There are a great number of crafting projects that use recycled jeans. Whether you are thinking of remaking them into other clothing items, decorations, rugs, or something completely different, there is a project just for you. This is a guide about crafts using old jeans.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
Save up and ask friends and family for old jeans. Make a throw or bed blanket!
Cut every good part you can into the same size squares. Anything from 3 to 4 inch squares. Sew all these together in strips and then sew the strips together. Once you have the desired size for a throw or bed cover. Teens love these. To make it all tattered on the edges wash and dry many times!
My 7 year old is a little larger than average around his waist, so I have to buy pants that are to long for him in order to get ones that will fit him around his waist, and end up cutting and hemming them for a better fit. I use the leftover pants legs to make cute little bags to keep things in.
You just take a leftover pants leg, turn it inside out and upside down, hand stitch (or machine) the cut end together, and turn the leg inside out. Then take two colored shoelaces or pieces of string and run them through the top of the open end so you can pull it tight to close, and use for a handle.
My daughter and niece make and decorate them, and they turn out great! (Their ages are 9 and 8).
By Valerie from Huntington, WV
This is a mat to put near the door. It will catch lots of outdoor dirt before it makes its way all over the house. This mat is made from recycled blue jeans, and makes use of very small scraps. You can make the base whatever size you want your mat to be.
Extra tip: Cut your scraps with a rotary cutter to save time. The picture is of a partially finished mat. Sorry, I have not had time lately to complete one for a photo session.
*Since stitching doesn't show, this is good place to use up those odd colors of thread.
By Harlean from Hot Springs, AR
The complete instructions are in a PDF file for which you may need Acrobat Reader to view. Download Acrobat Reader
When my children were growing up, I cut the legs off their bluejeans and made shorts for the summer months. I saved the legs and made several things from them. I remember one being a cover for the dog bed and another a tennis racket cover.
I ran across the tennis racket when cleaning out the closet the other day. Bluejean material is tough and will hold up for years and years. This was made in the 80s.
By B from NC
Whenever your kids outgrow their denim jeans, save them for making bags from the legs. Cut off the legs at the crotch, turn inside out and hem the unfinished edge. Now you have a nice long tube-bag for tent poles, beach umbrella storage, or anything else that comes with poles or long, skinny pieces. You could label the leg-bag with puffy paint, duct tape, or Sharpie marker so you know what is inside.
If you need a fatter bag, take multiple legs, split them at the inner seam (cut off the multiple-thicknesses of the leg), sew the long edges together for a fatter tube, and now you have a bag for a sleeping bag, beach towels, tent (small one, of course), or perhaps off-season blankets.
By MooseMom from Elk Grove, CA
I cut up old jeans and make coasters and/or pot holders. I make four - 4 1/2 inch squares of the jeans, and one - 4 inch square of any cotton material, then sew around the square and sew from corner to corner so it has a big X through it.
Then I cut small slits on each side and then wet and put in dryer to make the jeans fray. I give as gifts, as a 4 pack of coasters. NFL and college team materials are a great hit! When making pot holders, I cut the squares 8 inches.
By Janelle R. from Waterloo, IA
Not to long ago my grand daughter went through a growth spurt and she asked me to turn her skinny jeans into shorts. After cutting above the knees and hemming, I was left with some good material.
After thinking about it, I pulled them up my arms as sleeves. Since the jeans are stretchy, I didn't have to do anything to them. They can be used when trimming shrubs, trees, working in the garden, etc. We live in Florida and I'll wear them in the house when it gets cool, but not cold enough to turn the heat on.
By Moonseekerjade from Onset
Mat sewn from denim jean scraps and colorful scraps of cotton.
By Preserver from Manitoba
If you have small pieces of scrap denim, you can construct a simple hat for children in no time at all! This pattern shape can also be modified to create a skull cap!
