Denim is a prime fabric for recycling, so don’t throw away that outgrown pair of blue jeans – put the wonderful hard-wearing qualities of denim to use once again, in one or more of these inspiring projects.
These are great denim recycling ideas that have been on my bucket list for a while. One day, I’ll get started on them. Meanwhile, they seem too nice not to share. Enjoy!
by Jane Lake
Recycled Wine Bottle Bags
Use the legs from blue jeans to make two wine bags…sew the bottom closed, and hem the top leaving an opening on one side, or both sides, to thread through a golden cord drawstring. Leave plain or embellish with lace, buttons, ribbon, or small silk flowers. Très chic!
This version, by Cathie Filian, is even simpler – the pocket is attached with fabric glue and, if you’re not handy with the sewing needle, try Cathie’s hint: in a pinch, staple up the side seam.
Denim is a natural for pot holders, but I particularly like these for the pocket-style, which means you can use them sort of like oven gloves. The pattern was copied from some worn-out potholders which you can do as well if you have a particular pair that you fancy.
Who Likes Short Shorts?
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to turn long-legged jeans into summertime shorts, check out this tutorial to make three pairs of shorts in about an hour. The different patterns of bias tape give a unique look to each pair. That’s my kind of conversion.
Lace Trimmed Denim Shorts
A new twist to cut-off shorts…simply cut down old jeans to shorts or capri length and add lace to the new hem. Also consider adding lace to the top of the pockets, either with fabric glue or hand sewing.
Instant flair and style for almost no cost!
I found this version on Pinterest, with a lace inset on the side seams, but the link no longer works. Still, if you have a little sewing know-how, I think you can figure it out. An added bonus is the little flair at the thigh to give a girl’s legs some breathing room.
The same idea would also work for full-length jeans. Just open up the side seams as long as you would like the lace inset. Black lace looks smart and sexy.
Can’t leave the kids out, can we?
Denim Lunch Bag
There are so many things you can make for kids from denim, but one of the most practical is a reusable denim lunch bag.
This will replace hundreds of paper lunch sacks, is readily washed, and the tutorial from Makes and Takes is really easy peasy, even if you don’t own a sewing machine.
Denim Pencil Case:
Are you tired of your kids’ pencil cases falling apart? Take advantage of the strength of denim and make a rectangular zippered bag large enough to store all the kid’s pens and pencils.
This DIY Denim Pencil Case how-to has good instructions. Just click on each picture in the step-by-step tutorial to enlarge the detail if need be.
Put It to Bed
A few years ago, I bought a bag of nine-inch denim squares made by Mennonite volunteers at our local thrift store. I meant to make them into a picnic quilt, and still hope to do this but just haven’t had time for a large quilting project.
If I had, ahem, started it, I’m pretty sure this Denim Raggy Quilt at A Handmade Life would be its twin.
I can but dream.
But that’s what bucket lists are for, right?