Cargo Shorts to Messenger Bag

I wanted to share with you a up-cycle project that turned out great.  I was on Craftsy and found a pattern for turning cargo shorts into a messenger bag:

Recycle Cargo Shorts Pattern

I thought it was pretty neat because cargo shorts have lots of pockets and you basically utilize those pockets on the bag for storage, plus it was a free download so even better.  I told my husband about it, he liked the idea and wanted me to make him one. So I put it on the back burner because at this point I didn’t have an old pair of cargo pants to cut apart, so I thought I’d get one at Goodwill at some point.

Eventually and conveniently my husband tore holes in two pairs of his cargo shorts, so I thought I could probably cut down the two of them to substitute for needing a pair of pants.  I was a little nervous and held off making them right away because I’ve never really done a up-cycle project.  Finally I was in the mood, so I chopped them all up, trying to utilize every use-able piece of fabric and of course one of the leg pockets for the top of the flap.  I had to piece a lot of fabric together to get some of the larger pieces that you need but looking at it now, it kind of gives it a outdoorsy, adventurer feel. I had some trouble with the pattern though.  It doesn’t give you a whole lot of detail in terms of putting the whole bag together, which layer to pin the strap or which side to pin the flap (I screwed that part up and had to tear the whole thing apart).


In the end, my husband loved it and uses it everyday to carry his little odds and ends he needs at work.  In fact, one of his co-workers loved it so much that he asked for one, so I made him one too.  He brought me a pair of Coogie pants (which my son says are worth like $250.00) to cut to pieces.  I tried my best to utilize all of the pockets this time because the jeans are not like cargo pockets, so I had to make a flap with a velcro closure for the front flap pocket.  I used both side pockets under the flap and kept one belt loop to hang things off of, like keys and then the back of the bag has one back pocket.

I think they came out very nice and they are very much appreciated.  You should try it, especially if you know someone who needs a bag to carry things. Plus who doesn’t love recycling and saving money by not buying fabric.


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