Skip to main content

How to Reuse or Recycle Denim Jeans

I love to share bible stories online to spread the word of God.

overall bag

Fun Ways to Reuse Denim

Do you have old denim lying around? You can make it into something useful. Here are fun ways to reuse your old denim. Potholders, rugs, quilts, and roses are just a few of the things you'll find here. Don't throw it out, reuse your old denim by making something that you can use!

Reuse Denim for a Rug

This denim throw rug is made by sewing small squares of denim to a backing. The finished product is a fun rug with lots of cushion, perfect for a teenager's bedroom, or lounge area.

Reused Denim Rug by AllFreeCrafts

Recycle Denim Jeans into an Organizer

This adorable wall organizer is made from the cuff and leg of denim jeans. With a dowel rod, a sewing machine and a little creativity you can make this yourself at home. The contrasting stitching adds a lot of pizazz to the reused and useful denim art. Use it to store sewing and craft supplies, or organize just about anything in style with this cute and functional denim organizer.

Denim Organizer

Denim Braided Rug

Because denim is heavy, it makes a great rug. I also like that denim is a purely natural fiber, being made from cotton.

Frugal Veggie Mama gives a step by step tutorial of how to make these denim braids from old jeans and then shape them into a rug. I like the way she combined the various shades of denim. Read on to find out more about how you can reuse your favorite worn jeans to make a rug for you home!

Braided Denim Rug Tutorial

Denim Book Cover

This adorable denim book cover is sure to be a big hit with teenage girls. It is made by reusing old jeans. It would be a great craft for personalizing a diary, photo album, calendar, bible, journal, or agenda before giving as a gift. The pocket was cut out keeping the backing in tact, so when it was glued to the cover, the pocket still opened, making a perfect hidden stash.

Reused Denim Book Cover

Overall Handbag from Used

Overall Handbag from Used

Make a Handbag from Children's Overalls

#6 Way to Reuse Denim

Here is an idea for a tote bag made from used children's overalls. On a smaller scale, the same instructions can be used with a pair of baby overalls to make a purse. Cut the legs off the overalls and serge them or zig zag stitch them closed. For more instructions, check out this tutorial:

Overall Tote Bag from Used Denim

Denim Rose

Making a rose from the hem of denim jeans

Making a rose from the hem of denim jeans

Denim Rose from a Hem

Denim crafts can grow on you quickly, because there are so many adorable ways to reuse it. This denim rose is one more example of a way to reuse denim in crafts. This flower is a great way to embellish an otherwise plain denim project.

Denim Rose

Denim Potholders

There seems to be an endless number of ways to reuse pockets of old jeans around the home. Denim is very thick and makes a great potholder. For more information on how RecycleCindy made hers, visit her blog at:

How to Make a Potholder from Old Blue Jeans

Scroll to Continue

Reuse Your Old Blue Jeans to Make this Beautiful Denim Quilt - #9 Way to Reuse Denim


Denim Quilts

Denim is such a wonderful material because it's made of natural fibers (cotton), yet it is heavy and warm. It's durability, warmth, and natural construction make it my all time favorite materials for constructing quilts from recycled fabric. You can make a quilt for your bed from your old jeans. Not only is it eco-friendly, it's amazingly beautiful, creative and warm. Here are several sets of instructions for making a quilt from recycled denim.

Denim Quilt

Denim Quilt 2

Recycled Denim Quilt Number 3 (Instructions above)

Recycled Denim Quilt Number 3 (Instructions above)

Recycled Denim Quilt Number 3 (Instructions above)

Denim Pots for Plants

These are not only adorable, they have so many possibilities. Upon first glance, you would think it's only a denim flower pot, but you can work this style into many other projects. How about decorating an Easter basket from a plastic bucket? Jazz up that flower you give mom on mother's day. Create red, white and blue jeans Forth of July décor, or make a blue jeans gift basket for your next graduate.

For more information on making these and other cool denim crafts, see Cindy's blog.

