Home » Round Up » 35 Clever Projects from OLD DENIM JEANS

35 Clever Projects from OLD DENIM JEANS


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One of the hardest things to throw out (or donate) for me….are jeans.  Denim is such a thick and sturdy fabric that can be used for so many things, that I just can’t toss it.  I think all this denim collecting started when I was in high school.  I collected all the jeans I could get my hands on, so that I could piece together a nice heavy denim quilt.  I loved that thing! (Now that I think about it…..what ever happened to that quilt?!?!  Dang.)  But after the quilt was complete….the denim collecting never ended.  Ahhhh, that’s where it all began.  Thanks for talking me through my therapy session — I think I figured out why I’m a denim hoarder! ;)

Anyway, I was browsing around online and started collecting so many great ideas for using denim.  And not just outdated lame denim projects…….these ideas are SUPER COOL!!!!  And HIP!  And look like so much fun to make!

35 Clever Projects from OLD DENIM JEANS

Party at my place this weekend…….just bring your old jeans! :)

DIY Denim Whale via Valaan Villapaita

DIY Old Denim Pillow via BRIT + CO

DIY Bag from Old Jeans via BRIT + CO

DIY Recycled Woven Denim Basket via Oh Oh Blog

DIY Denim Buckets from Jeans (video tutorial)

DIY Old Denim Flower Corsage via Tea Rose Home

DIY Denim Lunch Bags via The Purl Bee

DIY Reversible Denim Tote via Snip Snap Happy

DIY Recycled Denim Poof via Michele Made Me

DIY Jeans Pocket Pot Holder via Aarnilintu

DIY Denim Jeans UK Flag Patch via Make It and Love It

DIY Denim Baby Bibs via Becca’s Paper Cutz

DIY Old Denim Ampersand Pillow via Ashbee Design

DIY Denim Heart Bookmark via The Cheese Thief

DIY Old Denim Bucket via Curly Made

Upcycled Pot Holder with Pocket via Alisa Burke

DIY Ruffled Denim Pillow via Make It and Love It

Upcycled Denim North America Map via Etsy

DIY Denim Tote Bag via Denim Do Over

DIY Knotted Denim Rug via Eclectic Me

DIY Recycled Denim Placemats via Today’s Nest

DIY Denim Rosette Headband via Creations by Kara

DIY Denim Snack Bag via Between The Lines

DIY Old Denim Chair Cushions via Michelle Made Me

DIY Jeans Pocket Garland via Dukes & Duchesses

DIY Upcycled Denim Sunburst Art via Belrossa

DIY Old Jeans Drink Cozy via Fiskars

DIY Zippered Denim Bag via All Day Chic

DIY Denim Baby Bibs via Thimbly Things

Denim Upholstered Chair via Legend Blues

DIY Recycled Jeans Rug via Instructables

DIY Denim Canvas Art via A Beautiful Mess

DIY Old Denim Baby Bibs via A Maidenhair Fern

DIY Denim Chevron Pieced Pillow via Denim Do Over

DIY Child’s Apron from Old Jeans via

Just in case your little tyke still wants to get some wear out of those old jeans, check out this adorable way to refashion those well-worn jeans with a cute UK flag design!

Or maybe you’ve got a little princess who would be amazed at her old jeans transforming to a Twirly Jean Skirt!

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Looking for more clever projects to try??

 25+ modern quilting ideas 







Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Mariah says:

    Ya'll SOOOOOO many people have said that I'm a hoarder but… I always have the stuff to craft with and these will work to get rid of some of my old jeans.

  2. Helen says:

    Hey Ashley,
    What an amazing collection of really cool projects. I really need to make them all. I hate to admit this but I have an embarrassingly large pile of old jeans. I just can't bring myself to just toss them, so I am looking for creative ways to up-cycle the denim.
    I recently made an adorable owl doorstop out of old jeans –
    My son loves it and uses it all the time.
    If you like it, it might the perfect compliment to this old jeans ideas roundup.

  3. amor says:

    En algnas ocasiones me gustaría saber q conjuro resulta mas recomendado en cada situacion. ¿Que conjuro crees que seria
    mas recomendable?

  4. Joyce Ward says:

    I save old jeans, too. I’ve made purses and tote bags. Best use was a duffle bag from bib overalls. Utilized the bib pocket for the outside of the bag and the straps for the handles. Just made an ottoman cover from several old suede jackets. Just kept patching and sewing till I had it covered. No hemming needed and no seams.

