35+ Upcycling Ideas for DIY Bags

35+ Upcycling Ideas for DIY Bags

Accessories are, by far, my favorite form of fashion. Specifically, I love unusual jewelry (vintage or upcycled), scarves, and bags (thrifted or upcycled). So, it’s not exactly surprising that I have quite a few blog posts for accessories. I might actually have more tutorials for DIY bags (or upcycling bags into something else) than any other accessory.

My collection includes DIY bags that I bought from artisan markets, such as these upcycled tote bags. One from a vintage feed sack and the other from a vintage delivery bag.

upcycled tote bags that are made from old canvas


But, as I’d mentioned, I’ve made plenty of DIY bags on my blog, as well! One of my favorites involved upcycling a purse into a hip bag for hands-free shopping.

Hip purse from a small leather handbag

Such an improvement over a regular ole’ fanny pack, right?

I also included a few bag ideas in my book, “Crafting with Flannel”, as well!

drawstring pouch from the sleeve of a flannel shirt

These just scratch the surface of bag-making from upcycled materials, though. And sometimes, a pre-made bag is upcycled into something else entirely. So, the upcycling street goes both ways.

repurposing ideas for a cotton face mask

And this one- a slightly damaged leather tote bag that I decorated with travel patches. A wink and a nod to the vintage suitcases covered in travel stickers that I’ve admired over the years.

tote bag that looks like a vintage suitcase

If you’re anything like me, though, you’re ALSO a fan of bags (and purses, totes, and clutches, too). So, I scoured the web and gathered all sorts of upcycling ideas for DIY bags to help inspire your next bag-making endeavor!

Upcycling Ideas for DIY Bags

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SO MANY IDEAS, so little time. Isn’t that always the case? But these really make me want to try my hand at another bag project…

Making an envelope clutch from a table runner

Or, perhaps I’ll find a bag at a thrift store and repurpose it into something else entirely! It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that happened

coastal collection of bottles

Either way, think you’ll try out a new idea for a DIY or upcycled bag? I promise, you don’t need to be an expert sewist, either. Or even a mediocre sewist, which is what I am. Sometimes, all I do is embellish a bag from the thrift!

refashioning with ribbon belts

Little to no sewing required. Either way, I’m fairly certain there is an upcycled bag idea out there for you, no matter your crafting or sewing level.

And thrift stores are a great place to start, no matter which project you decide to tackle!

I hope you’ve been inspired by this collection of DIY bags. I know I’ve got oodles of thrifted fabric that I could get started with, if I wanted to go the sewing route. But who knows, maybe a tote at the thrift store will inspire me to go in a new direction.

Update- one already did!

decorating a wool tote with leather leaves

Gee darn, guess there’s only one way to find out- by going thrifting!

Craft on!


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upcycled bags or diy bags

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Thank you for collecting all these ideas for us! It’ll give me a different perspective on bags when I am yard saling/thrifting!

  2. Glena Dusky says

    You do it well, i like your style.

  3. Rebecca Payne says

    Thank you for this post.

  4. Thank you for including my bags in this collection of AWESOME ideas! 🙂 Repurposing fashion accessories is highly satisfying in so many ways.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Totally! And you do such exceptional work- I hope you saw a through click throughs from this!

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