Crafts Using Old Jeans

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.

Crafts Using Old Jeans, Stack of jeans to use for crafts.
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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

Quilt made from recycled jeans.

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Potholder square red and white candy cane fabric with frayed edgesI 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

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Recycled jeans denim and cotton mat.Mat sewn from denim jean scraps and colorful scraps of cotton.


  • 12 circles of denim, 8 inches in diameter
  • 12 circles of printed strong cotton, 8 inches in diameter
  • cardboard template cut 6 inches square
  • sewing machine
  • sharp scissors
  • thread
  • iron


  1. Center the cardboard template on a print circle and mark the point where each of the four corners touches the outside edge of the circle.

  2. Use these marks as a guide, and stitch the print circle to a denim circle diagonally, wrong sides together.

  3. Repeat for each of the twelve circles.

  4. Fold the edges of the circles over between the diagonal stitching and press to make flaps.

  5. Sew the flaps to each other to assemble the mat. (See diagram)

  6. Stitch the flaps flat to each circle, excluding the very outside edges.

  7. Sew a double line of stitching around the outside edges of the mat.

  8. Snip the edges about every 1/4 inch up to the stitching lines.

  9. Washing and drying the mat will then rag the edges.

By Preserver from Manitoba

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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.

Blue denim crocheted purse.

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Denim HatsIf 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! Denim Hats


  1. Cut six pieces in denim and six in contrast fabric for each hat desired. Join the pieces two by two, then connect the six pieces together. You hat will be reversible.
  2. Denim Hats Step 1 Denim Hats Step 3

  3. Pin the sewn contrast fabric lining inside the sewn denim hat, making sure the right side of the fabric lining is facing you looking inside the hat.
  4. After pinning the lining inside the denim, sew in place. Pin double width bias tape to cover raw edges.
  5. Denim Hats Step 2

  6. Sew in place.
    You're finished!

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

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Denim Door MatThis 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.


  • heavy muslin
  • old blue jeans scraps
  • thread, any color*
  • sewing machine
  • sharp scissors for cutting fringe

*Since stitching doesn't show, this is good place to use up those odd colors of thread.


This project has no close tolerances. If measurements are a little off, everything should still work.

  1. Cut your muslin to the desired size. My pictures are of just a small portion. A nice size would be about the size of a small throw rug.
  2. Make a narrow hem around all 4 sides.
  3. Cut your denim strips all the same width. I used 2 inches. Cut them any length that you are able to cut from your scraps. You can piece the short ones together or cut the long ones to fit. Just butt the ends together, and stitch as one.
  4. When cutting the fringe, it doesn't have to be really even slashes. Just be sure you don't cut through the stitches.

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

Click Here to download the Denim Door Mat Instructions in PDF format.

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What can be made with old jeans?

By Jenn from Alberta

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Youth purse bag; patches for quilting; and scrap-book material.

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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

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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.

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    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! :)


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    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!

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    Here is a denim tote bag made from a pair of old recycled jeans. I have a step-by-step tutorial at this link:

    Recycled Denim Tote with pocket

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    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.

    Denim Locker Pockets

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    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

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    Save up and ask friends and family for old jeans. Make a throw or bed blanket!

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    Here is an easy and fun way to use old and worn out jeans.

    Fluffed and finished flower.

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    What can I do with denim scraps?

    By Tina from Paola, KS

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    Make a quilt. You can leave the pockets on for an interesting look.

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    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 MO

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    You can make aprons out of the top part. Cut jeans down side leaving the pockets on. Cut on the back off down to the crotch then cut from one side to the other and hem the sides then the bottom. Then take a piece of jean that is good then make a stripe to go around you head to cover the top. Then make a stripes to tie a round you. That way you have a bib apron to wear. I do not have a picture to show how it looks but good luck.

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    I am looking for how to make fringe out of old blue jeans.

    By sewin granny from NE

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    Be sure to stay stitch around the top of the fringe.

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    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.

    Jeans tennis racket cover.

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    What can be made with old jeans?

    By Dorothy from Durban, KZN

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes


    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.

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    Holiday table decor made from Styrofoam and denim fabric.

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    I made these for my pre-teen. I took Rice a Roni boxes with the top half cut off. I used old jeans and glued the jean material around the boxes. I used Sharpie markers to write "Live, Laugh, Love."

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    I am looking for ideas for using old jeans, something besides using them for quilts and pot holders. Thanks.

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    Does anyone have any crafting ideas for old, holey jeans?

    By Pattie


    Craft Uses for Old Jeans

    There are lots of things you can made from old blue jeans. I recently made two blue jean potholders for my army son.
    Use the "Ask" link at the top of the TF website then use the search box and you'll find pages of crafts you can make from of old jeans. (12/28/2009)

    By MCW

    Craft Uses for Old Jeans

    Cut the jeans up into squares and make a quilt out of them. Very warm and durable blanket. (12/28/2009)

    By olive3322

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    Craft Uses for Old Jeans. I am looking for craft projects using old denim jeans. When jeans are past their prime and not suitable for wearing, you can recycle the fabric to use in craft projects.

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    Crafts Recycled CraftsNovember 20, 2011
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