Upcycle Blue Jeans: Craft Ideas for Repurposing Old Jeans

Recycle, reuse, repurpose, upcycle, upgrade concept. New life to old things, make your own clothes from jeans

Transforming Old Jeans into Stylish Creations

Let’s upcycle denim!  It’s the eternal fashion companion, often takes a back seat in our closets as trends evolve and they become faded and torn. Fear not! We’re here to guide you through the world of upcycling and repurposing old jeans. Let’s dive into the art of giving your worn-out denim a fresh start. Not only will you breathe new life into your old favorites, but you’ll also be helping keep our waste fields empty of waste! Did you know that it’s estimated that Americans discard about 81 pounds of clothing each year?

Before we jump into the creative projects, let’s get cozy with the concept of upcycling. It’s all about repurposing existing items to infuse new life into them. And while you are doing these projects you can be happy to be cleaning out your closet! There is nothing like a good cleaning out. If you need inspiration about this, check out our post about the KonMari Method.

Old Jeans Craft Ideas

When writing this post, we ran into so many great ideas. Here are a few we think you’ll like!

Denim Patchwork Quilt

Create a cozy and stylish patchwork quilt by cutting squares or strips from different jeans. Mix and match shades for a unique and durable quilt that not only showcases creativity but also adds a touch of nostalgia to your home. Make sure to use a soft backing and non stretchy jeans for this project. Worn jeans will be best because the fabric will be thinner for your needle to go through.

Patchwork quilt made of blue jeans sitting on top of a bed. AI generative image

Distressed Denim Picnic Bag

Turn worn-out jeans into a trendy and functional picnic bag. We love the use of the pockets to carry napkins, plasticware and other items. Plus the jean material will help keep your items cool a little longer. Of course, this will not take the place of an actual cooler, but for a quick park or beach adventure this is perfect! We also love the idea of this bag being a gift for a friend.

Old jeans and fabric bag with sewing accessories. Top view. Recycling concept. Crafting with denim.


DIY Denim Apron

If you are someone who enjoys cooking, are a painter or a gardener… or really anything that requires an apron, this DIY denim project is for you! Turn your old pair of jeans into an apron. The pockets serve as handy utensil holders, and the denim protects you from spills. GENIUS!  Here’s a great tutorial we found on how to do this:

Upcycled Denim Shorts

Give your old jeans a summer makeover by transforming them into stylish shorts. Experiment with lengths, distressing, and embellishing to create a personalized pair that not only looks fantastic but also reduces your fashion footprint.

Recycle, reuse, repurpose, upcycle, upgrade concept. New life to old things, make your own clothes from jeans

Denim Statement Jacket

Revitalize a worn-out denim jacket or jeans by adding unique embellishments, patches, or embroidery. Try your hand at tie dye to really take things up a notch. Personalize your piece and make a sustainable fashion statement that’s as one-of-a-kind as you are.

Women's jacket from cloth patches. Scrappy Quilt patch work fab

Denim Tote Bag

Create a fashionable and eco-friendly tote bag by repurposing the legs of old bell bottom jeans. It’s a great way to reduce plastic waste while providing a sturdy and stylish accessory for your daily activities.  And your bag will be washable!

Handbags made from old jeans on a dressmaker table. DIY, denim upcycling, using old jeans, upcycle denim stuff. Sustainable lifestyle, hobby, crafting, recycling, zero waste concept.

Denim Wall Art

Cut out interesting shapes or quotes from old jeans and frame them for unique wall art. It’s a chic way to add a touch of denim flair to your living space.

Denim Coasters

Fashion denim coasters by cutting small circles (or squares) from your old jeans. They’re not only functional but also a conversation starter during your next coffee catch-up. Scratch and stitch has a great tutorial for these easy-to-do denim coasters.

Denim Plant Holders

Create stylish plant holders by repurposing the legs of your jeans. They add a rustic touch to your indoor or outdoor greenery.

Recycle your Denim jeans concept. Close-up on a pair of blue jeans hanging on a natural rope with wooden clothespin and plants in the front pockets, over a vintage white brick wall.

In the world of upcycling, where old meets new, denim emerges as a versatile and sustainable material. The projects discussed here are just a glimpse into the vast possibilities of breathing new life into your old jeans. Here is a list of other ways to repurpose old jeans:

  • Cocktail napkins
  • Headbands
  • Braided rug
  • Potholders
  • Bookmarks
  • Luggage tags
  • Woven denim baskets like the ones found here.

Let your imagination run wild! If you are like us, your drawer is full of denim possibilities! What type of projects are you going to try?

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