  5. nana c says:


    1. Ashley says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment….it popped up in my email but I must have missed the original comment. I get weird spam messages from random spam bots like this one and will be deleting right now. I have learned to not take them personally though. But I agree….absolutely vulgar. :(

  6. Erica says:

    I am the same way….I cannot throw out, or even donate, our old jeans! I’ve been stockpiling them for years! But I still haven’t done anything with them other than patch my husbands knee holes with old jeans. Well, that’s not entirely true….I did make a pixel-style self portrait for a college art class. I cut up a pair of black jeans into several sections. I bleached the sections to make varying shades of gray. Those were then cut into 1″ squares and run through the dryer to fray the edges. Then I arranged and glued them down to create a black and white image. You can see it on my facebook art page, if you’re interested:

  7. Kathy Simkins says:

    I love this! I have a huge bin full of my father’s bib overalls. I have been wanting to do something cool with all of them. Dad passed away nearly 5 years ago. I miss him a lot. I’m going to do a lot of these projects and give my sons, their wives and my 10 grandchildren something special to remember Dad with. Thanks so much for sharing these great projects!

    1. LNM says:

      You could make a quilt.

  8. rubbishclearancepaddington says:

    Brilliant suggestions, Ashley! I’m a big fan of recycled denim projects and I’ll definitely give a try to some of them ( Recycled Woven Denim Basket is my fave)!

  9. Dawn Pollard says:

    I too am a jean hoarder. I make purses and tote bags from old jeans; Also working on a tool belt for guys and an art tote for kids. Some of these ideas are new. I also did a braided rug with some leftover pant legs,and grocery bag holders. Love jeans!

  10. wackylover says:

    these are all so cute ! I love the place mats and the bibs! thanks so much for all this stuff — valuable!

  11. Liliana Wells says:

    Hi, Ashley – I saw the jeans bibs. I would love to make these for a great nephew/niece. But I am concerned that the denim material might be too scratchy. What do you think? Where can I find the pattern? Thanks

  12. Stephanie says:

    Love LOVE these denim ideas!! Plan to make the apron, handbag, placemats, snack bag, and headband to start…

    Speaking of headband…I clicked on the link to make the rosette headband and read all the way through. Simple instructions for the headband but no tutorial for the rosettes. Is there somewhere else I can go for that? Because honestly, that’s the part I needed help on! :)
    So sad when it wasn’t on that page. :(
    Please let me know where I can make those adorable rosettes. Without them, the headband looks so plain.

    1. Anonymous says:

      just google how to make rosettes and it will come up!

  13. Vicky says:

    Brilliant round up – like I need to start more projects! I make little bags from denim pockets

    Might have to try that whale, so sweet! x

    1. Donna R Herrin says:

      Looks like fun things to do

  14. Lil says:

    So many good projects! Now I know why i even been hoarding my old jeans!

  15. Linda King says:

    Awesome ! I have alot of jeans that I have been cutting up, Now I know What I can do with them. Love all the ideas !!

  16. Rachel says:

    Wow, so many of these are great but that whale is amazing! I have to make one!

  17. Amy says:

    The link to the DIY denim bucket from jeans does not work for me. It is the one with the cute flowers. Would love to see how they do this, but the link goes to the British flag jeans. I tried to search google with no luck. Thanks.

    1. Ashley says:

      Sorry about that…’s fixed now! :)

    2. Amy says:

      Thanks, now I just need to find a narrow leg Jean as most of mine are bootcut.

  18. dee dee says:

    this is great – I have loved sewing with old jeans for many years – until I wore my sewing machine out doing so. Please note – they are hard to cut up, clog up your machine with threads and fluff and break needles – still love ’em tho.

  19. andréa costa says:

    lindo!!(beautiful)your site is very cute! thanks for the ideas.kiss from Brasil for you!!

  20. Mary Ellen says:

    Thanks i have made a Lap size quilt out of mens shirts wirh a bowtie blocks ,and denim on the back. .Looks like i have a lot more ideas now. Thanks very much.

  21. Heidi says:

    I love that you posted this. I have TUBS of denim! I absolutely cannot throw away my families worn out jeans. I just know there is some amazing sewing project out there to use it all up eventually. This gives me and my daughter some amazing ideas to work with!!! Thanks!

    1. LNM says:

      You could also make an amazing quilt with just squares of denim.

  22. Nicole says:

    Yep…pinning this right now! All the baby bibs…I can’t. It’s too much cute. And the placemats with pockets!!! Love so many of these. Thanks finding them all!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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