Worn out jeans are a great material to reuse for craft projects of all kinds. When old jeans wear out, they are usually made un-wearable by a stain in one place, or thin or torn fabric in one place. Generally there is still a lot of good, usable fabric available to use from the old jeans. Here are some crafting and sewing uses for old jeans.
Gardening aprons made from old jeans are cute, and are easily made by cutting the backside of the jeans out, leaving the back pockets intact, and trimming around the whole piece with a ruffle or bias tape trim. Then a ribbon or cord is run through the belt loops and tacked in place on the edges to prevent the apron from sliding or bunching. The font of the jeans can be used the same way, leaving the front pockets and fly intact.
The denim salvaged from old jeans can be used a number of different ways, as new denim fabric can be. Fabric from old jeans is good for patches or for patchwork, makes cute appliqué shapes on sweatshirts or other pants, or be used to sew small objects, like pin cushions or small toys.
A good project to make with the lower legs cut off from worn out jeans is a corn foot warmer. Using the lower six to eight inches of the leg, turn it inside out, sew closed the cut end, and turn it right side out. Fill the tube halfway to two thirds of the way with whole corn. You can then sew the cuff end closed. The ready made hem will finish the fabric, and it won’t ravel.
Denim from old jeans can be used to make a great set of coasters as well, since the cotton is so absorbent. To make coasters, cut out three and a half inch square pieces and stack them three or five layers thick. Sew through the whole stack in a diagonal from corner to corner to make an X of stitching. Wash the coasters a few times to let the edges fray. These are relaxed coasters, great for country décor.
Hot pads for holding dishes right out of the oven can be made the same way as the coasters described in the previous paragraph, using six to eight inch squares and a few more layers of denim, to make sure the counter isn’t burned through the fabric. They can be scented by sprinkling spices like cracked cinnamon sticks, nutmeg pieces, and cloves between the layers. Sew around the outside of the square to be sure the spice pieces won’t fall out of the hot pad.
A cute bag can be made from the top of a pair of jeans cut off at crotch level. Sew the bottom closed right sides together, then run a scarf through the belt loops at the top. The scarf makes a great handle, and pulls the purse closed like a drawstring.
The top of a pair of old jeans cut off at crotch level also make a good base for a cute skirt. Gather tiers of fabric to the bottom edge of the cut off top to make a country style skirt.
Even when jeans become un-wearable, they can be used to make a lot of new and useful items, saving the energy to manufacture the new goods and keeps the old materials out of the landfills.