Don’t throw out those outgrown kid’s pants! Turn a pair of canvas cargo pants into a diy tool belt. Add plenty of pockets and of course a hammer loop. This pants upcycle project is great for helpful toddlers.
If you don’t have cargo pants with pockets, that’s okay. There’s enough fabric from a pair of pants to create multiple pockets.
How to Upcycle a Pair of Pants for a DIY Tool Belt
Babies and toddlers grow like weeds and the outgrown clothes pile seems to grow even faster. I separate those outgrown clothes into hand-me-downs, donations, and upcycle projects. (See these upcycled baby clothes and these diy teething rings). A pair of gray cargo pants went to the upcycle pile to turn into a diy tool belt for our toddler boy.
- cargo pants (if they’re not cargo pants, there should still be enough fabric to turn into pockets)
- 8-10 inches of 1″ strapping/webbing
- 4-6 inches of velcro
- basic sewing supplies/tools
If you’re upcycling a pair of cargo pants, start by removing the side pockets and flaps. There were also faux flaps on the butt that I removed.
Cut the legs off the pants and set aside
Cut out the center back seam on the butt.
Optional: Finish all the edges with a zig-zag stitch or overlock stitch. This will help keep the edges from fraying. Press the edges before hemming to create clean edges.
From the leg scraps, create a large pocket for the front of the diy tool belt using the bottom of the legs as the top of the pocket. Press the edges and sew onto the frontside of the tool belt.
Sew the side pockets onto the backside of the tool belt.
Don’t forget to add a hammer loop! Create a small strap from the excess fabric and sew the edges on the sides under the two pocket seams.
Add an adjustable waistband. Originally I wanted to use strapping and a plastic buckle however I quickly realized how easily our little guy might get his fingers pinched.
Optional: Cover the strapping with a fabric sleeve. Cut a strip of fabric from the pants that’s 2.5″ wide. Place a piece of ribbon or scrap salvage down the middle of the strip, fold in half and pin. Sew across one end of the fabric strip and down the long edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Pull the tube right-side out by pulling on the ribbon/salvage. Push the strapping through the tube. Push the ends into the tube and sew across the end to finish.
Sew the hook side (the scratchy side) of the velcro onto the waistband of the pants. Sew the loop side (the soft side) of the velcro onto the end of the strap. Slip the other end of the strap into the waistband and sew in place to finish.
Now find something that needs fixing. Our toddler spent almost an hour “fixing” his high chair using the various tools kept handy in his diy tool belt.
What have you upcycled your kids old clothes into? Leave a comment below.