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Craft Uses for Old Jeans

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...


New Uses for Old Denim

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:


Cut the good parts of the denim clothing into four inch squares. Sew together to form a quilt. I did this and made a "rag" quilt. I sewed the quilt and left the denim seams on the outside of the quilt. Washed and dried for a little fraying and bam .. one Christmas gift was finished.


Turn the jeans (I used shorts) to the inside and sew just below the bottom at the beginning of the legs. I sewed a few times for extra reinforcing. Sew on a strap using the waistband from another pair of jeans. Lace a belt or use ribbon through the belt-loops to draw closed. I also put a strip of Velcro on the inside of mine to keep shut.


I made "butt" pillows for our van the same basic way the purse is made. Except you need to close the entire top with Velcro. Put a ready made pillow form in and you can un-velcro for easy cleaning. Just toss in the washer. I used an old pillow as the pillow form and had no cost at all for my pillows.


Use a pair of overalls for this project. Cut the seams of the legs apart and then sew both of the front legs together and then both of the back legs together. Slip over you head for a great apron. You can also use as a great overall dress. Quick and easy.

So what are you waiting for? Go clean out your closets and see what you can make.


By Roxanna Ward

Jeans Projects

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.

Jeans Quilts

Below are photos of wonderful Jeans Quilts sent in by ThriftyFun users.

More Ideas:

Chair Slipcover

Make a chair slip cover! You can even use the pockets to hold remote controls etc. I saw a slipcover made for a couch! Pretty nice and holds up very well to pets and kids. (05/19/2004)

By acraftycat

Pot Holders

Denim squares make nifty pot holders too. Cut 2 squares (8 - 10 inches), Place right sides together and sew 3 sides together. V-knotch corners. Turn inside out (so right sides are facing out) and insert cotton batting cut a little smaller, so that it fits inside. Tuck the 4th side edges in and whipstitch. You can quilt this, or just stitch an 'X' corner to corner. A belt-loop makes a nice hanger. (05/19/2004)

By Doggy

Picnic Blanket

Just one more thought about the quilt idea: My mom made a crazy quilt with leftover denim jeans. Cut big pieces in all shapes. Then we used it for a picnic blanket. It was nice because it was so heavy. (05/20/2004)

By Melanie

Welcome Mat

When you get down to the *little* scraps, cut in strips, about 1 inch by 4 or 5 inches and make a rug for wiping feet at the door. Just use a heavy fabric cut to the size you want the rug as a base, heavy muslin will work and is inexpensive. Position a row of strips crosswise so the middle of the strip is close to the left edge of the base. Sew them down, fold the strip to the left, and position the middle of the strips quite close to the first row of stitching.
Repeat until your base is covered. Just shake well and throw in the washer and dryer as needed. (05/21/2004)

By Harlean from Arkansas

Notebook Cover

Make notebook covers with the denim. Put the Pocket on the front for pencils etc. (06/06/2004)

By Karen

New Uses For Old Denim

O use old denim to make purses, bags, pillows, you name it. Denim is really fun to work with since it is really versatile (07/17/2004)


In Praise of Blue Jean Blankets

I like the quilt/blanket idea. I like using the back pockets of blue jeans for the quilt also. These come in handy especially when on a picnic. A blue jean blanket is great for the beach because the sand does not stick to it. A blue jean blanket will not shrink. A blue jean blanket is very very durable. When a hole develops in it, patch it OR now make it your pet's blanket until it really is ready to throw away. I think the oldest one I have, and it is very much a dog's blanket, is about 19 years old. I have made a black and white one for my son, one with a multitude of colors for my sister for Christmas, a dark blue one, etc. I make my blankets with 5" by 7" pieces and serge the edges together. I do not add a bottom layer of flannel to make a blanket like some do, mine is a single layer only of denim. Go to thrift stores to get the additional colors YOU need for making your OWN blue jean blanket. (10/29/2004)

Denim Bookmarks

Using the leg portion of the jeans, cut into four inch wide strips however long you want your bookmark to be. Fold the strip in half and place a strip of either cardboard or a strip cut from a filing folder inside the fold and either sew or glue the edges around the cardboard strip to form a semi-ridged bookmark. You can put a hole at the top to string a piece of yarn as a tassel. You can also put a strip of folder in the middle of the jean strip and fold the fabric around and make a ruffle on the front. (01/02/2005)

By Angela Harman

Catnip Pillows

My daughter likes to make little catnip pillows for her cat with old denim scraps. I think I came up with a pretty good idea when I was at the garden center the other day. Instead of buying those plastic hanging bags that you can put flowers in, I am going to cut the bottom of the legs off some old jeans, sew up the bottoms, cut a few slices in the sides for the flowers and sew on a denim handle. Hopefully this isn't a nutty idea and will work! (03/21/2006)


By Fara

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