10+ Upcycling Projects To Give Old Jeans A Second Chance

Is there anything more versatile than denim? It's such a tough fabric that it truly can become anything.

If you have some spare denim laying around, I have great news: the sky is the limit in terms of what you can make.

And yes, there will be one or two "jorts" jokes. You're welcome!

The art on this jacket is all upcycled!

If you click through, you can see that the crystals, planet, and other patches on this amazing jacket are all pieces of denim!

It's denim on denim on denim, but make it fashion.

This company turns denim into gorgeous rugs.

At first glance, did you guess that was denim? I mean, you probably could, because this is a denim article, but if it wasn't... it would have taken a second.

Sugar Cane Trading Co. makes abstract rugs out of fabric scraps, and they are stunning!

This pair of jeans has a whale of a tale.

This toy is absolutely adorable. It's made out of old organic cotton jeans, so it'll be as soft as it is cute!

You could make a whole zoo of animals out of old jeans. I would pay money to see that. Not a lot, but some.

Give them some structure.

Instagram user @madeinlisaland does the craziest, most creative things with upcycled materials, including these amazing trinket dishes. I had no idea I needed denim jute bowls, but... I do. I really do.

Accessorize your pup!

Um, hello, cutest puppy accessories in the world. Wiggly Woos specializes in natural, eco-friendly pet gear, so of course, that means upcycling jeans into collars and leashes. It's as stylish as it is sustainable!

Time to make a belt bag.

So, belt bags (aka fanny packs) are totally in right now. And so is sustainability. Why not combine those two trends and create something that is genuinely cool?

It's really the visible labels that make this hack stylish, so keep that in mind!

Make an ADORABLE pin cushion.

If you find yourself frustrated that your pin cushion isn't made of denim, boy have I got the solution for you.

Using one of the metal rivets as the center? Okay, genius.

When in doubt, add patches.

A lot of patches. With the resurgence of '90s fashion at an all-time high, patches are totally back in. Show off your love of art, brands, or pop culture in abundance by sticking 'em right on your jeans.

This is definitely a grab-bag.

The genius of turning jeans into a bag cannot be overstated. They already come with more pockets than you know what to do with! Sew yours into your next bag, and don't forget the handles.

This backpack is so slouchy and soft looking.

The wrinkled, textured look of this backpack threw me right back to the '90s. It's so effortlessly cool, and the pocket use? That's ingenuity right there.

Just like...try not to get caught in the rain with this bag. Imagine how heavy that would be? No thanks.

It's paint time.

Denim is a great medium for paint! This hand-painted jacket has splashes of bleach to give it some attitude. Why not pull out some acrylic paint and see what you can create on your jeans? Jean art (Jart) — get into it.


You know what you need? Denim bracelets. Why? Because why not?

These bracelets were handmade by @hadbeens on Instagram. She specializes in upcycling denim into just about anything, from these bracelets to pillows!

Decorate in style.

Hello, party decor, how are you today? @emmabuntinguk made this bunting, aka banner, out of leftover denim scraps and labels.

Now all you have to do is figure out what occasion to hang these for.

Of course, there's always the pillow option.

What upcycling project would be complete without a pillow project?

These gorgeous pillow covers are genius, because they don't have too much denim in them. It's just the right amount to seem reclaimed, but not tacky.

Give your musical instruments a new home.

Oh, your mandolin has a regular hard case? That's... neat. But have you considered making it one made out of denim scraps and gingham? Yeah, I bet you didn't. Get into it!

Make a little backpack!

How inventive is this hack? Rather than going for a traditional backpack shape, this clever artist utilized unconventional materials and ideas to make a backpack that truly stands out.

This bag evokes a certain high-end brand.

Is there anything more classic than a Louis Vuitton Speedy tote bag? If you're not into the classic LV print, maybe just sew yourself a denim version. A jeedy, if you will.

Oh this? It's a planner.

A jlanner, if you will. Old jeans got new life as a planner cover, and that pocket placement is absolutely genius. Combine that with a fabric spine in a pretty pattern, and you've got a planner you can be proud of.

Make a playsuit!

Oh hello, cutest effing playsuit I've ever seen. On Instagram, @riapi_ took two pairs of size 60 (that's about an XXL) jeans and turned them into a denim jumpsuit that would fit right in at Coachella.

Make a dress!

How cute is this little dress/jumper? @its_in_thestitch used a combination of denim scraps to make it, including a frankly adorable starry pattern for the straps and back. Perfect for summer, tbh.

Turn old jeans into a planter!

Can you even believe the ingenuity of this upcycle? And the craziest part: it's totally no-sew. Instagram user @pillarboxblue provided a free pattern that you can follow to make your own planter right here!

Make a splash at the Bon Appétit test kitchen.

Sure, you could cook in a regular apron, but where's the fun in that? Save up your old denim and make yourself a apron that's not only stylish, but has just the right amount of pockets.