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How To Make Hanging Pockets From Old Jeans

A tutorial for making some handy hanging denim pockets for your craft room by repurposing your old jeans.

One of my favourite things to upcycle is denim. When I needed hanging storage for the pegboard in my craft room, I instantly thought of jeans pockets. They would make perfect pencil holders.

The Pockets on A Pair of Jeans

Most pairs of jeans have five pockets—two on the back of the jeans and two at the front. Then, the fifth pocket is the tiny one inside the front right pocket.

This small pocket was initially called the watch pocket. It was designed as a safe place for men to store pocket watches. It dates back to when Levi’s first-ever pair of jeans hit the market in 1879.

Now that most people don’t carry pocket watches, the fifth pocket is often called the coin pocket. Sometimes it’s also called the ticket pocket.

I just repurposed only the back jeans pockets for these handy hanging pockets.

Along with the seams and waistbands, the back pockets of jeans are my favourite part. They add character to the jeans and make upcycled denim crafts more interesting.

My son has a great denim pocket organizer for the wall in his room. It is made from the pockets of the family’s old jeans. I also made him a denim iPhone pocket pillow.

I wanted something different this time and made these handy portable storage pockets for my craft room. They can easily be unhooked from the pegboard and carried around.

Even though I have used them for craft storage, I think these hanging pockets would also work well in a kitchen and could be used as cutlery holders.

denim jeans pockets

Embroidering The Pockets

I embroidered a letter on each pocket to add interest to the hanging pockets.

I love a rainbow; I embroidered an initial letter for each colour of the rainbow.

  • R – Red
  • O – Orange
  • Y – Yellow
  • G – Green
  • B – Blue
  • I – Indigo
  • V – Violet

A rainbow seemed appropriate as the hanging pockets would be used to store my coloured pens.

However, you can always embroider a monogram initial on the pockets. Or even design them so they spelled a word when all hung up together.

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What You Need To Make Denim Hanging Pockets

embroidery template

How To Make The Jeans Hanging Pockets

Step 1: First, carefully cut out the back pockets from the jeans. Using a pair of scissors, cut as close to the seam edge of the pocket as possible.

cutting out a back pocket with scissors.
cut out denim back pockets

I cut out seven jeans pockets in total—one for each colour of the rainbow.

Step 2: Next, place an embroidery hoop onto the pocket. The inner hoop will go inside the pocket, and the outer hoop on the back of the pocket.

Then cut out the letter template you want and place it on the front of the pocket. Draw around the letter.

Pocket embroidery
preparing embroidery template

Step 3: Using embroidery thread and a needle, fill in the letter template with stitches. No need for fancy stitches; a simple satin stitch will do.

Be careful to stitch only the front of the pocket and not go through to the back.

embroidering the pockets

Step 4: Once the embroidery has finished, remove the embroidery hoop. Then using a rotary cutter and mat cut a leather strap for the pocket. The leather strap should be about 1cm wide and 15cm long.

Cutting leather strip

Attaching the leather hanging strap

Step 5: The next thing to do is to attach the leather strap to the embroidered pocket. First, punch two holes into the leather strap, one at each end.

adding the strap

Then, punch two holes into the back fabric of the pocket. The holes should be at the top of the pocket and one at each end.

Attach the strap to the denim hanging pocket using eyelets and an eyelet tool.

If you don’t have an eyelet tool, you can stitch the leather strap to the jeans pocket.

attaching the strap

Repeat with the other hanging pockets. Then fill them with your pens and hang them from a hook.

Hanging denim pockets
hanging jean pocket storage

You can decorate your pockets with applique if you don’t fancy embroidery. Just like these denim applique heart Valentine’s gift pockets.

These hanging jeans pockets are so handy. I use them on the pegboard in my craft room to organize all my coloured pens.

DIY denim hanging pockets
Denim hanging pocket storage

If you liked these denim hanging pockets, you might want to look at my other no-sew projects with old jeans or what else you can repurpose from one pair of old jeans.

Or if you are more into craft room organization and storage, check out this washi tape holder idea, the denim and copper tin can caddy, and these map repurposed empty cookie tin storage.

Denim Hanging Pocket Storage

DIY denim hanging pocket storage idea

Create some fun hanging pocket storage for your craft room by repurposing and upcycling your old jeans. Just use the back pockets and add some colourful embroidery.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1


  • Old jeans
  • Leather scraps
  • Embroidery thread
  • Letter template


  • Crop-o-Dile (eyelet punch)
  • Eyelets
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Embroidery needle
  • Scissors
  • Small embroidery hoops


  1. Carefully cut out the back pockets from the jeans. Cut as close to the edge of the pocket as possible.
  2. Place the inner embroidery hoop inside the pocket. Then, place the outer hoop on the front of the pocket.
  3. Draw a letter on the front of the pocket using the printed out template.
  4. Fill the letter pattern with an embroidery stitch. A simple satin stitch will work well.
  5. Cut a leather strap about 1cm wide and 15 cm long, using a rotary cutter and mat.
  6. Then, with an eyelet tool punch holes into the end of the leather strap.
  7. Then, attach the leather strap to the pocket using the eyelet tool and two eyelets. The leather should be attached to the back of the jeans pocket so that the leather strap forms a hoop from which to hang the pockets.
  8. Repeat with the other jeans pockets. For a rainbow, you will need seven hanging pockets one for each colour. Red, yellow, orange, green, blue, indigo and violet.
  9. Fill with pens and hang from a hook or your pegboard.


You can also use these pockets in the kitchen as cutlery holders.

For more upcycled crafts visit cheapandthrifty living.

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Thursday 7th of April 2022

[…] 23. Hanging Pockets from Old Jeans […]


Friday 16th of April 2021

Fun project, I love it! I featured it in my “D=Denim” post ;) Quilting Patchwork & Appliqué

Claire Armstrong

Friday 16th of April 2021

Thank you so much, I look forward to seeing it.

natelia bailey

Friday 6th of March 2020

Great project, and I get the "no-sew" idea, but for me, I would trim the back of the pocket longer than the front so that I could turn an edge under and have no ravel edges. Guess you could use iron-on tape or even fabric glue to continue with your no-sew idea. Love the leather handles.

Claire Armstrong

Friday 6th of March 2020

Yes, that is an idea. I found when they were hanging up you didn’t really notice the back of the pockets also if you brush the cut edge with glue that will stop the denim from fraying.


Monday 17th of February 2020

Very clever and useful! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your P's, you are being featured on my blog Tuesday evening.

Claire Armstrong

Tuesday 18th of February 2020

That's awesome I look forward to seeing it.


Saturday 15th of February 2020

This is a super cute idea!


Claire Armstrong

Saturday 15th of February 2020

Thank you so much

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