Published on March 20th, 2008 | by Skye Kilaen


What Can You Do With Jeans?

recycled blue jean organizer I have never met a woman who loves shopping for jeans. Finding a pair of jeans that fits can involve endless shopping trips, trying on pair after pair in the unflattering light of dressing rooms. Even in low-rise styles, finding the right hip to waist ratio can be maddening. But if rips or patches don’t really fit into your personal style and your current jeans are falling apart, at some point you have to bite the bullet and shop.

Once you replace the well-worn pair of jeans, though, what’s next? Since I’m currently facing the demise of my favorite (and only) pair of jeans, I thought I would take a spin around the web and see what I could do with them.

First up is this recycled blue jean organizer, perfect for craft supplies.

Three pairs of jeans, plus a dowel, some cord, thread, and you’re good to go. The instructions say you should use a yard of new denim fabric for the back, which is probably to avoid extra bulky seams, but I think I’d just use more pieces of the jeans. A 22×25 piece could be put together, and if you do a 1/2 inch seam allowance and press it open you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

Another option would be to stockpile a few pairs and make a quilt. Susan Druding maintains a great resource page on Blue Jeans Quilts. As she says, the page covers “sewing and quilting techniques for denim, ideas for quilt designs, quilt top layout samples and patterns for various easy quilts, and many links to sites on the Web to see and learn more about blue jeans quilts.” A few of the links are broken, but there is still plenty of information and good tips for working with denim. The gallery of quilts has a few different styles of quilts.

recycled jeans ipod holder(And just like with Emma’s post on recycling neckties, this is a perfect excuse to go thrift shopping. You may need multiple colors of jeans for an interesting quilt.)

Finally, check out this jeans pocket gadget protector by sagefemme on Instructables. Jeans pockets are used for a variety of crafts, but this one caught my eye. Something about the little tiny IPod peeking out of the pocket is just too cute. Sagefemme’s tutorial is very clear and user-friendly.

For UK folks, if you just can’t make time in your busy crafting schedule to reuse your jeans, you can recycle them. Recycleyourjeans.com will accept them and remake them into sandals for you. So if you just can’t bear to part with your beloved jeans that have seen better days, send them in and give them a second life.

What are your favorite ideas for reusing and recycling blue jeans? Seen any great tutorials online? Let us know and we may end up with a regular feature here at Crafting a Green World.

[Images from All Free Crafts with permission and Instructables under a Creative Commons license.]

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About the Author

Skye Kilaen began sewing at an early age and eco-rabble-rousing shortly after that. Many years later, someone finally told her that there are books about how to make quilts. Life was never the same. In fact, she spent more on her sewing machine than her car. Bringing her green and crafty passions back together, Skye is now happily discovering ways to create beautiful and useful objects using thrifted and sustainable materials. No, that's not just an excuse to visit Goodwill more often. Honest.

8 Responses to What Can You Do With Jeans?

  1. Those jeans used for the pocket gadget protector are from the Gap! I know this because cute boys with nice tushies wore thema lot in junior high :)

  2. Those jeans used for the pocket gadget protector are from the Gap! I know this because cute boys with nice tushies wore thema lot in junior high :)

  3. Those jeans used for the pocket gadget protector are from the Gap! I know this because cute boys with nice tushies wore thema lot in junior high :)

  4. Those jeans used for the pocket gadget protector are from the Gap! I know this because cute boys with nice tushies wore thema lot in junior high :)

  5. Kendra Holliday says:

    Yeah I hate jeans shopping, but I finally took the plunge and ordered my ujeans.com

    They should be arriving in about a month – I am SO anxious to see if I got all the measurements right!

    I loved picking buttonfly, no loops, classic pockets…swoon

  6. Pingback: DIY: Upcycle Old Denim Into Market Tote : Crafting a Green World

  7. Pingback: What Can You Do With Sheets? : Crafting a Green World

  8. Pingback: How To: Make Stamps Using Denim Scraps – Crafting a Green World

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