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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
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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
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!
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.
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
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.
This is a guide about making a jeans apron. Take those old or wrong sized jeans and, rather than throw them away, make a cute apron.
This is a guide about blue jeans quilt ideas. Recycling blue jeans into craft projects is a great way to reuse this sturdy fabric.
Those worn out denim pants can be reused to create a rug. This guide is about crocheted blue jeans rug.
This is a guide about making a jeans purse. Jeans have long been an often used recycled material for a wide variety of crafts. One popular use is to cut and restitch into a durable jeans purse.
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."
Using lightweight denim scraps, lace, and a doily you too can make this toilet seat and tank cover set. This is a guide about how to make denim toilet seat and tank covers.
This is a guide about making coasters and pot holders from jeans. Denim fabric is so durable that recycling old jeans into new items is a popular craft. Try making pot holders or coasters for yourself and to give as gifts.
This is a guide about making children's hats from scrap denim. Leftover denim from jeans can be made into these cute kids' hats.
This is a guide about making a recycled jean flower. Save scraps of denim from mending or hemming jeans to make these pretty flowers.
This is a guide about making denim scrubbers. Old jeans have so many uses after we retire them from our wardrobe.
This is a guide about making a crocheted denim purse. Recycle denim material as strips to crochet a unique bag.
This is a guide about jean pocket crafts. Almost all the parts of a pair of jeans can be used in recycled crafts.
This is a guide about recycled jeans planters. Recycling jeans sets the stage for many craft projects.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
What can be made with old jeans?
By Jenn from Alberta
Pictured are two potholders that I made from a pair of my husband's old jeans.
I cut the legs off two more pair of his jeans and will be able to make two kitchen hot mats.
Throw pillows, quilts. Every now and then I see pictures and directions for making purses out of old jeans. There is also a way to make skirts out of them. I have never tried it, but they are cute when done.
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! :)
You can use them to make knee, elbow and/or pocket patches as well as for some arts and crafts projects. Instead of sewing use fabric glue or a glue gun.
Well it depends on how small your dogs are but your pets can use them as covers or just to run around and play tug-o-war with. Or you can use them to clean around. Hope this helps you out !
You can make quilts, handbags, pocketbooks, belts, or covering a small lamp shades.
Sew the narrowest edges together with strong thread, and firmly stitch a loop of cord to each side of the other end, to make a bottle carrier for picnics, parties or just for giving a bottle as a gift.
I saved my off-cuts and they have been invaluable for patching the knees of hubby's work jeans over the years.
Stitch or staple one end together, insert a glass jar, turn down a cuff at the top, decorate with red, white, and blue ribbons tied in a bow around the neck of the jar, and you have a cute flower vase.
Sew one end shut, then stuff for a car travel pillow. After it's stuffed, sew the other end shut. They are sturdy, wash well and fit nicely behind your neck. I still have mine from when I was a kid.
If they're not shabby looking where you cut them down, you could make throw pillows out of them.
Since you said you don't sew (I see most people gave you suggestions that involve sewing!), you could cut the pieces into strips and tie them together to make doggie chew/play toys. No sewing involved there! :-)
Blue jean legs make the best potholders ever! I made one today using the batting from an old worn out potholder. I appliqued some stars onto it just for fun. Obviously this idea works best for someone who likes to sew!
you can make a headband to match your jeans when u put them on.
hope this helps u
Roll them up into a spiral, fold it in half, and stick lots of them in a vase for impromptu denim roses!
I had a friend who used to take those leg parts and put drawstrings in both ends,to use as a cat carrier when she took her cats to the vet, the cats didn't mind a bit being all bunnied up and couldn't claw through the tough denim. The vet was able to reach into the top part to use his stethescope and even do injections. You could even decorate the bags if your crafty and sell or give them away to catty friends
Sew one end of the legs up, fill it full of white rice and then close the other end. Put in the microwave and heat the rice. Use for achy muscles, and to also warm up beds on cold nights.
MAKE A RAG QUILT, SIMPLY TAKE SQUARES SEW THEM TOGETHER WITH A ONE INCH SEAM ALLOWANCE
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 I do with denim scraps?
By Tina from Paola, KS
You can make various sized squares and rectangles and sew within a half an inch from the edge all around and unravel the edges. Using fabric paint, paint a picture on each square and sew onto new jeans, slacks, jacket, etc. for a personal crafty fun touch.
Make a quilt. You can leave the pockets on for an interesting look.
I am looking for how to make fringe out of old blue jeans.
By sewin granny from NE
What can be made with old jeans?
By Dorothy from Durban, KZN
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I am looking for ideas for using old jeans, something besides using them for quilts and pot holders. Thanks.
By June A from Chilhowee, MO
Purses are very cute and also removing the pocket with the back on, I use these in my Sunday school class. I use puff paint writing on it and tack it to the wall with markers or post it notes in it. Very cute! (02/14/2010)
I made really nice work aprons with a pocket band across the bottom. I can stuff a lot of "stuff" in them. I am going to make backpacks to give our local school for homeless and disadvantaged children. You can get a pattern online. You can also make shopping bags.
