Weekly Upcycling Inspiration: Denim Jeans

Welcome to your weekly serving of upcycling inspiration!  Once a week I’m going to feature an item for which I’ll endeavour to list some upcycling ideas.  They might be my own or they might just be little light bulbs of genius that I pinch from someone else.

OK.  So everyone must have a pair of old, no-longer-fit-to-wear, denim jeans in their wardrobe.  Right?  Well, get them out of the closet and do something with them!  Here’s a list of some clever projects to direct you to that something. (And not one of them involves cutting the legs off and turning them into shorts.  I promise.)

English: Young woman modelling a pair of denim...

1. To start you off, here is a useful guide on deconstructing a pair of denims for sewing projects.

2. Make a pocket board.  Remove pockets (from multiple pairs of jeans), attach them to a fabric covered board, and they become a handy storage place for small items.  Here’s one that Sew Daily already prepared for us.

3. Create a bag.  There are soooo many ideas for these online.  Take a look at a few: here, here and here.

4. Pop over to Makezine and learn how to sew a storage basket with jeans legs.  I’ve made one.  Why don’t you try too?

Upcycled jeans storage basket

5. Whip up some super cool bunting.  Simply cut out your triangles with pinking shears and join with bias binding or cotton tape.

6. If they still fit around the butt, but need a bit of extra length because someone’s little legs are growing up, up, up…add some gorgeous fabric at the leg-ends.  Take a look at these.  Cute.

7. Cut off the seams and make a bangle bracelet with Mich L. in L.A.  So simple!

8. Make a skirt.  Here’s one for a youngster, from Comfy Pretty.  And here’s another that could be used for a big girl too.

9. Make a hat.  Thoughts From a Seamstress doesn’t provide instructions…but she does give a pattern number and step-by-step photos.

10. Make a pair of slippers, via this how-to at The Guardian.

11. Make an apron.  A Girl and a Glue Gun shows you how.

12. Make some drinks coasters.  Just cut out two 10cm squares of denim, sew around the edge with right sides together, leaving a 5cmish gap for turning.  Turn inside out (so right sides are facing out), stitch the opening to close it and top-stitch around the border if you like.  Or…just zig zag the two squares together (wrong sides facing) for a rough look.

13. Make a tablet cover.

14. Make a knitting needle case.

15. And finally, more denim ideas …from Martha.

It seems a pair of old jeans can be re-hashed into just about anything.  So go on.  Get yours out…and get making.

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