How to Make Your Own Purse Out of an ACU Jacket

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ACU jackets, or Army combat uniform jackets, are used by the United States Army and are designed with multiple pockets to hold a variety of tools and necessities. While these pieces of clothing should be treated with respect, they may also become run down and unusable. At that point, these jackets can be reused to make a new item that can be treasured for years to come, such as a purse or handbag.

Things You'll Need

  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Fabric Chalk
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Thread

Turn the ACU jacket over so that the back of the jacket is facing up. Place it on a flat surface. Pull the front opening flaps out and away from underneath the back so that there is no material underneath the jacket.

Measure out a large rectangle on the center of the back of the jacket, marking it lightly with fabric chalk. This rectangle can be any size depending on what size purse you want to make, but it should range between 10 to 18 inches long and about 10 inches wide.

Cut out the rectangle making clean, even cuts. Be sure to trim off any ragged edges once it has been cut from the jacket.

Fold the rectangle in half with the right sides facing to form the shape of a purse. Place pins where the long sides of the rectangle meet so that three sides of the rectangle will be connected, leaving the top open. Sew along these pins to make the basic purse. Turn the purse right side out again.

Cut off one of the wrist cuffs on the jacket, right at the seam where it connects to the sleeve. Cut this cuff in half. These two halves will serve as the handles for the purse.

Make a horseshoe shape with one cuff with the right sides of the ends facing you. Pin these two ends into the very top inside opening of the purse, on one side only. These two ends should be pinned about 3 inches away from each other. Sew these two ends in place. Repeat this step with the second cuff on the other side of the purse opening to create two handles.


  • Be certain that the owner of the ACU jacket approves of the transformation.