11 Hip Ways to Reuse Old Denim

We all love a good pair of broken-in jeans, but there comes a day when you have to toss that ratty pair aside for a new one. Before you say so long forever to your favourite dungarees, however, consider some of these ways you can repurpose and reuse that perfectly good denim to make something fun and new.

Slippers

Skill level: Intermediate
Lose a pair of jeans, gain a new pairs of slippers. The comfy feet covers require a bit of sewing savvy, but if you’re handy with a needle and thread you’ll be walking on cloud nine in no time. To make your own pair of denim slippers, check out these instructions.

For this project, you’ll need:

1 pair of old jeans scissorsScissors
wadding25cm wadding straight pinsStraight pins
iron25cm iron-on fusing pencilPencil
cardboard30 x 30cm square of cardboard needle and threadNeedle and thread (or sewing machine)
threadThread that matches your denim

Drink Cosy

Skill level: Intermediate
Whenever you buy a cup of coffee at your local java shop, the cup comes with a cardboard cosy around it so you don’t burn your hand when holding the hot cup. It’s functional, sure, but the waste is terrible for the environment. Reduce your carbon footprint by making a reusable drink or coffee cosy out of denim. Keep it in your bag so you have it whenever you crave that caffeine fix.

For this project, you’ll need:

pants1 pair of old jeans scissorsScissors
waddingCotton batting straight pinsSewing Machine
iron1 hair elastic pencilPencil
cardboard1 large button ironIron
threadThread

Coasters

Skill level: Easy
All you need for these easy-breezy recycled denim coasters are two pairs of old jeans, scissors, a needle, thread and fabric glue. This project is easy and a fun item to talk about when you host.

For this project, you’ll need:

pants1 pair of jeans for two coasters glueFabric glue
scissorsScissors jarGlass jars

Shorts

Skill Level: Easy
This should be a no-brainer, but you never know. If you’re not particularly crafty, turn your old jeans into new shorts by simply cutting them off at about two inches lower than where you want them to hit your leg. You want to leave a little extra length in case you plan to hem them and so you don’t accidentally cut them too short the first time. If they’re too long after the first cut, cut again; this time you’ll have a better idea of where you want them.

For this project, you’ll need:

pants1 pair of jeans needle and threadOptional: needle and thread (or sewing machine)
scissorsScissors

Door Mat

Skill level: Intermediate
Need a pop of personality to your floor? Try this DIY denim floor mat, made from the waistbands and inseams of used jeans. This is a great project to do if you have many pairs of jeans that you want to get rid of.

For this project, you’ll need:

pantsSeveral pairs of jeans needle and threadOptional: needle and thread (or sewing machine)
scissorsScissors

Decorations

Skill level: Easy
Spruce up your Christmas tree this year by adorning it with homemade decorations crafted from used denim. These Christmas tree ornaments use cute buttons and festive ribbons to make the project all the merrier.

For this project, you’ll need:

pantsDenim scraps buttonbuttons
pillowPillow stuffing needle and threadOptional: needle and thread (or sewing machine)
ribbonRibbon

Pillows

Skill level: Intermediate
Add an extra layer of comfort to your couch or bed by making denim pillows. This easy walk-through will help you turn used jeans into plush throw pillows.

For this project, you’ll need:

Pillow form seam ripperSeam Ripper
pantsOld jeans (at least one pair, depending on the pillow size) needle and threadOptional: needle and thread (or sewing machine)
scissorsScissors

Quilt

Skill level: Advanced
The amount of denim you’ll need to make a jean quilt depends on how large you want the quilt to be. If you’re making a quilt for a baby, you’ll only need a few pairs. If you’re making a quilt to cover an adult-size queen or king bed, however, you’ll need 15 to 20 pairs. When making the denim quilt using these directions, consider adding flannel or bandanna sections for extra color.

For this project, you’ll need:

seam ripperSeam ripper ironIron
scissorsScissors battingBatting or filling (optional)
straight edgeStraight edge safety-pinSafety pins
cutting matCutting mat yarnYarns
rotary cutterRotary cutter Large craft needleLarge craft needle
ironing boardIroning board sewing machineSewing machine

Notebook Cover

Skill level: Easy
Skip the trip to the office supply store to stock up on notebook covers. You can make a crafty-chic notebook cover out of one pair of old jeans, scissors and a glue gun. If you want to make the cover even more exciting, add decorative patches, buttons, rhinestones and ribbons.

For this project, you’ll need:

scissorsScissors pants1 pair of jeans
glueFabric glue decorationDecorations of your choosing

Pocket Garland

Skill level: Easy

Step up your next picnic or outdoor event with a pocket garland, perfect for holding all of your flatware, napkins, straws and more. Start off with four pockets or build on for more storage. This project is very versatile and can be used beyond hosting your next gathering. Consider making one for your office to store pens and postage stamps or one for your child to store small figures or crayons!

For this project, you’ll need:

scissorsScissors pants2 pairs of jeans
glueFabric glue decorationDecorations of your choosing

Placemats

Skill level: Advance
There are lots of things going for these denim placements. First, they’re washable, so if you’re a messy eater you can just pop the placemats in the washer with the rest of your clothes and they’ll come out fresh and clean. The other great thing is the attached pocket, which is perfect for holding napkins and silverware. Bon appétit!

For this project, you’ll need:

pantsKids jeans pantsAdult jeans
fabricBacking fabric "No-sew adhesive tape

About 

Babs is a content writer at Enova International, Inc. with a Bachelors in Cinema Studies and English from the University of Illinois (ILL-INI!). She loves binge watching musicals, reading in the (sporadic) Chicago sunshine and discovering great new places to eat. Accio, tacos! Find out more about her on Google+.

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