Advertise with us!

Uses for old jeans

By on December 22, 2011

Outgrown or worn jeans can be used to make something new. Rather than throw them away, create a gift or two for the holidays, or donate them for others to reuse.
Here are a few ideas:



Make a purse from the pockets. This doesn’t have to require sewing. You simply cut the back pocket out (leaving seams intact, so it remains a pocket and forms a mini purse). Next cut out the leg seams. Use safety pins or Velcro to attach the leg seams or use beading or ribbon for the purse handle. For a photo, visit:
One reader, S.W. from Missouri, shares: “I made denim purses to give away as goodie bags for my daughter’s party. Each girl received a personalized purse with a candy bar, hair accessories and a push pencil inside. The girls loved them! I even had other girls at my daughter’s school asking me if they could pay me to make them one.”

Denim book cover:

Made much like a brown-bag textbook cover, this makes a cute gift idea for the student in your life. Don’t forget to glue on the pocket — it’s perfect for holding pencils. For a tutorial visit: You can slip a bit of ribbon underneath the pocket before you glue it and use it as a tie enclosure, too.


Cut off the legs, sew the openings and use the zipper to stuff the pillow. Another reader, Kim from Florida, shares: “You can make a no-sew pillow easily. Use a pair of jeans, two rubber bands, cotton batting and decorative ribbon. Cut one of the legs off the jeans. Cut off the bottom hem of the leg so both ends are frayed. Secure a rubber band tightly about four inches from the end. Stuff the pantleg from the open end, leaving four inches of unfilled space at the top. Put the other rubber band on this end and secure it tight. Cut two lengths of ribbon to the desired length, wrap one ribbon around each rubber band and tie as desired.”

Denim bibs:

Trace the outline of one of your own snap-on bibs onto the jeans. Cut it out, then add a snap or Velcro. For a tutorial, visit:

Clothespin holder:

Take an old pair of blue jeans and cut off the legs. Sew the holes completely shut, leaving the waist open. Cut a canvas belt into two strips. Now, sew the strips like suspenders to the jeans. Hang it on your clothesline using a coathanger. You can also sew the strapping together under the hanger to keep it from falling off. This works well with toddler overalls, too.

Cell phone case:

Use two pockets from a pair of toddler jeans. Leave extra material above one pocket to fasten the top pocket, which will serve as the flap, to the bottom pocket. The pockets can be sewn together or glued using fabric glue. One pocket holds the phone, the other pocket works as a flap to close the case. For a tutorial, visit:

Pocket magnet:

Cut out the pocket from an old pair of jeans, leaving the back intact. Laminate a printed image or photo and hot-glue it to the pocket, or simply use an iron-on patch. Glue a magnet to the back, tuck a small notepad and pen inside the pocket and hang the pocket on your refrigerator. You can also turn the pocket into an ornament by foregoing the magnet and attaching ribbon or copper wire instead.


The “Cotton. From Blue to Green” mail-in program recycles donated jeans into cotton fiber insulation for communities in need. Visit for more information.

photo by jenny_belly


  1. frugalforever

    9/24/2013 at 1:08 am

    I have made coasters and trivets out of old jeans. All you needs is a pair of scissors and fabric glue. Cut all the hems out of your denim jeans. Make sure they are all the same width. Then when you get a lot of them, start rolling them and gluing as you go. You can make them larger for trivets and smaller for coasters.

  2. frugalforever

    9/24/2013 at 1:14 am

    I also make slippers out of the pockets of the jeans. I take Dr. Sholls cushion inserts and use part of the jeans and put the inserts in them. I put fabric glue on the bottom of the front of the inserts the part that will go into the pockets of the jeans. Instant slippers and comfy too!

  3. JTD

    6/6/2014 at 6:43 pm

    Wear ’em till they fall apart… After seeing my $10 jeans selling for $80 used (as in worn down and full of holes!) in one of those yuppie mall stores I’m tempted to never throw ’em out again!
    I’d sooner shred them, wrap the pieces on sticks, and make tiki torches out of ’em!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.