DIY Decor, Holidays

Back to School Blues – Denim Style!

img 5654 1

School starts for many people this week.  Whoa!  It was move-in weekend at a university near where I live and the traffic was pandemonium.  I had the misfortune of running errands in several stores, sigh.  Amid the congestion in the check out lines and store shelves that were nearly empty, I thought there had to be a better way.  So I decided to brainstorm some Back to School fun with items you already have around the house to save on stress (and money) during this hectic time of year.  I cut up an old pair of jeans and made a school supplies bag and blinged out a regular notebook on the cheap.  The best thing about this project is kids can do it themselves for the most part.  It allows students to be creative and make something they will use at school (and maybe gives mom a minute’s peace in the mean time).  Let’s get started.


Back to School Denim

The material list is simple.  You’ll need a notebook, scissors, glue, a zipper, and embellishments.  I bought the notebook for 17 cents and the zipper for $1.47.  I already had blue and scissors at home.  The blue jeans were old.  If you needed to purchase a pair of old ones, go to a thrift store and buy a pair for $1 – the entire project is very affordable.


I started with the notebook.  Begin by cutting the back panel from the pants.  I cut down the back seams on either side of the pocket to just below the seat – make sure the pocket stay intact.  This shape is roughly the size of the notebook.  

Cut the denim panel

Next trim the denim to the exact size of the notebook cover and glue the denim onto the cover.

Glue the denim

Allow the notebook cover to dry overnight.  Once the glue was dry, I added some adhesive backed “bling” rhinestones.  The pocket now doubles as a pencil or pen holder.  Easy!

The Notebook

For the denim bag, cut one of the legs from the jeans below the knee – however long you’d like the bag to be.  Also remove the other back pocket and two belt loops from the jeans.

The materials

I didn’t photograph the process very well.  Note:  This is a 5 minute project if you use a sewing machine.  I didn’t.  It took me about 45 minutes to stitch everything by hand, ugh.  Affix the zipper to the inside of the jean leg on the end that you cut.  Then stitch the bottom of the pant leg together to form a bag.  Stitch the two belt loops end to end and form a circle.  Then stitch this circle onto one corner of the bag on the zippered end to sew a hook to carry the bag.  I also added a pocket to the outside of the bag for detail and function.  The pocket is optional, you can add it or not.  It would also be nice to sew a few beads here and there for an extra fancy pencil purse.

The Pencil Clutch

Our completed projects.

Back to School!

#backtoschool #denim #fashion #schoolsupplies #schoolfashion #school #college

sdiebar profile photo2

Julie, The Effortless Girl, is from a small (teeny tiny) community in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. The Effortless Girl was born out of a desire to challenge herself to find accessible, unique lifestyle ideas with cost savings in mind. LEARN MORE >

Recent Posts

DIY Decor

DIY Projects