Your first task is to deconstruct a pair or two of Denim Jeans. to make your “What Knots” bag.

Materials required:

Denim Jeans, A sharp pair of scissors and a quick unpick ,

Make sure your recycled jeans are washed and clean. If it has some marks and stains on it (like paint stains or grease stains etc) that’s okay – depending on who the bag is for, these marks can be used to an advantage.

Check your jeans for any cool labels, tags on the inside of your jeans and be aware of these while you deconstruct your jeans. You don’t want to be cutting through them.

Look for unusual belt loops, pockets, patches and if needed, unpick these first

Cut the cuff seam from the bottom of the jeans first – these need to be kept seperate.  The FRAY FACTOR (which I will explain on my next post) on the cuffs is minimal and gives them huge potential.

Turn jeans inside out

Carefully cut up both sides of the outside leg seams reasonably close to the stitching until you reach the pocket area and cut across to detach this seam

Cut up both sides of the inside leg seam over the crutch area and down the other inside leg seam.  This gives you one extra long seam – great for over the shoulder handles.

When you get up near the pocket areas you need to make some decisions …

    • How are you going to use the back and front pockets?
    • How to use the zip? – this may depend on if the zip is broken or not
    • Is the waistband usable as is, or could you use the internal tags/slogan if it has one?
    • How about the buttons and domes?

Many of these decisions, I make as I start to construct the bag – to see where and how they fit best.  Leave this top half whole for now.  In future tutorials, I will show you various options on how to use these as we get further into the project.

Your jeans are now cut up into deconstructed components.  By cutting up 2 or 3 pairs of jeans in different shades you have more choice with the various components and colour schemes as you create your What Knots bag.

So watch out for my next tutorial – The FRAY FACTOR – before we get into creating a masterpiece.,,


  • HI Paula,
    This is a great idea. I never thought about repurposing old jeans into something really beautiful and hard wearing – AND you can pop it into the wash if it get dirty.
    This is a great idea. I wish you every success with your online journey. Cheers

    • Hi Glenys
      Thank you for your kind comments.
      Perhaps you would like to join in to make your own funky and unique What Knots bag. I am still building up my website and hope to get to the fun bag building stage shortly. I wanted to teach some basic skills before I start on the nitty gritty stuff.
      It would be awesome if you join in.

  • This is a great tutorial!! My daughters love your bags, and I’m going to try to work some up for them for christmas. This tutorial is going to be so helpful. Great job, and I can’t wait to get started! Thanks!

    • Awesome Clare – Looking forward to the journey with you as I build out my website and add more tutorials. At this stage we are just working on small samples – it is easier to work on samples rather than the whole bag. Samples can travel with you as you work on embellishing them. In the end we combine the samples to make a bag. Cant wait to see some photos of your samples

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *