It’s denim season here at Upcycle My Stuff.
I made a quilt from lots of old jeans which is what started the whole thing off.
But of course there are parts of the jeans that didn’t make it into the quilt – including the back pockets.
So this tutorial is all about how I used some of those back pockets to make a bedside pocket organzier each for my two sons. (I also made this handbag with some more of the pockets!)
This is a super quick and easy project and I think looks pretty cute when it’s finished!
If you need to refer to my guide to cutting up your jeans before you start you can find it here.
Bedside Pocket Organizer – Materials Needed:
- 2 pack pockets from old jeans – cut leaving at least 1/4″ around each pocket (ideally 2 or 3″)
- Fabric strip 5″ x the width of your two pockets when sewn together
- Length of Ribbon
- Fabric Scraps for embellishment (optional)
- Iron on Interfacing (heavy/firm)
Step 1: Cut Out your Pockets
A bedside pocket organzier of course needs…you guessed it….pockets.
So let’s start there. As I mentioned above I was cutting up multiple pairs of old jeans to make a denim quilt and I didn’t know what I would do with the rest of the jeans so I just cut out each back pocket and set them aside.
I was sensible enough to leave about 2″ all the way around the actual pocket, in some cases more, to make sure that whatever I decided to do I had enough seam allowance to sew with them!
For these two bedside pocket organizers I used two pockets each and I ended up using two matching pockets for each organizer too. What this means is I kind of made work for myself from cutting them apart….because I ended up sewing them back together!
However what I did get rid of was the thick middle seam that runs between the two pockets on the back of your jeans (see photo above). I probably could have sewn through that with my machine but it’s kind of a judgement call for you – do you want to deal with the bulky seam or would you rather not?
I also cut off the waistband for the same reason.
Step 2: Sew Pockets Together
If you did cut your pockets out separately like I did you will need to now sew them back together (skip this step obviously if you just cut out both pockets together).
Line them up right sides together, trim edges so that the surrounding denim is the same length and sew.
Press open your seam.
Step 3: Add Top Fabric
Next find a strip of fabric that is the same width across as your finished pocket panel and about 5-6″ high.
I used fabric from Stuart Hillard’s Rainbow Etchings Collection.
If your fabric is directional like my yellow one was, check to make sure you have it oriented the right way and sew across the top of your pocket panel with right sides together.
Press your seam.
Step 4: Interfacing
If you want your bedside pocket organizer to be functional you need to give it some stability. This is what the interfacing is for.
I cut out one piece for each organiser I was making. I cut it approximately 1″ smaller all the way around than my full bedside pocket organizer front panel (that’s what you sewed together in Step 3).
I used an iron on heavy weight interfacing. Follow the instructions on your particular interfacing to make sure you are applying it correctly.
Step 5: Prepare your Ties
This Bedside Pocket Organizer is attached to a bed by either tying it onto the bed slats (this is what I did) or the side panel of your bed (depending on it’s design).
To do this I used ribbon. I literally took the half finised organizer up to the bed I wanted to use it on and measured how long I needed my ribbon to be to tie it through the slats.
I cut 4 lengths of ribbon (2 for each side) of about 10″ each. You can make yours longer or shorter as needed.
Set these aside for a minute and we’ll come back to them.
Step 5: Backing Fabric
Next you need to find a piece of backing fabric that is the same size as your finished front panel.
For my two organizers I used two pretty bland pieces from my scrap stash. Don’t use your pretty fabric for this bit – no one will see it!
Step 6: Assemble
Pin your front and back panels right sides together.
Pin your ribbons inside the two panels about 2.5″ from each side. You want two sets of two ribbons. (See photos).
Sew all the way around with a 1/2″ seam and leave a 3-4″ gap for turning down one side.
Step 7: Top Stitch
Turn your (almost finished) Bedside Pocket Organizer right side out and poke the corners out with a turning tool or a chopstick.
Fold in the raw edges in your turning gap, pin, and top stitch all the way around your organizer. This will close the gap as well as finishing the whole thing off.
Step 8: Add Embellishments (optional)
To finish off I found a few fun scraps of fabric and appliqued them by hand on to one of the back pockets for each organizer.
If you don’t want to hand stitch you could add some embellishment before you sew everything together – but of course don’t machine sew through the pocket as then it won’t open!
Finished Bedside Pocket Organizer!
I think these look pretty cute. And they only took an hour or so to make!
Want to come back to this post later? Don’t forget to pin it!
If you are looking for more upcycling ideas for your old jeans check out these posts:
DIY Handbag Ideas - 10 Upcycled Bags you can Make Yourself - Upcycle My Stuff
Friday 23rd of October 2020
[…] obvious DIY tip for this is to preserve the pockets as you are cutting your fabric/suit jacket and reuse them in strategic places on your bag. Now all […]
How to Applique on a T-Shirt (with FREE Template) - Upcycle My Stuff
Wednesday 21st of October 2020
[…] used a raw edge applique process and I attached my applique with my sewing machine. There are other applique methods – needle turn to be specific – that you can do by hand if you’d prefer to do it […]
31 Books about Upcycling to help you waste less and make more!
Thursday 1st of October 2020
[…] recently as I’ve tried to upcycle all my old pairs of jeans by making a denim quilt, some bedside pocket organisers and a handbag. I honestly had far too many pairs that I’d bought over the years and discarded […]
DIY Denim Quilt from Old Jeans (Reversible Picnic Blanket)
Sunday 16th of August 2020
[…] back pockets of the jeans were used for Bedside Pocket Organisers for my sons and a bag for […]
DIY Denim Handbag with an Upcycled Leather Belt Strap
Tuesday 11th of August 2020
[…] first thing I made with these was a couple of bedside pocket organisers for my two sons. But I still had plenty left […]