40+ Ideas for What to Make with Old Jeans

By: Kirsten Kwon, Editor,
Updated August 13, 2018

Don't throw out your old jeans! They might not fit anymore, but that doesn't mean you can't create something new from them. If you're like me, you've got at least a few pairs that have seen better days. Now it's time to deconstruct with these jean refashioning projects. All of these sewing projects are useful and durable so set aside a little time and bring your denim back to life. The great thing about refashioning with denim? Anything is possible. You'll find that denim is a great material to work with. You might be tempted to just toss out your jeans once they don't fit. Instead, try these old jean craft projects. If you're wondering what to make with old jeans, you've found the right collection. Crafting with old jeans is thrifty too! You can simply take some of the scraps from your stash and get creative. When you're in search of what to make with old jeans, turn to any of these old jean craft projects and you'll be instantly inspired.

If you've never worked with old jeans before, check out our helpful article about How to Sew: Tips and Tricks for Sewing with Denim.


Recycling and Refashioning  


15 Sewing Patterns for Women's Dresses & Other Pretty Projects

Looking for more DIY sewing projects? Download our free eBook, 15 Sewing Patterns for Women's Dresses & Other Pretty Projects.


40+ Ideas for What to Make with Old Jeans
Table of Contents

Make Your Own Clothes
Denim Crafts


Make Your Own Clothes

Flirty Denim Skirt   

  1. DIY Denim Skirt: This gorgeous maxi skirt pattern is the perfect way to upcycle a pair of old jeans. The pattern is so trendy and chic.
  2. Flirty Denim Skirt: This Flirty Denim Skirt is great for a night out or a day in the office. Work with what you own -no need to waste money on new clothes!
  3. Old Jeans Free Skirt Pattern: Learn how to make a brand new skirt with just a few pairs of old pants.
  4. Scrappy Upcycled Apron: Everyone needs a good apron to wear around the kitchen. Why not make one with material you already have? The Scrappy Upcycled Apron is a free sewing idea for anyone wondering what to make with old jeans.
  5. Clean Cut-Off Shorts for Boys: Don't let your child's growth spurt cost you a fortune in new clothes for him! Learn how to make these clean cut-off shorts and save their jeans that might be too short otherwise.


Ruffly Denim Skirt 

  1. Ruffly Upcycled Denim Shorts: If your daughter grows too tall for a pair of her jeans, turn them into an adorable pair of shorts with cute ruffles.
  2. How to Make Slippers From Jeans: Learn How to Make Slippers From Jeans with this helpful tutorial. Once you learn how to make homemade slippers, make them for family and friends.
  3. DIY Cut-Off Jean Shorts: The only tutorial you will ever need to learn how to make denim cut-offs!
  4. Ruffly Denim Skirt: Learn how to recycle old jeans with this easy sewing project. Add a cute ruffly hem to the bottom of the skirt to spice up the old denim.
  5. How to Make a Jean Apron: Say "time for tea" with this adorable denim apron. The appliques on this upcycled apron are too cute.


How to Make a Jean Apron  


  1. Recycled Denim Oven Mitt: Want something crafty and trendy to use in your kitchen? If you're looking for what to make with jeans, turn to this crafty oven mitt.
  2. Fast Easy Baby Bib: If you've never thought to make a baby bib from denim, explore this idea. The Fast Easy Baby Bib is made from old jeans. You probably already have everything you need to make this cute and simple sewing project.
  3. Upcycling Blue Jeans Into a Skirt: Wondering what to make with old jeans? Here's an idea. Upcycling Blue Jeans Into a Skirt is a great way to reuse material and create a thrifty sewing project.
  4. Easy Maternity Jeans: Turn an old pair of jeans into a new pair of maternity pants with this idea.
  5. How to Make Bell-Bottom Jeans: Bring back the 70's with this old jeans idea.
  6. Stunning DIY Lace Shorts: Denim and lace are best friends in this sewing tutorial
  7. King of the Grill DIY Apron: Give Dad what he really wants with this durable denim DIY apron.

     18. NEW! Ladylike Lace Upcycled Jeans: Turn old jeans from rough to ladylike with this lacy makeover idea!


Upcycle T-Shirts: 10 Projects to Make for Kids


If you want more ways to upcyle your old clothing, check out our free eBook, Upcycle T-Shirts: 10 Projects to Make for Kids.



Denim Crafts

Denim Placemats 


  1. Denim Placemats:  It's easy to make these placemats by sewing the denim into crazy quilt squares.
  2. Recycled Denim Initial Keychain: This easy to sew keychain is perfect for labeling your kid's lunchboxes and water bottles.
  3. Denim Christmas Stockings: Make mini stockings from old jeans with this upcycling tutorial. These mini stockings are fabulous mantel decorations, and they can even be used for gift card holders or small gifts.
  4. Pinterest Fave! Denim Fabric Basket Tutorial: Upcycle those outgrown jeans and create a beautiful and handy basket to organize almost anything!