Denim Pots


Denim Pocket Organizers

Gail Martin shows us how to use pockets from old blue jeans to make pocket organizers. Hang them on a locker, refrigerator, or anywhere a you could use a little extra organization.

They are perfect for holding pens, pencils and pocket notebooks. Your teenagers will love these. The are also functional refrigerator magnets. You will never lose your pencil again. Thanks Gail!

School Locker Pockets

Reuse Old Jeans to Make a Denim Journal Cover and Pencil Holder

For Christmas this year, I made some pencil holder and journal sets from recycled materials. Everyone loved them, so I thought I'd post a photo of the sets here. I made the journal following the basic instructions for a book cover below. Before I attached the pocket, I ran the ribbon around the cover and glued it. I used matching ribbon to wrap a bow around the pencil holder that is made from a soup can and repurposed old blue jeans.

Denim Circles

You can make spiraled circles from the hem of old jeans and use tacky glue to hold the spirals together. If you don't want to set a drink on them, stitch them together many combined would be an adorable rug or wall art.

Reuse Denim to Make Coasters and a Pencil Holder


How to Make a Recycled Bank - #15 Way to Reuse Denim


Coin Bank

We used:

*old denim jeans

*tacky glue


*and a Pringles can

to make this little bank. It stores your coin and your cash with a little pocket embellishment. This is a great way for kids to get involved in creating recycled crafts.

Reuse Old Jeans to Make Denim Pillows - #16 Way to Reuse Denim


Were you wondering about a pillow? I was, so I Googled "how to make a denim pillow," and found these instructions from Sookie at Info Barrel. She has instructions for both the frayed denim pillow and the "tooth fairy" pillow with the pocket on the front. Another great way to reuse your old jeans!

Denim Fray Pillow

Denim Tooth Fairy Pillow with Pocket

Oven Mitt

You asked for it, and here it is an oven mitt from reused denim. The denim is thick and heavy enough to keep heat away from the hands. Then its lined with more protective layers. It is a very practical reuse idea. Over at the MyRecycledBags blog, they are always coming up with new ideas to reuse denim, so check it out.

Reuse Denim as an Oven Mitt

Refrigerator Pocket Organizers

Add a magnet to the back of an old jeans pocket and you have a perfect organizer for your refrigerator. It holds pens, pencils and small notepads. They would make a great gift for high school girls to keep in their locker at school. I used magnets that had a self adhesive strips on them for attaching business cards, but you could tacky glue any magnet on to the pocket.

Give Your Old Denim Jeans a Facelift

  • Mehndi Henna Design Jean
    Mehndi Henna Design Jeans - This project uses a bleach pen to make henna designs on jeans. If you are new to creating henna designs on denim, what better way to start than on used denim that is no longer worn. After create a design you love, you can

Your descendants shall gather your fruits. ~ Virgil

More Reuse Ideas at

4 Ways to Reuse Denim

© 2010 hsschulte

Questions or Comments About Reusing Denim? - Leave them here!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 02, 2015:

Great ideas. Very crafty and clever ideas to reuse old denim jeans. Voted up!

asereht1970 from Philippines on June 17, 2014:

Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

tcaldy on May 21, 2014:

Great ideas!

williamslaw on April 18, 2014:

Wow these are some great tips. I esp. like the oven mitt one.

mary-kraft-14 on February 25, 2014:

I have been saving my husbands Wranglers for years thinking that someday I would find a way to reuse the material. You can see my denim scarves at my shop markatkrafts on Etsy. They are so awesome, I;m really proud of them.

teelover on February 23, 2014:

Great ideas and tips, thanks for sharing!

r_anand on February 06, 2014:

thanks for sharing such amazing uses of old jeans

Doc_Holliday on December 07, 2013:

Some great ideas here. Thanks for sharing.

Alrady on November 20, 2013:

Was on Pinterest looking for jean recycle ideas and started new board , then did google search and look who I found ------ HSS pinned your awesome squidoo lense. Miss seeing you round - our paths don't cross as much as they used to!

