First, cut open the legs of the jeans along the seam. Lay them right sides together (the inside of the denim towards each other). Cut into a bag size rectangle, the bottom of the jeans being the top of the tote bag. Sew any pockets or decorations on the sides of the tote now.
Place the right sides together again, and sew around the three edges to form the bag.
Trim the edges after sewing them.
Choose a fabric belt for the handle, and sew (hand or machine) the handle to the sides of the bag. You may also opt to use two smaller pieces of strong bands and sew them on by hand or machine onto each individual sides for two handles.
Turn the bag right side out, and fill with your goodies or give to a friend!
Here are two examples of my tote bags; they show the two different handle types.
These tote bags are good for larger purses, to carry books or homework, and can be made in a medley of sizes.
If you use this idea, please give credit to Julie Paschold of Soaring Eagle Creativity.