Do You Have Some Worn Our Denim Jeans Laying Around?

United States
March 21, 2007 9:31pm CST
I love denim. I love to work with it while making useable items and I love the look of denim. When I was a teen, denim purses and hats were in style. I noted that they are back in style again this year. I remember making both years ago. I have used denim to make many things over the years. I thought I would share some of the easy things to do with you. These are great ways to use those jeans that are wearing thin at the knees or have been outgrown. Recycle your used denim into homemade gifts. If your family is like mine, we live in denim. From denim jeans to denim skirts. We have plenty of denim in our house. So I found myself with a lawn and garden garbage bag full of no good denim. What is a frugal mother to do? This is what I did. I rose to the challenge and went to work researching and experimenting. Now that my daughters are grown, we do not have too many jeans. Our local thrift store has bag sales frquently and I purchase a garbage bag of jeans for about $2.00 a bag. I found there are so many uses for this denim, that I want more worn out clothes! What are you waiting for? Go clean out your closets and get busy! Here are a few items you can make with denim scraps:Denim Quilt: 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. PURSE: 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 beltloops to draw closed. I also put a strip of Velcro on the inside of mine to keep shut. Denim Pillows: 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 unvelcro 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. Denim Apron: 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. Denim Rice Hot Pack Use the leg from a pair of jeans to make a tube-shaped Rice Hot Pack- just fill with white rice and microwave until warm; these are great to ease muscular aches and pains, or to pre-warm the bed on a cold winter's night. Denim Pocket Purses or Denim Pocket Fridge Magnets Re-use the pockets from old blue jeans to make Denim pocket purses or - Denim Pocket Fridge (or locker) Magnets. Both are great gifts or are sure to be bestsellers at your next church bazaar sale!Denim Placemats Use old jeans to make unique placemats...incorporate the pockets as part of the placemat to hold silverware in place. Denim Pot Holders Denim will stand up to the rigors of pot holder duty and look great in the kitchen. Line with fleece, quilt batting or even squares cut from old sweat shirts. Incorporate the pocket if you want to get fancy, or take advantage of those gold-thread seams
10 people like this
23 responses
@lifeiseasy (2292)
• United States
22 Mar 07
you are so way cool ...lol i remember those really cool denim purses too ...I actually just cut a pair of old jeans off for shorts and they were the bell bottoms and there was so much denim material I couldn't bear to throw it away ...now I too will have a denim purse ..and they last forever just like your favorite jeans doo .thanks for reminding me of the purse idea ...I need a good durable purse so this will be perfect ...the quilts are awesome too ..we made one with our mom as kids and she still has it ... :D
• United States
22 Mar 07
...say! the bottoms of bell bottoms would make a great bag! Especially if ya sewed a round bottom for the bottom of the bag.. then a pullstring top.. I'd actually like to have a pair get so old, I could patch them all over, like I used to in my 'hippy' day.. that's hippy as in the days, not my hip size.. :))
2 people like this
• United States
22 Mar 07
I agree with lifeiseasy.You are so way cool! Thanks for the ideas. I don't have any old denim now but I will keep this handy cause I'm sure I will soon.I love crafts and you have given me so many ideas. Usually we will give our denim away or throw it away if it is too worn out.Now I don't have too!
4 people like this
@GardenGerty (109011)
• United States
22 Mar 07
old jeans - Isn't ironic that we all want our new jeans to be old jeans?
I have always imagined that I would make a denim quilt, lined with yellow gingham. I am not sure why, but I certainly do love denim blue accented with yellow. My daughter makes "picnic blankets" out of denim, I believe, or she has talked about it. I like denim for outdoor blankets as the grass and twigs do not stick to its texture. I have made many recycled denim items.
@Polly1 (12648)
• United States
22 Mar 07
You have so many good ideas. You spoil us with all the tips and tricks you share with us. Thanks again.
4 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
22 Mar 07
Oh Wow - I always have old jeans around and keep thinking as much as I paid for them I hate to just throw them out. There are several ideas on this list that I can certainly use - pot holders is going to be first, I am in need of some badly.
• Singapore
22 Mar 07
You are cool, my friend. I have many pairs lying around but I just leave them there. Usually the size has gone "wrong" so I can't really wear them anymore. They just collect dust till someone hits and fits that size.
