Don’t Be So Blue: Here Are 8 Ways To Repurpose Denim

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Once you find that perfect pair of blue jeans, you don’t ever want to give them up. But styles change, waistlines fluctuate and sometimes that piece of denim that you’ve broken in oh-so-nicely has to be retired from your wardrobe.

Don’t be blue, though.

Denim should never be thrown in trash, no matter how ragged it might look, because there are so many uses for an old pair of blue jeans. So if you’re not donating that pair of jeans to the thrift store for someone else to love, consider these crafty ideas to repurpose denim.

Those back pockets found on blue jeans are an iconic symbol of the relaxed, casual style of denim. Why not repurpose the pockets to create a fun and carefree project around the home? With this blue jeans placemat tutorial from Today’s Nest, the back pocket becomes a brilliant place to tuck silverware and a napkin for an easy table setting.

Or, use denim pockets in a completely different way while entertaining with this denim pot holder and oven mitts tutorial putting those pockets to ingenious use!

upcycled denim magnet

Image courtesy of Simply Simple Stamping.

Use that back pocket to create a refrigerator magnet ideal for stashing a pen and some note paper. Or glue it to the front of a journal or binder (wrapped in old denim, of course) for a cute decoration that is also functional, too.

Jeans back pockets only enhance the look of recycled denim purses, too, when the top half of a pair of blue jeans are cut and sewn together to create a decorative tote. You determine the size and style (there are a myriad of variations found online) for a highly personalized fashion accessory.

Deconstruct a really rugged pair of denim into a tool bucket caddy perfect for gardening or home repair jobs. It adds a bit of whimsy and style to when you’re sweating away working on projects at home!

Bits of denim scraps, whether from other blue jeans craft projects or salvaged from a really worn out pair of jeans, can be used just like any other fabric for DIY projects. Strips of denim can be attached to a wreath form for casual decor in an entryway. Squares of denim can be used instead of specialty fabrics to create a unique quilt or a pillow.

Or perhaps you’d like to craft a flower out of your favorite pair of blue jeans, for use as a hair accessory, brooch pin or in a variety of home decor ideas? All it takes is a little bit of denim and these instructions. Long strips of denim can even be used to create a floor mat, or crocheted to make a floor rug.

Of course, if you’re not into DIY but want to save old blue jeans from the landfill, donate the denim to create home insulation. Yes, denim is one of the best eco-friendly insulation ingredients. Organizations such as Blue Jeans Go Green accept denim donations and in turn create insulation for Habitat for Humanity homes.

Looking to recycle other clothing? Check out our clothing recycle guide.

Feature image courtesy of liz west

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Kimberly Button

Kimberly Button is the author of The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home and the Editor-in-Chief of GetGreenBeWell , featuring modern, sane ideas for living a non-toxic life. A professional journalist for nearly two decades, Button has written for magazines such as Martha Stewart's Whole Living, American Airlines, AAA, Sierra, National Geographic Traveler, and Vegetarian Times. Visit KimButton.com for more information.

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