Upcycling ideas for old jeans: 6 brilliant ideas

Upcycling ideas for jeans
6 simple ideas

© Marius GODOI / Shutterstock

Your favorite jeans don’t have to be thrown away for a long time! We show you the best upcycling ideas for your old jeans.

There are few items of clothing that accompany you as long as your favorite jeans. But even if it shows cracks and holes at some point, it doesn’t have to be obsolete! The robust denim can be wonderfully recycled and upcycled. Here we have selected 6 simple DIY projects for you that will make your jeans shine in new splendor.

Sewing tip: Denim usually requires a more robust sewing needle especially for denim size 90 or 100. Universal needles are sufficient for thinner denim.

Upcycling ideas: 6 easy projects with an old pair of jeans

1. The pants become a skirt

Upcycling ideas for jeans: Jeans skirt tailored from jeans

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The knees of your favorite jeans are torn – then just make short work and sew them to a skirt. This is quite simple:

  • Cut the legs to the length you want.
  • Separate the seams on the inside of the pant legs, but leave the double seams on one pant leg.
  • Now open the front and back crotch seams.
  • Lay the fabric of the two legs on top of each other so that the double seam is on top. Sew along the double seam to connect the pieces of fabric. Do the same for the back of the skirt.
  • Now cut the lower edge of the skirt again to the right length. You can fold in the edge twice and sew it on with a small jagged stitch or you can leave the edge open so that it frays and looks even more casual.

Note: If it is not your own jeans and therefore a larger size, you will of course have to reduce the waist circumference and remove fabric on both sides and sew it again. But be careful: Some sewing machines reach their limits with sturdy and thick denim, so be particularly careful here and use a stronger sewing needle.

2. Jeans pocket: the shopper for every occasion

Upcycling ideas for jeans: jeans pocket

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The tote bag is not only an eye-catcher, but also made from worn-out jeans, in line with sustainability.

That’s how it’s done:

  • Cut off the legs. Turn the pants inside out and sew the legs shut.
  • Sew on two straps as handles.
  • If you want, you can pull another strap through the belt loops and fasten it. But a normal belt is also a good accessory!

3. Lace summer shorts

Upcycling ideas for jeans: lace appliqué

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Do you love the boho style? Then just cut the legs off your old jeans and turn them into shorts. You can leave the edge open – it will fray and give it the typical used look. Lace applications on the side give the whole thing a classy boho chic.

4. Gym bag made of denim

Upcycling ideas for jeans: backpack made of denim

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A gym bag is sewn quickly. If you want it to be a little more durable and robust, you can opt for denim instead of thin decorative fabric. In order to get the appropriate width of the fabric, you can sew several pieces of jeans together in a patchwork-like manner beforehand and then process them into a gym bag. Here are simple instructions on how to sew a gym bag.

5. Applications made from jeans

Upcycling ideas for jeans: appliqué made of denim

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Small applications can be used anywhere: for repairing clothes, as reinforcement of fabric on knees, as decoration on other sewing projects, etc. They all have one thing in common: They just look cool and individual! To do this, the appropriate motif is drawn with tailor’s chalk, cut out and bordered with a tight jagged stitch. If you want, you can use other pieces of fabric as decorations.

6. Feathers from jeans

Upcycling ideas for jeans: feathers made from leftover jeans

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Whether it’s wall decorations, appliqués, key rings or mobile devices – the feathers made of jeans are a quick DIY that doesn’t require any special skills: All you have to do is cut the shape and sew the area that shouldn’t fray by hand with a lock stitch. Then the individual warp threads can be loosened with a needle. And voilà, the piece of jeans already looks like a feather!

Upcycling with jeans: more ideas

  • Patchwork blanket: You can sew a patchwork blanket out of many small squares of denim. Simply sew the squares together to form rows and then join them together. Reinforce the underside with another layer of fabric and the individual picnic blanket is ready!
  • Book cover: Our diary deserves a protective cover. The resilient denim is ideal for this. You can find out how to sew a book cover here.
  • Pot holder: You don’t need a lot of fabric for pot holders. The legs of your jeans are ideal for the little helpers in the kitchen. Here you can find out how to sew pot holders.

Looking for more ideas for handicrafts, sewing and handicrafts? Here you will find upcycling ideas for furniture, upcycling ideas for clothes and beautiful instructions for crafting with driftwood.

If you would like to exchange ideas with others about DIY projects, then take a look at ours Community.