It’s another free ornament Friday! I’m super happy with this project and excited to share how to make an upcycled jeans pocket ornament! I have done a few projects using up old jeans (see these beanbags & this matching game), leaving me with the very tops of the pants leftover. It popped into my head that turned upside down, they’d look like little houses, and now I’m sharing the free house ornament pattern with you! If you don’t have any jeans to upcycle, there is an outline you could use to cut out on felt as an alternative.
I had a LOT of fun playing with different color combinations and fussy cut little creatures. There will definitely be more houses in my future!
You may recognize these beads from another free ornament pattern I have; I will be using them for the rest of my life, I think, haha!
If you want more Christmas craft ideas, check out these posts!
- Embroidery hoop ornaments
- Master list of free Christmas ornament patterns
- Christmas hand embroidery patterns
If you don’t have any jeans to use up and are intimidated by the idea of thrifting, I have some tips for thrifting to upcycle or refashion! I used my own old jeans here, so they are thinner material and easier to sew. Super thick denim would be a little trickier, I think.
What do you think? Would you guess they were old jeans pockets if I didn’t tell you?
That little santa just kills me! I have a tiny fussy cut bunny & Christmas tree cut out to try on another house, my tree is going to be full this year.
Pin this jeans pocket upcycle idea with this link or collage image:
How to make an upcycled jeans pocket ornament
- Heat n bond or other fusible transfer paper (I love the printable sheets, no tracing required!)
- SHARP, micro tip scissors to cut these tiny curves, I use these
- Fabric scraps (all of mine are Cotton + Steel holiday fabric)
- Wool felt scraps (where to buy wool felt online)
- Pearl cotton or embroidery floss
- Seed beads, bugle beads, & sequins
- 1 pair of old jeans (or just the pockets!)
- Download the free pattern pieces; they will need a bit of adjusting to fit your pocket, so the file includes a small and medium version. Sign up for my newsletter and get access to the file once you confirm your subscription! If you’re already a subscriber, you can access the pattern with the password in each newsletter, in the resource library:
- If you want to make these no sew, or less sewing, use Heat n Bond ultrabond and then hand sew or fabric glue the chimney on and the backing on
- Depending on the weight of your denim, it may be tricky sewing it along the seam, try a walking foot or gently pull it along behind your needle as you sew
- You may need to adjust your pattern pieces depending on the shape of your pocket; cut out the paper pieces and check it out before using the heat n bond and cutting the fabric. You can always cut it smaller, but not add more on easily!
- If you’re new to applique check out my tips for sewing appliques here first!
Step 1– Print out your pattern! I highly recommend using fusible web for such tiny appliques. You can also print the pattern on paper and trace it on to the fusible web
Step 2– Cut roughly around each shape.
Step 3– Use your iron and adhere the bumpy side to the wrong side of the fabric scrap. Hold it up to the light to make sure you’re getting the pattern you want, before you heat it up.
Step 4– Cut out exactly along the lines after it has cooled, peel off the backing fabric. To “fussy cut” little pieces of the print out, like my santa, cut a big chunk of fusible web, larger than the shape, and iron it on similarly, then turn it over and cut a small border around the picture, and you’re done.
Step 5– Layer and stitch! The roof is a large rectangle since that would be impossible to get right for each different pocket shape – iron it on (layer the roof base underneath first, if you’re using it), and then trim off the top corners.
Step 6– Continue to layer & stitch, sewing along the edges. I take a stitch or two back & forth when stopping and starting, to secure it.
Step 7– Sew on the beads you want! Or add hand embroidered details.
Step 8- Layer your finished front on to felt, and cut an identical backing (better to be too big than too small, you can trim again once you sew it together!). Do the same thing for your chimney piece, sewing them together so the chimney fabric has a felt back.
Step 9– Tuck the chimney in to the roof and then start sewing the jean front to the felt back, around the edges. Watch out for beads so you can hand crank over them and not break your needle! Stop when you have about 2 inches open, insert stuffing, then finish stuffing. Here you can see I’m using forceps as a handy tool!
Step 10- Sew on an embroidery floss hanger and you’re done!
What do you think? I’d love to hear an other ways you upcycle old jeans into holiday decorations!