What to make from OLD JEANS ? : 10 Jeans recycle ideas

Recycle, Repurpose & Reuse your Old Jeans .These Denim crafts will keep your jeans in use for years to come, long after you fit in it.

This post lists easy things to make with old jeans. Recycle your old jeans to things which are very useful.

what to make with old jeans - Jeans Recycle ideas

Most houses with growing kids will have a number of jeans that are past their prime. They are usually too short or too tight. There are some easy things you can make with these jeans. Infact, a lot of them but these are what I want to make and here they are.

recycled denim - a pile of old jeans

Recylcing jeans into usable things

1. Make wardrobe organizer from old jeans 

You can make a hangable organizer with pockets cut out from old jeans.

This organizer can be hung inside your wardrobe for extra storage which is easily accessible. Checkout this post for wardrobe organizing ideas.

Cut out the pockets close to the sides. 

cut out pockets from old jeans

Leave a little extra at the top ( to attach to the base fabric)

Choose a base fabric. It needs to have some weight like an upholstery fabric or use denim itself. Sew the side edges and top and bottom edges.

Arrange the pockets on the base fabric in the way you want. Sew the pockets in place. Make 2 loops for the top and keep the hanger inside the loop and stitch in place. 

organiser made from old jeans -sew the pockets to a large piece of fabric cut out from the jeans

2. Turn denim scraps into patchwork fabric

If you have small pieces of usable denim fabric leftover from other projects you can use it to make your own fabric.

I have cut out fabric pieces of the same size in contrast colours.

Light and dark jeans pieces -reuse denim jeans and cut out square pieces from the jeans

Cut out fabric pieces in a particular size or shape- join them to each other in columns.

Light and dark denim pieces stitched alternatively - stitch the square pieces cut out from the denim jeans

Join these columns together.  

after the pieces are joined together use it for your recycling projects

Check out this post on different ways to sew the scrap fabric pieces together to make fabric

I made a boxy pouch with the fabric. You can check out the tutorial to make a boxy pouch with the fabric here.  

boxy pouch - old jeans recycle

3. Reuse denim jeans into a bag

If you have kid’s jeans with embroidery on the leg part, you can preserve the nice embroidery and make a nice bag.

embroidered jeans turned into a jeans bag

Cut out the 2 leg parts.

cut out the leg portion

If the embroidery is on the front part (which it usually is) you have to keep them together and sew so that the embroidery appears on the front of your bag together.

Cut open the leg and join the leg pieces together to bring together the embroidery part – I just kept the flat seam on top of the other edge and top stitch. You can also cut off the seam and join together as a normal seam.

join the leg portion together

Join the back seams together to form a tube. The bottom hem is used as the top edge of the bag. 

reuse old jeans

Join the bottom edge. Make a flat bottom for the bag by sewing the corner. Check out this post on making a totebag for instructions to do this.

boxed corners for the tote bag made from old denim jeans


Attach handles and you have a nice little bag. Check out this post on making bag handles and different kinds of bag handles for ideas for making bag handles. Or just use webbing or faux leather pieces as I have done. 

add pretty handles to the denim tote bag

Good for taking out to the library; if only I could.  🙁

recycle old denim jeans turned into bag

You can make a lining bag in a similar size and insert into this bag. Add a pocket or two inside, attach a snap button on top etc.

Here is a post with more (3) tutorials on making bags from old jeans. 

Jeans Bags diy

Check out this post – to see how to make a sling bag from old jeans.

sling bag made from old jeans

4. Recycle Jeans into a simple fabric basket

A very simple DIY – make the easiest organizer for your table with a part of your old jeans. A very simple method of organising small things.

Cut out the leg bottom edge and sew the bottom edge.

join one short edge of the hem of the jeans

Sew the corners inside to make the bottom part flat.

sew the corners to box the basket

This is how the flat bottom will look.

flat bottom for the jeans basket

Turn the bag rightside outside.

