The best ways to reuse your old jeans around the home

Recycle your denim with these fun and creative DIY ideas.

Updated 30 May 2022


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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jeans hanging on outdoor hanger

If your jeans have reached the end of their functional life there’s no need to consign them to denim heaven just yet – we have plenty of creative uses for them. Projects can be as simple or in-depth as you like, depending on your craft skills and the time you can invest. Denim is versatile and tough (especially if you’ve been looking after it). But once you’re done with your denims, save them from the skip and try these great ideas to give your old jeans a second life.

  • Coasters: easy to make and a surprisingly stylish accessory for your home. Cut off some hems and work into a spiral shape. No sewing required, as you can glue the denim together.

  • Tote bag: moving into slightly more advanced territory (a sewing machine will help for this one), though the internet is full of step-by-step guides and videos showing you how to make a tote or handbag from your old jeans.

  • Cushion/pillow: there are two routes to go here: either make a cover for a cushion you already have, or build the whole thing from scratch complete with filling. Different denim shades can be used to produce a pattern, or create a unique design using an iron-on fabric adhesive.

  • Kids’ apron: a pair of jeans should provide enough fabric for a couple of aprons for your little ones. Use the legs for the main apron, seams for the straps and back pockets to make a cute and handy pouch.

  • Stuffed toy: whether it’s for the kids or the dog, denim is a tough fabric to make a toy out of. You will require some talent for cutting and sewing, though it’s easy enough to find instructions online to steer you through the process. Just look out for anything that could potentially become a choking hazard (buttons in particular can be easy to pull off if not attached properly).

  • Christmas wreath: a denim wreath hanging from your front door will ensure your house stands out from the crowd during the festive season. No sewing required with this one, though be prepared to do a lot of tying as it’s made by knotting strips of jeans to a frame.

  • Draught excluder: a pair of adult jeans should be the right length to block the gap beneath a door, helping to keep your room warm and cosy. It’s not a hugely stencilled job, and you can have some fun decorating it with iron-on fabric or painted letters.

  • Furniture: there are a number of ways you can use your worn jeans to add a touch of casual chic to your furniture. You can cover a kitchen or dining chair seat with denim, or go all out and blanket a sofa or armchair with the stuff. It’s a guaranteed conversation starter.

  • Quilt: unless you’re a jeans maniac you’re unlikely to have enough to make a quilt. Hit the charity shops, or check to see if you have a local Buy Nothing group and ask for denim donations. This one will take some time to make, but it will be worth the effort, and doubles as a bed cover or a cosy wrap for yourself.

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