Frugal Home Decorating with Recycled Jeans

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With our world going green in so many areas, it seems only natural to search for ways to reuse and recycle everything in our homes. One of the things many of us have an abundance of is denim. From denim shirts and jackets, to denim skirts, capris, and jeans, most frugal moms have access to a lot of denim. And there’s no need to trash those old jeans when they become worn or no longer fit. Use them to create budget home decor that will revamp every room in your house at little or no cost, other than time and effort. You’ll not only freshen up your home, you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of going a little greener when you do.

• Cut strips from the legs, hem them all around, and use for curtain tie backs. These look really neat around lace or gingham curtains, in particular, though they’ll go with just about anything.

• Make your own comforter or bedspread. Cut squares or patchwork shapes from the denim and zigzag stitch them together to create a unique spread. Serge the edges, or hem them. Lined or unlined is up to you – this looks great either way.

• Cut squares about 10″ x 10″, hem around all four sides, and hang them on your curtain rod diagonally to create a simple valance.

• Or sew pieces together, any size you have on hand, and create a piece of fabric wide enough to cover your window and long enough to hang down about 10″-12″ for a valance. Hem three sides and stitch a simple casing at the top. Voíla! A new window treatment that’s especially good in a teen’s room.

• Sew (or fabric glue) the pockets onto a large scrap of coordinating fabric to create a pocket organizer for the bathroom or the back of a closet door.

• Cover an old potholder with denim to make a new one. Cut two pieces slightly larger than your existing potholder and sew them, right sides together around three sides. Turn right sides out, insert the old potholder in the pocket (for heat protection), tuck in the unhemmed edge, pin, and topstitch around all sides.

• Make your own placemats from the backside of the jeans and pockets. Find 4-6 similar sized pair of jeans, and cut apart at the legs leaving the pockets and waistband intact on the “seat.” Hem or zigzag stitch the edges for a great summer table decoration.

• Craft some coasters or bottle cozies. There are patterns online for the cozies, coasters don’t even need one. Cut a variety of shapes such as squares, circles, hearts, diamonds, etc. from old jeans. Either sew them as you did for the potholder with a fabric backing, or zigzag stitch the edges and use one-layer thick.

• You can also make pillows from jeans by creating the same type pocket (sewing around three edges with right sides together), turning right sides out, and stuffing with fiberfill or an old pillow form.

• Make a simple magnetic pocket to hold pens and a small notepad. Cut out a flat pocket leaving 1/2″ or more on every side for sewing. Cut another piece of denim the same size. Sew together around three sides (with right sides facing) and turn right side out. Hem the top of the “back” – the piece without the pocket. Attach two long magnet strips to the top and bottom of the pocket and hang on the fridge.

• Use your denim scraps to make a durable, attractive rug that will last for ages. You can either cut shapes and sew them together, then hem around all sides. Or make long strips of fabric and braid them into a rug. Either way, be sure to add non-skid tape to the back so you don’t slide.

• Cover your dining room chairs in denim. This looks wonderful in a country kitchen. You can either use the legs from large jeans by ripping out the innerseam and laying the fabric flat, or you can make squares and sew the pieces together to create a larger piece of fabric.

These are just a few of the many ways you can reuse your old jeans. Get creating and get crafting… everything you make will be truly original!

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