Recycled Denim Initial Keychain  

  1. Jean Pocket Pot Holder: One can never have too many potholders. Don't spend a fortune on this handy kitchen supply. Instead, take the pocket off a pair of old jeans and make this potholder.
  2. Upcycled Jean Bag: If you have an old pair of jeans and you could use a new bag, look no further than the Upcycled Jean Bag. Crafting with old jeans is easy and fun!
  3. Denim Gadget Case: Teens love gadgets, and what better way to protect them from scratches than with a denim gadget case? Make one for your teen's MP3 player or cell phone out of an old pair of jeans with this free, easy sewing pattern.
  4. How to Make Jean Purses: Next time you're roaming a thrift store, grab the cheapest pair of jeans you can find. With them, you can make these cute jean bags. They're inexpensive and easy to make! Learn How to Make Jean Purses with this simple old jean craft project.


Upcycled Jean Bag  

  1. NEW! Petite Denim Clutch Tutorial: From a pair of old jeans you can make something new that you can use every day! Talk about a refashion.
  2. Weaved Jean Yarn Coasters: Complete a simple weaving project and make a practical set of coasters that are also thrifty and cute!
  3. Two Pocket Messenger Bag: The best messenger bags have plenty of pockets. Make this gorgeous bag from a pair of old jeans and you will have a practical and cute tote for all of the things that you carry.
  4. Denim Flower Corsage: Make the perfect accessory to any outfit with this lovely little flower. You can pin it onto a jacket, shirt, or even a pearl necklace.


The Awesome Denim Clutch 


  1. Upcycled Denim Armrest Bag: Clean out your craft room and organize with this denim craft. This armrest bag is perfect for crafting on the couch! Store your knitting projects or sewing supplies in this easy denim bag.
  2. The Awesome Denim Clutch: Make a patch-happy project by upcycling old jeans with different washes! This clutch is adorable and great for recycling multiple pairs of jeans.
  3. Upcycled Denim Tote: This is quite possibly the cutest jean purse you will ever see. Recycle a pair of jeans to make this tote and add various adorable embellishments to make this purse extra girly.
  4. James Dean Blue Jean Coffee Cozy: Make a coffee accessory that is as cool as Mr. Dean himself that keeps your morning drink piping hot.
  5. Denim Organizer: Sew and embellish a denim organizer for your teen's locker or bedroom. Use the pant legs of old jeans for this cute, recycling sewing project to keep your teen neat and organized.


Blue Jean Dorm Seating 

  1. Denim Decor Wonder: Make an adorable piece of DIY home decor that is blue jean sturdy with this upcycling idea.
  2. Blue Jean Dorm Seating: Learn how to decorate your space with denim with this piece of smart seating. Love it!
  3. Goodby Jeans, Hello Messenger Bag: Learn how to make a bag out of old jeans with this free bag pattern.
  4. How to Make a Bag From Jeans: Learn how to sew a bag out of old pants when you check out this surprisingly easy idea.
  5. Doll Blanket from Recycled Jeans: Make a blanket for your child's favorite doll with this recycled idea.
  6. Scotty Dog Bag Pattern - You'll be barking about this upcyled tote bag pattern in no time.
  7. Adjustable Water Bottle Bag - Keep your water bottle close and cold with this insulated sewing pattern.
  8. Mini Denim Christmas Treat Stockings - Learn how to make DIY stockings out of your old jeans with these adorable Christmas sewing projects.
  9. Large Upcycled Denim Tote - If you are looking to learn what to make out of old jeans, this tote bag might be the solution.
  10. Denim DIY Tablet Stand - You don't have to pay an arm and a leg for a tablet stand. In fact, you can make one for free with a leg...of your jeans.
  11. Chic Drawstring Bag Pattern: Use this drawstring denim bag for whatever you want!
  12. Upcycled Denim Tote Bag: From old jeans to a brand new DIY tote bag.

    48. NEW! Upcycled Denim Napkins Tutorial: Give your dining room a brand new look with this easy tutorial.

    49. NEW! Denim Tablet Case Tutorial: Make over an old pair of jeans into a trendy tablet case. 


Blue Jean Baby: 19 Denim Sewing ProjectsIf you loved this list of denim sewing projects, then be sure to check out our blog post filled with our favorite denim projects! Blue Jean Baby: 19 Denim Sewing Patterns





How do you recycle your jeans? Let us know below in the comments!



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