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How to Make a Bedside Pocket Organizer from Old Jeans

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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

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!

bedside pocket organizer from old jeans

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.

bedside pocket organizer

Step 2: Sew Pockets Together

bedside pocket organizer

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

bedside pocket organizer

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

fusible 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

bedside pocket organizer

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.

bedside pocket organizer sewing 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

bedside pocket organizer - turning

Turn your (almost finished) Bedside Pocket Organizer right side out and poke the corners out with a turning tool or a chopstick.

bedside pocket organizer - top sttiching

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)

bedside pocket organizer - embellishments

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!

bedside pocket organizers from old jeans

Finished Bedside Pocket Organizer!

bedside pocket organizer - ties
bedside pocket organizer - yellow
bedside pocket organizer
bedside pocket organizer - red

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!

diy bedside pocket orgnaizer

If you are looking for more upcycling ideas for your old jeans check out these posts:

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