3 people like this
@Melizzy (1381)
• United States
22 Mar 07
Oh yeah. I have a pair I keep around that I just love. And I have taken other pairs and made various things out of them as well. Good ideas you have there!
• India
22 Mar 07
hey it is nice to hear that u like old things.We cant forget the things we used or we loved.Because something is something for someone...So collect the things of your taste.All the best.
2 people like this
@flowerchilde (12538)
• United States
22 Mar 07
I made myself a very kool backpack out of a pair of old jeans.. it was great.. pockets and all. I made the straps out of the denim too.. I used in my 'hippy' days in the 70's when a friend and I hitched rides across country on the big rigs.. (waz I nutz? yes!) - A few years later I passed it on to a friend's friend (or brother?) who stayed with us a couple of days and he was hitching.. (was he nutz? yes!) - I've always thought I should make another one.. I did make a purse once too..I also think denim makes nice blocks in a quilt! I like some of your ideas! Especially the place mats with pockets for the silverware! Way kool! Kids would love that!:))
• United States
25 Mar 07
Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful ideas...I too make denim purses...I sell them in a local craft and antique mall. You can also get nice belts at the salvation army stores to use at the waistband to dress up a pair of jeans...I also use my embriodery machine to decorate.....it is so much fun, and once and awhile you get some extra money out of your effort to have fun..
1 person likes this
@cblackink (969)
• United States
25 Mar 07
You are awesome! You just don't run out of ideas. I just learned recently (and this is good for those of us who can't sew well) that old clothing can actually be recycled. I took a tour of a homeless shelter here locally and they took me into their clothing bank. They had a large pile of bags with clothes they couldn't distribute because they were too worn out and told me that the cloth would be sent away to be recycled. I had no idea that could be done.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Mar 07
What great ideas. I have an embroidery machine [sadly down for repairs at the moment], I used small denim pieces to test out lots of my embroideries. One of these days I need to make something wonderful out of them. I am leaning towards a tote bag.
1 person likes this
@creematee (2810)
• United States
23 Mar 07
WOW!!! full of wonderful, great ideas. I have made quilts out of old jeans, but you have given me hope that I might actually finish off the 2 tubs of jeans in my basement. :) I made a jumper for my youngest daughter using the legs of the jean. It was made of 6 panels--and each panel was a leg of a pant. It was so cute! I even cut a pocket off the backside and put it on the front of her jumper. She loved and it.
@im2good4u (567)
• Philippines
23 Mar 07
wow neat tricks, what i usually do with my old jeans is to just cut them off and turn them into shorts and if it doesn't fit anymore then i just give it away or donate to charity
@kattghoti (106)
• United States
23 Mar 07
A friend of mine once made an amazing rug out of denim. It took twelve pairs of jeans, and she cut the legs into (I think) 2 inch strips, then sewed them all together. I make rice packs with flannel and muslin, now I think I'll have to try them with denim!
• United States
23 Mar 07
Girl, this is a great post as usual. I gave you the + rating again for it too. Mine are too tight, as I gained some weight. But, now, thanks to you, I know what I will do with them. Thanks sugar.
1 person likes this
• India
23 Mar 07
my favourite type of clothing is denim. it can never go out of fashion. i mean i've been wearing some pants for like 5 years now and i still feel comfortable. one thing i know for sure is that i cannot live without denim. its the coolest thing ever discovered considering it is one of the basic needs of life. one can wear it in summer and never feel the heat, wear it during winter and not feel cold , as we can see there is no other material with such a versatality of denim. the best part is if u happen to buy a new pair of denim trousers and ripped it by accident, u dont hav e to panic or feel sad, it just transforms into a new variety of trousers.
• United States
23 Mar 07
Thanks for the great ideas. I have been collecting old jeans for years and finally this year started cutting them to make a quilt. I had some concerns the quilt might be too bulky or heavy, so its good to hear you've already made one. I also like the idea of the rice hot packs, what a great idea, I will definitely try it next winter.
1 person likes this
@Robyn28 (384)
• Canada
23 Mar 07
hi I remember when denium hats and bags were in I think it was the early 90's or so no idea and the jeans were way too tight or the really bad hair scarry thoughts of my beginnig of high school and grade school. I wear jeans all the time ,but in terms of my old jeans they don't fit
@venshida (4837)
• United States
22 Mar 07
Wow some great ideas. I usually give my old jeans to Goodwill. I think I have one laying around the house. I like the idea of reusing them. I will try some of your ideas.