Repurpose an old pair of jeans into a hip lunch box!
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Designer: Amy Barickman of Indygo Junction


  • Pair of denim jeans with at least an 11"-wide leg
  • 5⁄8"-diameter red button (or size that will fit in waistband buttonhole)
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread to match jeans
  • Fabric marking pencil

Use a 1⁄2" seam allowance unless otherwise stated.

Step 1

Using a sharp scissors, cut away 16" of the jeans waistband, starting at the buttonhole end (photo 1). This will be the closure for the bag. If there are belt loops, remove them with a seam ripper.

TIP: Belt loops have reinforced seams and may need adult help.


Step 2

Cut one pocket from back of jeans (photo 2).


Step 3

Cut along inner seam of each pant leg (photo 3). Open jeans flat. Cut a denim 11×15" rectangle from each pant leg.


Step 4

Place a denim 11×15" rectangle right side up on a flat surface. Place Step 2 pocket 4" from top short edge of denim rectangle; pin in place (photo 4). Topstitch pocket to rectangle along side and bottom edges to make bag front.

TIP: Do not sew over pins. Stop stitching and remove each pin right before the needle gets to it.


Step 5

Place remaining denim 11×15" rectangle right side up on a flat surface. Center Step 1 waistband on rectangle, with buttonhole end extending over top short edge; pin in place (photo 5). Starting at bottom short edge, topstitch along one long edge of waistband, stopping 2" from top edge; pivot 90o, stitch across waistband, pivot 90o, and stitch down other long edge of waistband to make bag back.


Step 6

Layer bag front and bag back with right sides together; place pocket opening and buttonhole end in same direction. Join side and bottom edges to make bag body (photo 6).


Step 7

To shape bottom of bag, at one corner match side seam and bottom center of bag body to create a flattened triangle. Measuring 11⁄2" from point of triangle, draw a line across triangle. Sew on drawn line (photo 7). Trim excess fabric, leaving a 1⁄4" seam allowance. Repeat with remaining corner. Turn bag body right side out.


Step 8

Fold over top raw edge 1⁄2" toward right side of bag body, folding buttonhole end out of the way; pin. Zigzag-stitch in place to hem top edge of bag body (photo 8).

TIP: Make sure to ask for help setting the sewing machine to a zigzag stitch.


Step 9

Starting at one side, pinch edges together; pin. Topstitch along pinched edges and bottom (photo 9).


Step 10

Hand-sew button to bag front above pocket to complete lunch bag (photo 10).