You can also use them to make strong dog plushies or even for ruff kids! The back pockets make cute little bags for little girls with the addition of some beads or even rhinestones. (02/14/2010)
I have seen rag rugs made of denim. They are adorable and last forever. I have no idea how to make them, but am sure someone here could get you a pattern. (02/15/2010)
I make jeans purses and sell them. I get used jeans at the thrift store for a couple of dollars. Get a women's size 8 or 10 unless you want a huge bag. When I get them home the first thing I do is lay them flat and cut the legs off right at the crotch. I cut the french seams off to use as handles (some people prefer I make a standard handle).
Turn the jean top wrong side out. If you want to use a fringe across the bottom baste it between the layers, then sew across the bottom. I line my purses by freehand drawing on my lining fabric leaving enough to turn over at the top. Next I sew the handles on, then the lining. You may have to do a little adjusting to make the lining lay smoothly, but it looks really nice. The last thing I do is make a scarf to go through the belt loops and tie in front. You could even use rope. I hope this has been of help to you.
I tried to upload a picture, but don't know how. I could email it to you if you like.
Judy in Alabama (02/15/2010)
I made seat covers for several of our cars. Just sew together enough pieces to cover the top with about 4 - 6" plus hem for all the sides. Thread a piece of heavy string in the hem. Easier if you round the corners. Put the piece on the seat, tuck around sides and back, draw up string tight, tie in large bow, tuck in excess string. Later it will be possible to get string untied again more easily than if you had tied a knot. (02/20/2010)
Make grocery shopping bags. Use a paper bag for a pattern and add handles. Or use one of the reusable bags that the stores are all selling for about a dollar for a pattern. If you need a stiffener for the bottom, cut a piece from the side of a large bleach bottle. (02/20/2010)
One year I made vests for all the guys in my family. Cut strips about 2-3" wide and sew together end to end with light and dark contrasting. Sew strips together side by side so it looks like a brick wall then cut out the vest pattern from this "fabric." Cut a lightweight lining. Bind armholes and other edges. Or you could just sew the strips on to the lining then bind. You can also place the strips on the diagonal. I get jeans from the dumpster nearby or you can ask your friends for donations. (02/20/2010)
Does anyone have any crafting ideas for old, holey 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)
Cut the jeans up into squares and make a quilt out of them. Very warm and durable blanket. (12/28/2009)
|Click image to view this project.|
Randi from Vacaville, CA
Re: Purse made out of denim, add pockets.
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)
My next door neighbor makes rugs by cutting or ripping the jeans and other fabrics into long strips, sewing the end of the strips to make them longer and braiding them. She makes braided oval rugs, circular ones, placemats, chair pads and pads to put your hot pots on. (09/17/2006)
I have seen a short skirt made from jean pants, it was really cute, too. I also have saved denim for quilts. The handiest thing I've seen was when one head nurse of mine sewed together jean pockets with some edging denim and made "mail" slots for the staff. Nowthat is neat and it took only wall room, it hung up. (09/22/2006)
You can cut out the pockets and make a new hunting vest. (12/06/2007)
I love to create junk jewelery from remnants of jeans like fly buttons, zippers, belt loops, and the leather patch behind. This is one of my favourite pendant. (12/19/2007)
My mother-in-law cuts up old jeans and makes quilts.
The pockets on the jeans are an added bonus. To personalize the quilt, she cuts letters out of the jeans to spell out the name of the recipient, then stitches the name onto the finished quilt top.
Jeans make nice purses; add bead work, or embellish as desired.
Also, you might want to tear the jeans into strips and crochet them into rugs. (12/19/2007)
At one time I had a small purse from old jeans of my son's. I used a chain for the handle. I used pockets off of several pairs on the inside and outside to separate things.
I have also made a purse from placemats and used the jean pockets on the inside. I am not quite sure how I did it now as it has been awhile. I am thinking I need to get the jeans my cousins are growing out of and do it again. (07/27/2008)
I never made one of these, but I remember reading about it, thinking what a great idea it was. Use the good part of the leg fabric from jeans to make strip blocks, whatever shape you need, whether square, rectangle, but every so often, make sure to use a piece that has the back pocket left on. Piece the pieces together to make a picnic table tablecloth. The back pockets work to hold the silverware and napkins, keeps them from blowing off, and the weight of the tablecloth helps it stay on the table. I thought it was a great idea. Good luck.
I found some cool ideas too. If you take the worn-out knees off and patch the knees, you can use the threads of the worn-out part to make a funky fringe. I did it on my cousin's favorite cloth belt and she fell in love with it. I also took the seams, which are really sturdy, and made them into a bracelet that tied off with a small bit of blue embroidery thread. It hasn't broken and I've had it for ten years now.
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)
I've used them to make a toilet top cover, window valance, toilet paper holder, bathroom rug, and decorated even the towel all for my bathroom set. (12/28/2008)
Here's a great idea: Blue Jean Quilt
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)