time your sewing machine doesn’t like sewing through the thick layers of denim so I wanted to try putting in eyelets. They worked out great and I just threaded my denim handle straps through the eyelets and tied a knot at the end to secure each side.

I did take lots of pictures as I created this tote bag and will detail them below for anyone who would like to make their own denim tote bag.

Picture Tutorial for a Denim Eyelet Tote Bag

Materials needed:
One piece of denim 28″ long by 16″ wide
Two denim strips 3″ wide by 38″ long for strap handles
One scrap piece of denim for flap
One piece of lining fabric 28″ long by 16″ wide and extra scrap pieces if pockets are added to lining
One magnetic closure
Thread for denim and lining
Four 7/16″ eyelets
One hammer

Finished Denim Eyelet Tote Bag Dimensions: 11″ wide by 10-1/2″ tall by 4″ deep with 30″ straps.

Click on any photos to super-size

Cut one piece of denim 28″ long x 16″ wide. I cut my piece of denim on the fold so it was 14″ long x 16″ wide. With right sides together, I folded and pressed it in half with a hot iron and then turned down the top hem 1-1/2″ at the top as shown. Pin the sides and machine stitch 5/8″ seams down each side.

Clip open end seam and fold corner as shown. Mark each corner down 2″ inches to create a square bottom for the bag. Sew across on each corner as shown. Turn bag to the outside now with right sides facing out. You should have a nice square bottom now on your bag as shown.

Cut two strips of denim for the straps 3″ wide by 38″ long. Fold over 5/8″ on each side and press with hot iron once to the center as shown and then fold over again. Your strap should be just under 1″ wide now.

Machine sew each strap along the outside edge. I sewed very close to the edge as shown. Then I cut a flap template from a piece of paper 5-1/2″ wide by 3-1/2″ long. Using my template, I cut two pieces of denim to create my flap. With right sides together, I machine stitched around the outer edge of my flap and left the top open for turning. Turn and press flap to the outside. At this point, I added a magnetic closure to the flap and the front of bag before I lined it.

To line your bag, just repeat the same steps above as you did for the denim bag. But you do not turn your lining, leave the right sides on the inside so you can insert it into your denim bag. I also added a few pockets in my lining. I just cut a few pieces of fabric and made a couple of pockets and sewed them on before doing the side seams of the lining.

Once you have your lining completed, trim the seams and insert it into your denim bag. Pin the lining in place along the top edge. Slip your denim flap between the denim bag and the lining. Pin it in place to match your magnetic close on the front of the bag. Then machine stitch along the top edge all around your bag to secure the lining inside your denim bag.

I then put four 7/16″ eyelets in my bag. Two on the front and two on the back each about 3″ from the sides. Once you get the eyelets hammered in place, insert your denim strap handles and tie a knot on the inside of the bag as shown.

That’s it folks — Now go and enjoy your new denim tote bag!

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11 Responses to “Denim Eyelet Tote Bag”

  1. Tweets that mention Denim Eyelet Tote Bag | My Recycled --
    Aug 02, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by timethief, Sandra Lee. Sandra Lee said: RT @timethief Recycling at it's best. Denim eyelet tote bag > […]

  2. Pattie
    Aug 02, 2010

    Great looking bag!
    I have trouble sewing through lots of fabric myself, but I have always been too afraid to try eyelets, maybe I’ll give it a try 🙂

  3. Aoibhe
    Aug 06, 2010

    These are great instructions.
    I’m a total dunce at sewing, crochet being my particular thing, but I think even I coudl follow this and make a good, sturdy bag. : )

  4. Ladygoodwood
    Aug 11, 2010

    This looks so stylish – I love the floral lining.

    Here in the Uk we have a store called Laura Ashley, you may have heard of it, this bag is the sort of thing I may find there.

    I am not very good at crafts – with the exception of knitting!

  5. roses
    Aug 15, 2010

    HI… nice idea. I’m looking for ideas on recycling old jeans, and find this page is very usefull. thank you so much for sharing. ^_^ GBU. Peace.

  6. Hiptobeme
    Aug 19, 2010

    Wow, the eyelets for handles, genious! I love your blog, it is very inspiring.

  7. June
    Mar 28, 2011

    Great tote!! I have one small improvement…if you are like me your handles just wear out and stretch. Try using a tube of aquarium hose inside the handles. It will give added body and strength. If you don’t have any, a home supply store sells all sizes of clear vinyl tubing. You could eve use rolled up shrink-wrap or similar.. Just end the tube before the eyelets or, go thru and tie the knot with the plastic. Thanks for the pattern!

  8. Hannah Hernandez
    Nov 06, 2011

    Oh, that bag is truly great! I appreciate things that are came from recycled materials,it is truly brilliant idea. I love that bag actually, I want to have that.

  9. […] Tote Bag ¿Porqué no convertir tus ex jeans regalones en una cartera de uso diario? Haz click aquí. […]

  10. Carmen
    Aug 24, 2014

    I think this idea is great. I wonder if it would be a good idea to add some sort of support in the bottom tho between the layers of material? That’s what I like to do as I make purses out of old jeans. Just my 2 cents. 🙂

  11. Cindy
    Aug 24, 2014

    @Carmen – Thanks for feedback and it is a great idea to add support to the bottom. I have used plastic canvas sheets in the past. I cut a strip to match the bag base and put it in between the denim and the lining. It works great and does provide a nice extra layer of support to the bag.


  1. Tweets that mention Denim Eyelet Tote Bag | My Recycled -- says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by timethief, Sandra Lee. Sandra Lee said: RT @timethief Recycling at it's best. Denim eyelet tote bag > […]

  2. […] Tote Bag ¿Porqué no convertir tus ex jeans regalones en una cartera de uso diario? Haz click aquí. […]

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About Me

Hello, I’m Cindy or aka RecycleCindy. Welcome to my blog site that is dedicated to recycling and crafting. I love to crochet and create crafts and other useful things from recycled materials. I share many free tutorials and patterns for creating recycled projects as well as other handmade items.

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