Long story short, I got these jeans a few years ago because I desperately needed jeans and they were cheap. Not the greatest purchase I've ever made. They've worn pretty well and are quite comfortable, but the flap pockets drive me crazy. Actually, I'm not really into decorated jeans pockets as a general rule. Finally, I decided that those flaps had to go:
I took a seam ripper and carefully removed the flaps, one stitch at a time. I'll admit that it was a bit of a gamble, since removing the pocket flaps could potentially weaken the denim. However, luck was on my side this time around! I also pried the buttons off and sealed the holes left behind with an embroidery stitch. I've worn them several times since, and they seem to be holding up really well.
I'm still not too keen on the remaining decoration, but the design looks a lot less busy than it did before, and I actually really like the darker welt that the flap left behind. It's interesting, but much more subtle and less bulky than a pocket flap. If I come up with a way to alter the rest of the pocket design I will definitely post it (and if you've got any ideas, I'd love to hear them), but for now I'll just focus on getting these jeans into a more regular rotation in my closet ;)