Recycling fabric is a powerful green living and cost saving strategy. Denim is one of the coolest fabrics to work with. It’s sturdy, gains character with age and can be acquired very inexpensively at yard sales or from your own closet.
Let’s start with the iconic jeans pocket.
Remove pocket from jeans. Place glue line on wrong side of fabric (what would have been the inside of the pocket) outlining the entire pocket with glue except for the top or opening. Carefully place pocket on outside of a school notebook and now you have a cool place to store pens and pencils!
Use old pockets as patches on your kids clothes, either to cover stains or repair a worn area. Use fabric glue, iron on webbing or stitching to attach.
Bag and Rag Holder
Cut one of the legs from your jeans. Finish the edge of the top of your bag/rag holder by turning under the top of the jean leg 1/2″ and then 1/2″ again. Stitch or glue.
Carefully remove two belt loops. Pin belt loops two to three inches apart at the top of the jean leg. Stitch each belt loop in place to form two loops to hang the bag. Depending on the width of the bottom of the jean leg, you can hang the leg at this point and stuff it with your rags, or you may need to stitch a small piece of elastic to the inside of the leg to make it a bit smaller so that your rags don’t fall out.
Make a Scarecrow
A scarecrow is a standard part of Halloween and autumn outdoor decor.
Fold jeans in half lengthwise at the zipper so that both legs are stacked on top of each other. Pin together. Use an existing pot holder as a pattern to trace onto your jeans for a new pot holder. Check out these detailed directions for making pot holders.
Photo Album Cover
Cut apart the jeans at all of the seams. Lay pieces over a cardboard gift box. Wrap denim around the box and glue in place. Instead of a ribbon use a fabric or leather belt.
MichL.inL.A. has a simple and very cool tutorial for making a wrap bracelet from your denim castoffs. All you need is a length of inseam from a pair of jeans, some wire and two beads!
Green Issues was inspired by MichL.inL.A., took it a step further and came up with more denim inseam bracelets.
We all did this when I was a teenager. Start by cutting off the legs of the jeans at the point where you want your skirt to end. Use a seam picker to pick apart the inside seams of the legs including the crotch. Spray with water and iron the seams open. Lay the jeans out on a work surface, placing the crotch portion of one side of the jeans over the other side so that the resulting silouette looks like a skirt. Pin and stitch together. Don’t worry about the frayed edges from the inside seams or the hem of the skirt. You can leave as is or embellish with trinkets, ribbons, lace, buttons …
Some of the coolest ideas I’ve found READ MORE
More Ideas for Recycling Your Denim
- reusable shopping bags
- car trash bag holder
- kitchen chair cushions
- throw pillows
- pillow shams
- baby quilts
- place mats
- full size quilts
- braided rug
- woven rug
or learn how to pimp your jeans
Check out this page every now and then as we’re continually adding new ideas to it. If you have any ideas or projects you want to share please leave us a comment.