Recycling Jeans: Things to do with Denim when it’s Dead


I love my blue jeans. They’re a pain to find and when I do, I pay top dollar for something that fits and isn’t too fashionable. I then wear them till they’re holding on by mere threads. I do get good use out of my jeans, but the price I end up paying after a long hard search always comes to mind as I watch them fade away into tatters. I’d love to donate them when they’re gone, but when I can’t wear them, no one really can. Instead, I save my poor un-wearables, folded up on a shelf, until the right project comes along to recycle them. Here are some of the ways that you can use your old denim instead of throwing it out:

1. Make them into shorts. A good less


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14 Responses to Recycling Jeans: Things to do with Denim when it’s Dead

  1. Amber says:

    a while ago I either read online or in a news paper. Anyhow jeans can be turned into a skirt. Just cut before, but I found this on another website:Open up the inseam, then open the front center seam starting 1″ below the zipper. Now, the back seam start opening 6″ below the waist.

    Back to the front: Overlap the front right over the left side. Adjust for shape. Sew a wedge shaped panel to fill in the hole. Same for back.

  2. Trent Hamm says:

    I just use a “downgrading cycle” for my jeans. They go from public casual wear down to around the house wear and further down to garden/yard work wear and from there into “rags under me while changing oil” use.

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  4. April says:

    Have you ever seen a denim quilt made with old jeans? Or a denim rag quilt? I made one for my nephew for Christmas last year. I cut old jeans into different sized squares and sewed wrong sides together to form a hem that I then cut in small increments. After washing and drying, the hem was frayed into soft pieces. It looks great and it’s a pretty substantial quilt. It also has all sorts of cool pockets in it and I added some sports patches here and there. I’d kind of like one for myself now!

  5. Pat says:

    I made a denim floor cloth for my deck out of old jeans from my children. Just sewed patches together like you would for a quilt and then turned the outside edges under and sewed. Then coated it with 3 coats of polyacrylic on both sides. Waterproof rug for the deck!

  6. Jim says:

    Denim is being touted as a “green” alternative to fiberglass insulation. I’m sure we will all be hearing more about this in the future. They shred and weave it into batts similar to fiberglass insulation. It doesn’t have the potential health concerns of fiberglass. They didn’t mention the fireloading issue.

  7. MES says:

    If you’re crafty, you can make potholders using a pocket and a patch from the leg. I’ve done this a few times and they turn out really nice and sturdy.

  8. silver fox says:

    My idea is similar to Trent’s. I mend and patch older jeans, and wear them for gardening. There’s not much left of them after that, and they become mechanic’s rags. Then they end up in the woodstove, since our recycling program doesn’t accept cloth items.

  9. Kristen says:

    I’ve made several pairs of pants into skirts recently…it was a lot of fun and not hard to do. Simplicity’s website has easy directions.

  10. allie says:

    i think the best way to recycle your old jeans is to give them away to charity. I think making them into pointless around the house items that you’ll never use is a waste. Put your jeans to good use. I give mine and my kid’s jeans and other clothes to Purple Heart.

  11. joan sautter says:

    Can you please update this info as to where and when I can donate used jeans NOW in the San Francisco, CA Bay Area? I am particularly interested in the use of jeans for insulation in homes and would like some leads on where to donate the used jeans I’ve been collecting for a while. Of course, other uses would be fine as long as they involve recycled jeans. Thanks!

  12. kaitlyn says:

    my student council activity is recyling jeans and we wanted to know more information about using jeans in an environmental way?

  13. yoda says:

    I love blue jeans! I am venturing into making yarn! Do any one know of a how to website or any good idea’s on this subject?

    email me too!

  14. yoda says:

    opps! making yarn out of blue jeans”Denium”

    thanks again

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