CRAFT Project: Yoga Mat Bag from Old Pants

Craft & Design Yarncraft


I know March is mending month on CRAFT, but it’s not March yet! Instead of fixing his old ripped pants, my boyfriend preferred I use them as scrap fabric (believe me, I offered to patch them). Well, the legs of pants are long tubes, perfect for making a bag for your yoga mat, so here’s how! I also put up an Instructable for this project (has more pictures) and a complete Flickr set.

Time: about 1 hour

Difficulty: easy

Skills required: basic machine sewing

Continue reading to get started…


The supplies are pretty small in number: Take yer old pair of pants, some scissors, pins, thread, and sewing machine and you’re good to go. Test your pants to make sure the legs are wide and long enough to encase your rolled-up mat.


Cut off one leg and turn it inside out. Sew any curvy parts to make a straight tube. Cut off any flab.


Create a strap from the other leg, make sure it’s the same length as the main bag tube. You can sew it as an inside out tube and then turn it right side out with a safety pin, but that seemed like to much work at the time, so I just folded the piece over on itself to hide any raw edges, then top stitched it.


Next, fold up the bottom to make two triangular pleats (just look at the picture), also stick one end of the strap into the seam (with the long tail sticking into the main bag tube). Sew across the bottom seam several times for reinforcement.


Now it’s time to make the casing for the drawstring. Stick your mat in the bag to see how much space you have left at the open end, then fold back the casing. Pin it in place, then take your mat out. Since I used the hem end of the pant leg for this end of the bag, I don’t need to fold my casing under twice, but you may, depending on the orientation and condition of the pant legs you’re using.


Sew your casing in place. If your sewing machine has a free arm, now’s the time to use it. Don’t sew the casing completely shut; be sure to leave a small opening for inserting the drawstring!


Make a drawstring using the same principle as the strap. I used the double-stitched seam from the other pant leg because I like the way it looks, plus it’s very strong! Thread it through the casing with a large safety pin.


Cut a hole along the casing on the outside of the bag; It will fray differing amounts depending on what your pants are made from, so you may want to embroider around the hole or use a buttonhole technique before you sew the casing down. I’m just going to let mine fray a little. Turn the bag right side out. Poke the two ends of the drawstring through the new hole, and sew the casing the rest of the way shut if you wish. Next, sandwich the two ends of the drawstring together with the flopping end of the main bag strap, and sew them many times for reinforcement. My machine hated how thick this sandwich ended up being, hence the dropped stitches. I had better luck with a straight stitch than with a zigzag.


You’re done! Now go to yoga. =]

Have any questions? Ask in the comments.

11 thoughts on “CRAFT Project: Yoga Mat Bag from Old Pants

  1. Alex says:

    Come on!
    That’s awfull! Not everything is worth showing!

  2. CRAFT Project: Yoga Mat Bag from Old Pants Rebecca Stern says:

    @Alex we have a “be nice” comment policy, but regardless of that, we’re real people posting real projects. Some crafters are intimidated by completely immaculate-looking projects, the same way cooking shows with perfect results can seen as intimidating. We like to work through snags and explain the tough parts of projects that crafters really encounter.

  3. Willawill says:

    I love it!

  4. meredith says:

    i like it too. sure it’s not perfect, but it’s a great idea, and quicker than finding a pattern and fabric. i’m an artist, and a perfectionist, but not with everything. i like this, and i think it’s very worth showing. i’m going to make one out of an old pair of paisley pants i have.

  5. yoga dvd dude says:

    Another really easy and trendy use for old pants. I use old pants for sand bags for video gear. They work great!

  6. Sarah says:

    LOVE this!! I just made one! ;)

  7. julie says:

    Thanks so much for posting this. I haven’t sewed in years, but this worked beautifully for me. I sewed the top of the strap, not to the drawstring, but to the top cuff and that worked great. Thanks so much again for a fun Sunday night activity!!

  8. yknots says:

    so confused. I understand the drawstring part, but how do you do close the other end, and attach the drawstring, especially since it it is a wider pant. You make it look so pretty.

  9. Becky Stern says:

    With the tube still inside-out, fold the edges in on themselves like in the pleat picture, and sandwich one end of the long strap into the bottom seam (with the long side inside the main pant leg tube). Hope that helps!

  10. Upcycled Holiday Gifts for the Budget-Minded - The Dime | Cents & Sensibility says:

    […] Turn Pants into a Yoga Bag (via Make:Craft) […]

  11. Sewing Pattern For Yoga Mat | poses - top10 yoga poses says:

    […] CRAFT Project: Yoga Mat Bag from Old Pants – Well, the legs of pants are long tubes, perfect for making a bag for your yoga mat … thread, and sewing machine and you’re good to go. Test your pants to make sure the legs are wide and long enough to encase your rolled-up mat. Cut off one leg and … […]

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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