These denim applique heart pockets are fun to use as little gift bags for Valentine’s day and other occasions, such as Mother’s Day and Birthdays.
The reverse heart applique technique I used here is really easy to do. And even though this project involved a small amount of hand stitching, it is possible to make the denim pocket gift bags without sewing.
With this craft, I just used one denim pocket for each individual gift bag. But what makes these cute denim gift storage bags unique is the reverse applique heart.
Besides the back pockets from an old pair of jeans, all you need are some fabric scraps. Which makes this a very affordable craft. The heart pockets are also very easy to make.
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What You Need To Make Applique Heart Pockets
- Back pockets from an old pair of jeans
- Small square of scrap cotton fabric – I used some Liberty print scraps I had but you could use a bit of fabric from on old patterned shirt. Fabrics with a small pattern print work best and if the pockets are for Valentine’s day then a red or pink patterns would be even better.
- Fray Stop fabric glue
- Heart shaped cookie cutter and pen
- Embroidery thread and needle
- Small sharp scissors
- Iron on fusible interfacing
How To Make The Cute Valentine’s Heart Pockets
Step 1: Cut out the back pockets from a pair of old jeans. Cut as close to the seam of the pockets as possible. Cut the whole pocket, front and back, so that the pocket is kept intact.
Step 2: Next, turn the pocket inside out. Then place a heart-shaped cookie cutter on the center of the pocket and draw around it with a pen. The size of the cookie-cutter you use will determine the size of the heart applique. A standard heart cookie-cutter should be fine.
Step 3: Denim fabric frays really easily. To stop my denim hearts from fraying I applied a thin layer of Fray Stop glue around the edge of the drawn heart. If you don’t have Fray Stop glue, other fabric glues should work just as well.
Step 4: Once the glue has dried (about 20 mins), carefully cut out the heart from the center of the pocket. This should be easy to do with a pair of small sharp scissors.
The Reverse Applique Heart
Step 5: Next, cut a small square of scrap fabric that is slightly larger than the cutout heart. To stiffen the fabric scrap, iron on some fusible interfacing on the back. Follow the instructions that come with the interfacing.
Top tip: Stiffening the scrap fabric is not essential, but it does make the craft easier and the applique heart more robust.
Step 6: Next, turn the cutout denim pocket the right way around. Then place the stiffened fabric inside the pocket covering the heart hole. Pin the fabric in place.
Top Tip: If you don’t want to do any sewing then you can simply glue the fabric square in place and miss out on the next stage.
Step 7: Next, stitch the reverse applique heart in place. Use embroidery thread and a needle with a decorative blanket stitch for this. I used the full six strands of the embroidery thread.
It helps to keep one hand in the pocket to keep it open as you blanket stitch. This will make sure that you don’t accidentally sew both sides of the pocket together.
Step 9: When the stitching is finished, turn the denim pocket back inside out. Then cut away any of the excess applique fabric.
Step 9: Next, turn the pocket back to the right way and add a small hanging strap. Small stips of leather, denim seams or ribbon can be used for the straps.
If using leather then attach the straps with an eyelet punch, just like I did with my embroidered hanging pocket storage.
Denim seam and ribbon straps can simply be handstitched into the top of the applique heart pockets.
These denim applique heart pockets are perfect little pouches for giving Valentine’s or Mother’s day treats. They are so easy and affordable to make I ended up making a few of them, each one a slightly different design.
If you liked this upcycled denim craft then you should check out the other things that you can make from an upcycled pair of jeans and my comprehensive A to Z of denim crafts. I even have a collection of denim Valentine’s ideas and many more fabric heart crafts.
More cool adult crafts can be found here.
- Denim back pockets from an old pair of jeans
- Scrap fabric with a small pattern print
- Fray stop glue
- Embroidery thread and needle
- Iron on interfacing
- Heart shaped cookie cutter
- Small pair of sharp scissors
- Cut a back pocket out from a pair of jeans. Cut as close to the seams as possible, keeping the back and front of the pocket intact., So that it can still be used as a pouch.
- Turn the pocket inside out, then draw around the heart-shaped cookie cutter on the pocket.
- Brush Fray Stop glue around the drawn heart and leave it to dry.
- Next, cut out the denim heart.
- Cut a piece of scrap fabric large enough to cover the heart hole. Stiffen the fabric with iron-on interfacing.
- Next, turn the pocket right side out and pin the fabric inside the pocket to cover the heart hole.
- Stitch the heart to the denim pocket using a blanket stitch around the edge.
- Finish off the denim pockets by adding a strap. Strips of leather or denim seams can be used to make the straps.