I love working with denim. Bright colors, varied shades, distressed, stretchy, all of it is fun to sew with and transform into something else. Even better, it’s easy to find! If you post asking friends & family to save you their worn out jeans, be ready for a deluge. Which is why I’m sharing a bunch of ideas for what to do with old jeans, sewing tutorials for upcycled denim bags, home dec items, other clothes, toys for kids, Christmas decorations, & quilts! If you have any brilliant ideas that I missed, please leave them in the comments so I can add them.
Get more crafty inspiration in these posts!
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- 24+ Men’s button down shirt refashion ideas
- Upcycled flannel shirts – 15+ creative ideas
- 25+ ways to repurpose old t shirts.
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What to do with old jeans – sewing tutorials
how to reuse jeans to make new clothes
I’ve loved this vest for years and am excited to share it, an upcycled refashion from Vera Luna, isn’t is gorgeous!
Use old denim to repair other denim with this diy knee patch tutorial here on Swoodson Says! I made a sweet little kitty but you could do any shape.
Upcycled denim baby shoe pattern from Heather Handmade.
See how to turn pant legs into a cute little denim skirt, with this tutorial from Sewing Novice.
See how to turn old jeans into a handy gardening apron with this upcycle tutorial at Practically Functional.
We could use some of these! See how to turn old jeans into an apron, for adults and kids, over at Girl and a Glue Gun.
I’m obsessed with this pieced denim upcycle vest with a pretty ombre, from Vera Luna.
how to use old jeans to make a bag
I love the stitching on this upcycled denim boro bag tutorial from Vicky Myers Creations.
A pretty, modern purse tutorial made from upcycled denim, at Simple Practical Beautiful.
I like the look of this upcycled jean bag, with a video tutorial from DIY Crafts TV.
The geometric lines in this cross-body purse at Creating My Way to Success.
Check out this chic, minimalist lunch bag made from an old jeans leg, at Between the lines.
I don’t drink beer, but this upcycled growler tote is pretty nifty, from ManMadeDIY.
how to repurpose old jeans into home dec projects
I love the shades in this handmade upcycled denim pouf, from Michele Made Me.
Turn the bottoms of pant legs into fun little planters, with my upcycled DIY fabric planter tutorial here on Swoodson Says.
These would be great for a basement or hangout room, upcycled denim curtains from Vicky Myers Creations.
I love this upcycled twist on a patchwork classic, see how to make a log cabin denim pillow from Underground Crafter.
Make a durable hexagon rug from old jeans with this tutorial from A Beautiful Mess.
Fun no sew denim upcycled basket from Oh Oh Deco.
Next time you’re wrapping a gift, skip the disposable tag and make a fabric gift tag from old jeans instead! Free pattern & tutorial here on Swoodson Says.
Perfect for teens, this upcycled jeans pocket pillow is so clever. Tutorial at Pillar Box Blue.
I love the creativity of this upcycled denim rug! Tutorial over at Oh Oh Deco.
We can never have too many coasters in our house, and I love how she added fringe to these! Tutorial at Scratch & Stitch.
I love how these turned out, denim decorated tin cans used as planters, over at Pillar Box Blue.
Such a fun organizer, perfect for holding treasures! Upcycled denim organizer tutorial from Pillar Box Blue.
I love the simplicity of this upcycled jeans pocket advent calendar, tutorial over at Vicky Myers Creations.
I’m obsessed with this braided denim rug, doesn’t it look amazing! Over at Not Just A Housewife.
How clever is this reupholstered chair from old jeans, at Between Naps on the Porch.
Dying over these beautiful whale stuffed animals upcycled from old jeans, at All My Friends Are Flowers.
Here is another coaster option with woven denim, at Simple Things Notebook.
how to upcycle denim into quilts
The hand stitching details on this upcycled denim quilt tutorial is so pretty, over at Mollie Makes.
A simple upcycled denim quilt tutorial from Its Always Autumn.
Obsessed with this denim triangle quilt! There’s no tutorial but click through for inspiration and to see more photos, by Modern Handcraft.
See how to make a fuzzy denim rag quilt, with this tutorial from Vicky Myers Creations.
Love the details on this upcycled denim picnic quilt, it rolls up! Tutorial at Cutesy Crafts.
I have a stack of colorful denim awaiting its fate, so naturally I love this bright quilt tutorial from old jeans, by Maker Mama at Andrea’s Notebook.
If you prefer a PDF pattern, here is a pretty giant star quilt pattern designed for denim upcycling, from Stitch and Yarn Store.
Check out this clever applique & jean pocket quilt design, from Rachael Daisy Designs.
how to repurpose old jeans into kid toys
Sew a fun upcycled memory game with upcycled denim scraps, tutorial here on Swoodson Says.
Old jeans make for great beanbags! Free pattern & tutorial here on Swoodson Says.
Denim is a great weight for making crayon rolls; see how to make them with this crayon roll tutorial on Swoodson Says.
These are DOG toys but toys nonetheless, with cool, braided upcycled denim ideas from Sew Historically.
how to upcycle old jeans into Christmas decorations
I was so pleased with turning a jeans pocket into a cute little house ornament! I have the pattern for free download and a full tutorial here on Swoodson Says.
I love these creative upcycled Christmas Trees, from Pillar Box Blue.
Another fun upcycled ornament idea, this one from Vicky Myers Creations.