These simple hats take very little time to complete. Embellish as desired. Small buttons or lace can be used to embellish if you wish. Don't forget to 'press and sew' as you go! Things look nicer if you remember to press as you go along.
By Monica from Cortez, CO
Here is a denim tote bag made from a pair of old recycled jeans. I have a step-by-step tutorial at this link:
By RecycleCindy from WA
This is a denim purse with jute handles and a button closure. I crocheted a rectangle for a sample, since I wasn't sure the heavy weight denim would work for this project. Instead of starting over, I chose to make a purse with it.
Approximate Time: One afternoon
Cut denim into 1 1/2 inch strips. I just used scraps I had from other projects, so the colors don't match exactly.
Sew ends together to have one continuous piece to work with. I did this by machine, but you can also do it by hand.
Crochet a rectangle twice the size you want your purse to be tall. My purse ended up being 14 inches wide by 9 inches high.
Sew the sides together.
Crochet jute as wide as you would like your handles to be. I crocheted the jute about 1 1/2 inches wide until I liked the width for the purse.
Sew the side seams with the sewing needle and fishing line. Attach the jute handles through a "hole" in the crocheted piece and tie a slip knot. Repeat until the handles are attached in a placement that satisfies you.
For closure, attach a large button and an elastic loop for closure.
By Monica from Cortez, CO
Holiday table decor made from Styrofoam and denim fabric.
Approximate Time: one afternoon
The hardest part is waiting for the glue to dry. Hot glue will result in melting the Styrofoam, so you must use tacky glue and hold each piece in place until nearly dry or the pieces will slide off. For the one design, you will need sewing pins to secure the denim.
By Monica from Cortez, CO
In just a few easy steps, your child can turn an old pair of jeans or shorts into a couple of pen and pencil holders that mount easily in a school locker.
Approximate Time: About 30 minutes
By Mom of 1 from Wilkesboro, NC
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Here are questions related to Crafts Using Old Jeans.
What can I do with denim scraps?
By Tina from Paola, KS
Make a quilt. You can leave the pockets on for an interesting look.
Last night I cut off my husbands blue jeans and made him some shorts. What can I do with the bottom portions that I have left? It has to be something really easy as I do not sew and don't have a machine and I have no little ones at home, just three little doggies! Thanks in advance! You ladies and gentlmen are the best! :)
By Alex (Guest Post)11/14/2007
You can make non-sew pot holders.
Use any kind of glue (washable glue if you are going to wash them) and glue 2 squares of any size together. You can cut some cotton batting a little smaller than the jean squares and glue in the middle of the 2 jean squares. OR: glue the jean squares inside out (on only 3 sides), let dry, turn right side out and glue the open end! Hope this helps!
What can be made with old jeans?
By Dorothy from Durban, KZN
By Frances Adams05/17/2012
They can be cut into strips, sewing the ends together to make long strips, and braided or crocheted into 'rag' rugs.
They can be cut into squares and sewn together to make either quilts or unlined, unpadded throws.
You can make pillows for the couch, or thinner chair pads, for the kitchen chairs.
You could make a shower curtain with the jeans, just be sure to get a plastic liner.
There are lots of things that can be made out of jeans.
What can be made with old jeans?
By Jenn from Alberta
Youth purse bag; patches for quilting; and scrap-book material.
I am looking for how to make fringe out of old blue jeans.
By sewin granny from NE
If it were me I would cut the jean leg the length & width I wanted it & fold it over lengthwise to make cutting faster & cut strips from the bottom up to a pre-marked line on the backside.Use a yardstick to make the line in ink at the top.When you cut,that's where you should stop.
Then cut with sharp scissors up to the line only. Folded you will cut at least 2 thicknesses or possibly 3 or 4 depending on how you fold it or cut every piece singly which could take a while. You could even mark the cut lines on the back if you wanted to. I would cut the fringe 1/2 an inch thick at least but that's up to you.