Rose Jones on September 11, 2013:

Absolutely loved this article. I don't do many crafts, but maybe if I did I could justify watching TV! Most of these involve a sewing machine though. Ah, well - maybe I need to get a machine! Anyway - social bookmarked this awesome lens. I donate most of my old denim to Goodwill, but I may keep some. I love giving cash for gifts - the bank would make this classier and it looks like an easy craft. The rugs and quilt would become family heirlooms.

GreenGirlsGuides on July 26, 2013:

Awesome article, I'm hoping to try the organizer soon!

ScentsWithBling on July 19, 2013:

I have a stack of old jeans that will find their way into some of these projects! Great Lens

tammywilliams09 on July 15, 2013:

Thanks. These are really creative and frugal ways to recycle Denim. The potholder and pocket organizers sound fantastic!

socialcx1 on July 06, 2013:

Very clever. My wife use to make similar things from denim in the 1970s. Thanks

LaptopLeader on June 13, 2013:

These ways of reusing denim are super cool! :O Amazing compilation!

Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on May 17, 2013:

I always recycle my old denim, the last project I made was a denim lunch bag.

Mirrie from France on April 23, 2013:

I cut up the kids jeans when the holes are beyond repair and use the good bits to make patchwork place mats - but I have always thrown away the hems - I am definitely going to try the coasters with them next time. Thanks

anonymous on April 08, 2013:

Thanks for the potholder and coaster ideas! We reuse old denim to resharpen razor blades and that really extends the life of them.

anonymous on April 07, 2013:

I've been reusing denim for years and you came up with projects that were new to me. Good job!

TapIn2U on March 25, 2013:

Great ideas! Thanks for the tips! Sundae ;-)

OldCowboy on February 20, 2013:

We are all about recycle and reusing most anything. And now we have some great ideas about how to recycle and reuse my favorite color in jeans, the blue jeans. Awesome page.

anonymous on January 29, 2013:

I made a quilt using denim blocks that my late mother created using machine embroidery. It's a great memory piece.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on January 13, 2013:

Great ideas! The blue jean quilts are so pretty, but so are all these projects!

N Beaulieu on January 11, 2013:

What great ideas! I usually turn my old jeans into rags for dusting but now I can't wait to give some of your craft ideas a try. I really liked the magnets and pillows.

NanAdrisMom on January 03, 2013:

Great crafty lens! I like some of these ideas to try with my girls... what a fun way to recycle!

MatthewDasher on September 20, 2012:

Cool lens! I've got plenty of old jeans I can use for this stuff.

StephenObrion on September 07, 2012:

Nice ideas on this lens... gonna have to try 'em out.

FreddieHanger on August 31, 2012:

Wish I would've seen this before I got rid of some old jeans last week. Oh well, now I know!

sojourner-1 on August 25, 2012:

Super great ideas that make us think about just tossing items away. Great lens.

acreativethinker on August 23, 2012:

This is a great lens with creative and useful ideas. Thanks for sharing. :)

timshyu63 on July 24, 2012:

cool! I loved the book cover

ideashine on July 19, 2012:

Cool!!! Like this a lot..

anonymous on July 03, 2012:

You can use the hems to make dog toys too. Braid three or more together and voila a nice denim rope toy! Sew 2 denim pockets together add stuffing and a squeaker velcro the top and you have a durable dog toy.

hntrssthmpsn on June 30, 2012:

I love the coasters made from denim hems! I've reused my old denim for years, but the hems are often hard to find a use for. Awesome!

robertzimmerman2 on June 13, 2012:

Groovy Stuff, thanks!

PeacefieldFarm LM on June 11, 2012:

I will have to try the organizer. Thanks for all the ideas.

KateHonebrink on May 14, 2012:

Awesome article - love the denim rug and coasters!! Congrats on making the upcycling monsterboard!

anonymous on May 06, 2012:


anonymous on May 06, 2012:

marsha32 on May 04, 2012:

I like that potholder idea......I have some jeans I was going to put out in the yard sale, now I think I will try to see what I can do with them instead.

compugraphd on May 03, 2012:


I think these are great, but I don't have any old jeans ----

Kathryn Wallace from Greenbank, WA, USA on May 03, 2012:

Love the braided rugs and pocket organizers - bravo!

