It might not be summer just yet, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t already started going through our wardrobe and setting aside old clothes that we can get rid of to make room for new garments when we do our annual spring and summer shopping! Each year, we find that the number one thing we end up getting rid of is jeans. We’re not sure how we always end up with so many pairs of jeans, nor where they come from every year, but they’re always there! Jeans are great to donate but, if you’re a DIY enthusiast like us, you also know how great of a tool old jeans are for awesome upcycled denim projects of all kinds.
Check out these 15 great DIY denim projects that will help you repurpose your old jeans so they don’t go to waste!
1. Recycled jean footwear
Do you love having a simple pair of slip on shoes lying around in the summer so you can quickly slide your feet in before you go out to enjoy some sun in the yard or walk to the corner store for ice cream? Then make them now so they’re ready for when the warm weather comes, and put your old jeans to good use while you’re at it! Do Night shows you how these cute little denim slip-on shoes are made.
2. Denim arrow cushion
Do you have a few different shades of denim in your pile of old jeans that are up for grabs int he DIY department? Take advantage of that by making something that actually uses those different colours! If you’re not afraid of a bit of sewing, then we definitely suggest giving these quilted together denim pillow cases by Etsy Blog a try.
3. Denim pom poms
We’ve posted plenty of times before about pom poms, always marveling over how many different kinds if pom poms there are out there and how many different ways there are to make them, but Zakka Life just made us realize that there’s one kind we never knew about! They guide you through the process of making awesome little fringed pom poms our of strips of denim that you can easily cut from your old jeans.
4. Denim cut-offs wine bag
This DIY project from Design Sponge is actually a great way to make yourself two new things in one, and what’s better than that? We can’t think of many things! By turning an old pair of jeans into a pair of cut off shorts, you give yourself two very useful denim tubes to make something else out of. Try following this tutorial to turn the cut off jean legs into picnic bags that are perfectly sized for a bottle of wine!
5. Old denim heart corner bookmark
Denim makes amazing scrap material for all kinds of little DIY projects that are easy to do and make fun gifts for the people around you (or yourself)! We fell in love with The Cheese Thief‘s simple denim heart bookmark that features a chic visible seam and fits right onto the corner of your book page to remind a loved one that you care while they read before bed each night.
6. Quilted denim pouf
Did you already make the quilted pillow case idea we talked about above and love it so much that now you’re ready to try the same technique on a bigger, more eye catching project? Then follow in Michele and Me‘s footsteps and try creating this awesome muti-coloured denim pouf stool instead! We love the idea of using a coloured thread in your quilting to create even more interesting pattern that you’ll already get from upcycling different types of denim.
7. Denim gingerbread men
Technically you can make these adorable little gingerbread people dolls by Eat Drink Chic from any spare material you might have, but we fell in love with the idea of making them out of denim the second we saw them! Besides being a great upcycling opportunity, denim makes for durable toys if you plan on actually giving these little dolls to your kids to play with.
8. Denim napkins
Is the denim of your old jeans so soft that you can’t help touching it? Jeans that have been worn down for years tend to lose that roughly shaped denim feel and soften down until they feel almost like cotton. These jeans are perfect for repurposing into napkins for a country chic dinner table setting! Check out how Your Pocket Stylist made these ones.
9. DIY denim pencil case
Have you always loved turning your old clothing into little cases and zippered bags? Then we think you’ll be pretty into this denim pencil case idea that helps you turn your old jeans into more than just a place to keep your drawing supplies. A Dash of DIY suggests actually drawing or painting a little design of your own onto the front to make the denim even more interesting.
10. DIY denim whale
Are yo ulooking for more of a sewing challenge that your kids will fall in love with and be able to play with for years to come? Then you simply must check out this adorable stuffed whale pattern featured on Valaan Villapaita. We love the way they’ve used the outside of the denim to create the darker back of the whale and the more faded inside of the denim to give the whale a lighter belly.
11. Denim hair bows
Hair bows have been treding for months now and, with every new version and variation of the original idea, we love them even more. These little denim bows from Salute to Cute, for example, are so cute we can barely stand it. As if turning your jeans into adorable accessories wasn’t a good enough idea in itself, check out how they’ve used pearls and clothing beach to pattern and embellish some of the bows!
12. Patchwork jean bowl
Have you always been intrigued by crafts that use materials to make freestanding 3D objects that keep their own shape despite not being stuffed or filled with anything like a toy might be? We love making those projects too, but we had to start with simple projects in order to perfect our technique the first few times we tried it out. Hello Glow has the perfect thing for you to start with: a simple quilted denim trinkets bowl!
13. DIY denim phone case
Hard phone cases have become more the rage lately because they leave our screens open and give us constant access to our phones, but sometimes we like to slide our precious devices into a soft case that protects the screen from scratches before we put them with all our other stuff in our purse. There are plenty of fabrics you can use to make a simple pocket case like this style from Free People, but we find denim the most stylish option by far!
14. Spiralled jean coasters
Maybe your oldest jeans are so worn and torn apart that only pieces of them are actually salvageable to be turned into anything else? Then try cutting them into strips and turning those strips into something you’ll actually use! We love the way BLDG 25 spiralled their denim strips into coiled drink coasters that add a neat DIY touch to your everyday decor.
15. Patchwork denim throw rug
Maybe you’re totally loving this whole “quilted denim” idea, but you’d like to make it even more shabby chic than what you’ve seen here so far? Then try creating this awesome patchwork rug by BLDG 25 instead! We love the way they’ve mixed in some other repurpose pants fabrics, like corduroy, in with the denim patches.
Do you know someone who owns way too many pairs of jeans and could definitely benefit from repurposing a few of them into something more useful? Share this post with them!