Upcycled Pant Leg Bag

We're off to a birthday party today for an outdoorsy, active seven year
old girl. I spent yesterday afternoon stitching this fun, (slightly
wonky) messenger bag. It's small at 8" square and I think just right: 
sturdy enough to haul rocks home from the lake; cute enough to be an
actual purse if she develops an unexpected girlie phase.


I prefer to handcraft birthday presents – for my friends, for family, and for kids' birthdays. What may have begun as wise frugality has become my preference, like cooking beans from scratch instead of buying canned. (Yes, they are also cheaper, but homemade beans – and gifts – are so much yummier.)


The idea for her gift came when I noticed Pete's old khaki's in the donation box. I could see this bag in my mind immediately (only in my mind it wasn't nearly as cute!).

I cut off one leg, split it into two pieces by cutting off-center down the front and back. Then I cut a long section (for the body) and a short, slightly narrower section (for the flap). I cut the same sizes from the lining and also a strap and some applique pieces.


It stitched up in under two hours, and that was with figuring the whole
thing out and botching the first round. (Fortunately pants come with two


We tucked in a set of letter stamps just for fun. I think I paid $1 for them on clearance. A $1 birthday gift that's cute, personal, homemade, and useful? Perfect. 


12 thoughts on “Upcycled Pant Leg Bag

  1. Liz says:

    What an adorable bag. I love the idea of homemade gifts. The leaf design is just perfect.

    p.s. I made some toothpaste and tried it out this morning. Wow, my teeth feel really clean. The taste will take a little getting used to, but I’m definitely convinced.

    p.p.s Was shopping at the people’s food co-op yesterday and I picked up some bars of LuSa soap. Very excited to rotate them in!

    p.p.s.s. I would be using them right now, but I went through a “buying in bulk” phases when I was pregnant, so we’re working through many gallons of kiss my face soap. Ha!

  2. Denise says:

    super super cute! And it looks like the reverse applique is just the lining showing through? How clever!! Have fun – and we’ll touch base soon!

  3. Rachel Wolf says:


    Glad you found some LuSa soap. Youll love it. If you dont love the other soap you have on hand its easy to turn into laundry soap! Let me know if you need instructions. Blessings, Rachel

  4. Rachel Wolf says:

    Denise and Denise,

    Thanks! It isnt reverse applique – the bag was lined in the batik plus appliqued in it. I love the idea though. I think Ill try it out! I was going to use the pockets but for such a small bag it felt too heavy/bulky. I think for an older child or an adult that would be adorable!

  5. Jenna says:

    I love the bag–you have me running to check my stash of clothes to re-purpose (i.e. not good enough for donation). I know enough now to hang on to them, just not what to do with them. Thanks so much for the sweet inspiration.

  6. Margaret B. says:

    Ha! I thought I remembered you had a nice little tutorial for a bag made from a trouser leg. Just rescued a pair of my husband’s jeans from the garbage. Time for a new bag!

    Thanks Rachel —

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