Fushi LM on April 28, 2012:

My friend have lots of jeans which she want to shred away, but i feel this idea from you lens will make her mind change as she is a art lover like you. I will surely send it to her on FB wall

Thanks for this on time : )

enjoyecigs on April 27, 2012:

Awesome lens with awesome ideas!

anonymous on April 25, 2012:

love your denim makeovers!

abloom lm on April 22, 2012:

This is great... My daughter has so many torn up and jeans that don't fit. These are must projects! Thanks!

chiquitasmom9665 on April 21, 2012:

I really liked all the ideas in this denim site it made me want to make a couple of the things i liked for my daughter

ideadesigns on April 21, 2012:

I have to say that I love the denim book covers. I would love to see one on a bible, Always need a pocket for a pen and paper. I saw a handbag that was made from brown denim, thought it was a good reuse. Great lens, love your style. :)

fish-oil-expert on April 21, 2012:

Cool denim rug!

Shedbuilder on April 20, 2012:

Good ideas, I never throw anything out. Guess I'll have to learn how to sew.

Close2Art LM on April 20, 2012:

I've got a couple wore out pants thanks for the ideas!!! Blessed

hippiechicjewelz on April 20, 2012:

What a delightful and fun lens! I love to re-purpose denim, I cut denim into small pieces to use as a buffing cloth for polishing polymer clay beads that I create. It works beautifully and I never run out!

Kerri Bee from Upstate, NY on April 20, 2012:

I've got one of those denim book covers. I also have a keychain that is a small denim pocket (two pockets from kids jeans sewn together). I can keep a couple bucks tucked down into it in case I need it in a pinch. Also, I have some recycled denim pencils. They are made with compressed denim rather than wood.

kerilovesadeal on April 20, 2012:

Seems I'm going to be making a denim organizer! There are a few pairs of jeans around the house with non-functioning zippers and holes that would be difficult to repair. Thanks for the lens.

kerilovesadeal on April 20, 2012:

Seems I'm going to be making a denim organizer! There are a few pairs of jeans around the house with non-functioning zippers and holes that would be difficult to repair. Thanks for the lens.

irenemaria from Sweden on April 20, 2012:

You can buy used jeans on flee market and second hand shops to make stuff!

Angela F from Seattle, WA on April 20, 2012:

Super craft ideas - the denim bank is one I've never seen before. Adding to my Recycling lenses!

MargaretJeffreys on April 20, 2012:

Some great ideas!

MargaretJeffreys on April 20, 2012:

Some great ideas!

tabster2 on April 20, 2012:

this has given me lots of ideas, thank you :)

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on April 20, 2012:

I like the different items you made out of denim. Teens would love this in their room and i would love to have one of those organizers.

jammarti on April 19, 2012:

"High Five" I like your ideas. Very creative! I will definitely try it at home since I've been wondering how to improve my old jeans.

jammarti on April 19, 2012:

"High Five" I like your ideas. Very creative! I will definitely try it at home since I've been wondering how to improve my old jeans.

arcarmi on April 19, 2012:

Unbelievably creative! Thanks!

kindoak on April 19, 2012:

This is cool. My sis used to have a denim bag made of old pants - back in the real 70's. would be awesome to see that fashion come back again

LeslieMirror on April 19, 2012:

All ideas are great, but Refrigerator Pocket Organizers... This is brilliant! I am going to cut my old jeans right now!

anonymous on April 19, 2012:

HI, I've made a lense about making bags out of jeans, you can check it on I hope you like it. I really like your ideas. We shouldn't throw clothes away.

miaponzo on April 18, 2012:

I love your ideas for reusing denim! Thanks! Blessed!

getwellsoon on April 18, 2012:

I really like the woven or braided rug idea!

anonymous on April 18, 2012:

great and very useful many good the wall organizer

alfredLebeau on April 18, 2012:

really cool! but I would not have time too do all that with my old jeans

Harriet from Indiana on April 17, 2012:

I always cut my worn jeans into shorts, but the way they sell jeans now I would be better served to keep wearing them, holes and all.