Bring the top edge down and your organiser is ready to be filled.

organiser made by recycling old jeans

5. Recycled jeans into shorts

If you have a jeans that fit you right but do not want it as a jeans anymore, you can turn it into cut off shorts which is forever in fashion. Check out the post on 7 ways of making shorts from jeans.

diy cut off jean shorts
6. Recycling old jeans into an apron

turn old jeans into an apron

Cut out the front crotch portion by the middle – without cutting out the belt part. You need the front fly and the zipper cut off.

cut off the fly
Denim recycling project – apron

Cut the back crotch – do not cut off the seam (see the picture above); you can overlap the seam of the crotch and top stitch it there.

Sew the hem and side edges.

Attach straps at the back and tie at the back. You have a half apron with minimal work – with ready made pockets for all the tools. You can find more apron patterns and a tutorial for making a simple apron here.

7. Turn jeans pocket into a mobile charger holder

If you have a phone and you have to charge it everyday and you do not have a dedicated charging station, you know the difficulty. Those wires trailing down and your phone lying on you do not even know where or who is stepping on it. Trouble all around. An old jeans is a solution to this problem.

A mobile phone charger holder is even better if your socket is up there somewhere where you cannot keep the phone anywhere.

recycling denim fabric from old jeans into a hanging charger holder

Cut out a pocket from your jeans from the belt.

make a slit at the top for hanging - denim recycling ideas

Make a long cut along the top part over the pocket. (A thin cut is enough; when you hang the holder over the plug it will automatically become bigger)

As one reader helpfully pointed out in the comments, be careful when using this if your plug is over heating – may cause fire ; Denim is hard wearing but it is still fabric so keep and eye on it when using.

8. Make potholders /coasters with old jeans scraps

Denim is thick and it is the best fabric for making potholders. You can find tutorials to make potholders here.

make potholders from denim scraps

A similar make is a coaster. You can check out the tutorial to make coasters here.

make coasters

9. Jeans Earring

Cut out small denim pieces from jeans and attach to fishhook earring wires.

jeans recycled into earrings - cut out two circles from denim fabric and attach the earring findings

I attached a small gold stud to join the two circles (1 1/2″ and 1″) together and then attached it at the top to a fishhook wire. You can cut out diamond shapes, triangles and other interesting shapes. 

your old jeans recycled into denim earrings

10. Get fabric to make kids dresses from old jeans

You can cut fabric from the leg of jeans for making kids bodices /dresses. Join the legs in the way shown below so that you get enough fabric.

old jeans recycling projects - join fabric cut out from the leg portion of old jeans

Make a vest from old jeans

vest made from old jeans

Follow the tutorial here to make a vest from old jeans.

Turn jeans to skirts

You can check out the tutorials for turning your jeans into skirts here.

mini skirt made from old jeans

If your jeans are in need of some small repair work to make it new again, do not hesitate and wear it till you absolutely can’t before you recycle it ; Here are the posts for some DIY alterations – Jeans repair – 7 scenarios; Alter tight jeans; Jeans button replacement ; How to shorten jeans hem; How to tighten the waist of jeans

Related posts : 15 Parts and features of jeans; History of jeans; Names of all jeans.; Best jeans brands; 10 popular jeans washes and surface treatments

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

8 thoughts on “What to make from OLD JEANS ? : 10 Jeans recycle ideas”

  1. A local thrift store sometimes has jeans for $1.00. I always buy several and use them for all kinds of projects. The fabric is tough, washable, and always in style. Thanks for your ideas!

    • Hi Pamela
      Nice to know that – nothing beats denim as a durable and good looking fabric. Thanks for writing the comment

  2. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful ideas with old jean matetial.
    Also thanks for ur letter,it’s all positive words and full of vibe

  3. Your ideas on recycling Jeans are inspirational. However, I would advise caution with the mobile phone charger holder as the phone and charger can get hot and having fabric so near to the wall plug is also not advisable. I do however love the earrings

    • You are possibly right to be cautious about the plug and fabric. if the plug is faulty you have a problem. But then your phone will be toast too. Thanks for that information.

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