I have several pairs of my husbands old overalls. The legs are worn thin and ripped, but the top bib part is still good fabric. Any ideas what craft I could use these for? I had been saving them to replace the bib clips on a good pair that break, but I have a good supply of those now.
April from NW Missouri
Just a thought. Try cutting the overalls just below the bib. Turn inside out and stitch across. Turn right way out and fill with pegs. Hang from the line by placing the straps over the line and clipping together.
You can use recycled jeans to make a fabulous quilt! The entire background of this Eagle Quilt was made from recycled blue jeans. Bleach, acrylic paints, and different colored jeans make up the landscape and the whole thing was quilted by free motion.
By Busybee1952 from White Cloud, MI
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
When jeans are past their prime and not suitable for wearing, you can recycle the fabric to use in craft projects. Denim is durable and great for making purses, quilts or sleeves to hold tools. Here are some ideas...
If your family is like mine, we live in denim. From denim jeans to denim skirts. We have plenty of denim in our house. With three children, we go through plenty of clothes. Two of these children being boys, many of these clothes are worn out before grown out of. So I found myself with a lawn and garden garbage bag full of no good denim. What is a frugal mother to do?
I'll tell you what I did. I rose to the challenge and went to work researching. I found there are so many uses for this denim, that I want more worn out clothes! Here are a few items you can make with denim scraps:
So what are you waiting for? Go clean out your closets and see what you can make.
By Roxanna Ward
Here are some projects from our archive that you can make with jeans.
If you have any more ideas, be sure to submit them on the contest page.
Below are photos of wonderful Jeans Quilts sent in by ThriftyFun users.
By Angela Harman
|Click image to view this project.|
Randi from Vacaville, CA
To make pockets inside the denim purse, instead of using the denim shorts, use jeans with legs. When you turn the jeans inside out to do the bottom stitch, don't cut the legs off the jeans. Just pin up a leg, the left leg and right leg will be on opposite sides of the inside walls of the purse. These form the two pockets, one on each side (inside).
Cut the legs off a little taller than the top of your purse, because you will want to create a seam with this little extra denim so that the top of the "pocket" doesn't unravel. Just don't make the seam so high that it jams up a zipper. That is, if you want a zipper instead of a Velcro closure. Then you just press the legs flat and stitch up the left and right vertical sides of the legs to secure the "pocket" to the purse wall.
If you want a baggy pocket, kinda pooch and straight pin the leg pocket to the purse side and stitch up the left and right sides of the leg. This way you have pockets to hold bulky items like a cellphone or overstuffed coupon holder or checkbook with IDs/credit cards or big sunglasses, which would otherwise get squished by a skinny, flat pocket.
You will find that each jean leg forms two compartments after the left and right stitches are made. Now you have a total of four pockets in your denim bag, two on each side. If you want narrower pockets, just stitch vertically somewhere in between the left and right stitches to get more pockets (like for those narrow reading glasses, pens and pencils, lipstick or mascara, nail file, extra house keys, a penlight, a hand fan, a comb or narrow hairbrush, pocketknife, etc. You could even save a longer piece than what you saved for the top seam of the pocket and make a little snap closure or two to offer further protection of purse items. Be creative. Now, back to the beach. (08/16/2005)
Also, you might want to tear the jeans into strips and crochet them into rugs. (12/19/2007)
If you don't want to look like you're carrying around a butt, no offense, you can take about ten inches off of the end of each leg and split it on one side. Then sew together both legs on one side and then the other. Remember to firmly sew the bottom so that nothing falls out. If you want the purse to be made out of denim and nothing else, use the jeans' waistband to make the handle. It works nicely and it's a bit lighter. You can sew on pockets in whatever way you like. There's a lot of really creative ideas on this page alone. (11/17/2008)
Cut the jean material into squares all the same size, fray the edges sew them together below the fray line. Make it as big as you want. What a great funky look. (01/24/2009)
Does anyone have any crafting ideas for old, holey jeans?