MelonyVaughan on April 17, 2012:

Wonderful ideas and very attractive. I love the rugs.

JZinoBodyArt on April 17, 2012:

You have no idea how happy I am to have stumbled into this lens! I've got a basket filled with tattered clothes that need repurposing and I was lacking serious inspiration. I was even tempted to throw it all out but I just couldn't bring myself to trash good material. lol! Like my mother says, "But the rest of it's still good!"

livinglargeandh on April 17, 2012:

Great ideas. Thanks.

Nancy Johnson from Mesa, Arizona on April 17, 2012:

Great ideas on this lens. Makes me want to save all our old denim. Years ago I made my teenage son a denim quilt for his bed with blue and black old jeans. He loved it.

dumutu on April 17, 2012:

Thank you for the tips, they all are amazing, you're very creative :)

Great lens.

oiloflife on April 17, 2012:

Thank you for the awesome lens! Very informative I loved it

allenwebstarme on April 16, 2012:

Excellent reuse of Denim jeans. Super like.

linkreggie on April 16, 2012:

great lens and nice tips. Recycle Denim Jeans into an Organizer is really a good idea...

linkreggie on April 16, 2012:

great lens and nice tips. Recycle Denim Jeans into an Organizer is really a good idea...

Gala98 on April 16, 2012:

I have 2 recycled jeans handbags but my sewing machine can't handle too many layers so I cut up the legs & make patchwork fabric out of them, then I make a bag from the patchworked denim :)

Mim Art on April 16, 2012:

I love durable denim - and these are beautiful brilliant ideas. Great lens!!!

Perrin from South Carolina on April 16, 2012:

Love the scatter rugs! Terrific lens.

Perrin from South Carolina on April 16, 2012:

Love the scatter rugs! Terrific lens.

anonymous on April 16, 2012:

Great tips

RachelDillin on April 16, 2012:

I normally donate my denim to a thrift store. However, I am in love with those coasters. I will have to make some soon.

FalconFan LM on April 16, 2012:

Very creative! Love this lens - lots of great ideas!

Genesis Davies from Guatemala on April 16, 2012:

Excellent lens, I love these ideas. When I was a teen, my mom made me a pieced denim quilt from old jeans and I loved it! I want to try the denim rug for my boys' room and the coasters for my kitchen. Cool ideas!

rentinlondon lm on April 16, 2012:

These are fab ideas. I particularly love the bookcovers and coasters. Some of the others require just a little bit too much denim! I'm now going to go through some of my old clothes and see what can be recycled!

rentinlondon lm on April 16, 2012:

These are fab ideas. I particularly love the bookcovers and coasters. Some of the others require just a little bit too much denim! I'm now going to go through some of my old clothes and see what can be recycled!

anonymous on April 15, 2012:

Just blessed this a while back and had to return to congratulate you on front page honors!

anonymous on April 07, 2012:

I used to weave rag rugs from recycled denim. I've also made tote bags from old jeans.

Barbara Radisavljevic from Paso Robles, CA on March 29, 2012:

Those are some neat ideas. i'm afraid I haven't got as far yet as deciding which denim needs to be recycled.

Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on March 25, 2012:

You can take strips and weave them into denim rugs. Looks great and is really sturdy.

anonymous on March 25, 2012:

Lots of great ideas! Jeans work good for insulation too! I love the square jean quilt! The coasters are kind of neat also.

Julia Morais on March 20, 2012:

I used to just cut them up and use them as rags. Now I see there are more things I can do with them.

StaCslns on March 17, 2012:

Now I know what to do with all those old jeans! Great lens!!

anonymous on March 12, 2012:

...very interesting site....

accfuller on February 28, 2012:

Some really cute ideas here!

Related Articles