How to Recycle Old Jeans DIY and Make or Save Money


Those Ever So Special Jeans

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to take those jeans that have just been taking up space in your closet and know how to recycle them into something useful, that could save or maybe even make you some money. Well here's a few ideas to get you started and how I did it

If your like me, or so many other men and women I know you probably have at least 3 or 4 pair of jeans that need to be recycled or donated. Why? Well in my case even if I lost the weight I still wouldn’t wear them due to the style, length, worn out, etc. Then when I do lose the weight I’m going to reward myself with some new jeans anyway, (notice I said when). My closet has the “I’ll get back into them someday” or the “They’ll be great for working outside around the horses in the winter”. Hello, I live in central Florida where even if it does get that cold when I’m outside working, I’m in comfortable Capri jeans, or sweats (which is really rare).
Then of course there is my favorite couple of pair that I bought because I just needed to lose another 5 -10 lbs to get into, (more like15-20 but 5-10 sounded better at time). Hmmm imagine that, they still have the tags on them and that was last year, oooops. Hey I’m working on it, slow and steady wins the race right. OK if I went any slower I’d be going backwards

So I was working on another project and came up with a few ideas. I’ve added a few pictures (with my phone so probably not the best quality) and explanations as to how I did it along the way. If you want to get more detailed with some of them, or change it up a little, please go right ahead. I am not even close to being an adequate sewer so for all you experts, cut me a little slack please. The whole idea is to be able to make something useful out of them and other things so if I can save 20 or 40 bucks I’m game. .Hey if I was a better sewer I might even be able to sell a couple things.

photo #5
photo #5
photo #6
photo #6
photo #7
photo #7
photo # 8
photo # 8

Project #1 Beach Bag, Tool Bag, Pet/Horse Grooming Bag, Purse

The things I used for this project are

  1. pair of jeans,
  2. empty water bottle cardboard container and empty water bottles depending on what your making
  3. pins and scissors and Velcro
  4. an old belt for a strap (but you can use the jean material to make a strap, rope, etc)

Step by Step

  1. Cut the legs of the jeans off at the crotch. Cut through the crotch so that the entire bottom portion is open like a skirt. If your going to use this for a craft bag, tool or grooming bag and put the cardboard inside allowing you to fill empty water bottles with beads and other articles you need to make sure the jeans are large enough to fit around the bottom as shown in picture #3. This rarely is an issue unless you are using a child's pair of jeans or have to big of a piece of cardboard. I buy the 20 oz bottles at Wal Mart and you will be amazed at the things you can use them for when empty along with the cardboard.
  2. Take one of the legs and measure about 2 inches past the length of the cardboard and cut it off there. Then cut to the side of the seam allowing it to open up and place it on top of the cardboard giving yourself about an inch over on each side and trim. It should be somewhat similar to pic #2.
  3. Pin the piece you just cut (or if your a great sewer just sew it to the top piece) to the top piece making sure both sides are inside out and match pretty close as shown in i # 4. This does not have to be perfect so if your not a great sewer (like me) don't get all out of sorts it will work. If it seems to be way to much material you may need to cut a little more, but a little is ok because you can make a little fold when your sewing them together.
  4. Sew the two pieces together and remove the pins. It should look close to pic #5
  5. If your making a purse or beach bag other than picking out a strap Your Done. You can use an old belt as I did in pic#8 or you can use rope, cut a 4" piece of material from the leg, turn it inside out, sew and make a strap, etc.
  6. If your making a craft bag put the cardboard in and Velcro (little pieces) the bottles to the sides (pic 6 & 7). You may need to cut the tops off of some for scissors and larger items or just leave the middle empty. If it is going to be a grooming or tool bag cut the tops of the bottles off where it starts getting bigger again which will allow for combs, brushes, hoof picks, screwdrivers, etc. to fit in and Velcro some to both ends leaving the middle open for larger items. Don't forget you can use the pockets to put things in also like keys or phones, tools, brushes, and even attach some things to the belt loop.

So now you can make your own beach bags, purses, grooming bags for the horses or dogs, or both, tool bag, craft bag, OK you get the idea. You can get as detailed as you want with these with studs, embroidery, press ons, etc. You can even personalize some to give as gifts. Then if you want to make more you can sell some and make some extra money.

I can't tell you the money I will save by not having to buy all these and best of all the convenience of having all of it organized in one spot. This would also be something great for the kids where they can really get creative.

So what are you waiting on, get busy. Once you start fair warning it gets a little addicting.

Project Number # 2 A Jean Dog Bed With Pillows

This is extremely simple even for those of us who aren't the best with a sewing machine, but due to the length of this hub and some problems loading it I am going to post it on another hub

I apologize for taking so long for the link but as you can see in the picture below the bed I had some early visitors that needed a lot of attention. So just click on a jean dog/cat/pet bed and away you go.

If you have any comments or suggestions please let me know.

Have an incredible day and happy projecting!

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Comments 15 comments

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marellen 5 years ago

Love your ideas and I just might make a beach bag with an old pair of jeans I have. Like you said we all have extra and I'm a jeans kind of gal...great and voted always...:)

Charlu profile image

Charlu 5 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks Mary I gotta tell you once I got started (after fixing my machine) I was getting all kinds of ideas. Thanks for stopping by and your comments/vote. Talk to you soon and take care

silverlungs profile image

silverlungs 5 years ago

Absolutely brilliant idea, loved this hub!

Charlu profile image

Charlu 5 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks Silver As I was doing it I started coming up with more ideas which honestly was more fun than work. Thanks for stopping by and your great comments.

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Oh Charlu this is a great hub and I love the pups in the picture, Awww !!

I am bookmarking this one into my most useful hubs,so that I can refer back to it esily when I need inspiration to do a little recycling. So please keep them coming and I also vote up all the way, take care,


Charlu profile image

Charlu 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Eiddwen Thanks for dropping by and your wonderful comments. The pups are awesome even though they are a little time consuming but I love them all. They are growing so fast it's unbelievable. Thanks again for your time, comments, bookmark and vote. Talk to you soon

danfresnourban profile image

danfresnourban 5 years ago from Fresno, CA

Thank you for sharing these ideas for jeans. We all have a bunch of jeans that we no longer wear. You have given us a couple of ideas for putting them to good use.

Charlu profile image

Charlu 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Dan I try to reinvent the wheel sometimes with all kinds of quirky and interesting results. I'm glad the idea came in handy. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave your kind comment Take Care of you and yours

moonlake profile image

moonlake 5 years ago from America

My favorite is a jean purse. I have an old barn coat made from demin and I couldn't wear anymore. I stuffed it and turned it into a dog bed. I just unbutton it, take out stuffing to wash it.

Enjoyed your hub.

FionaBaron profile image

FionaBaron 5 years ago

Nice hub. Another use for recycling jeans is home insualation. The insulation we used in our attic and in our walls was recycled denim. It was great because it wasn't toxic like fiberglass insulation. I don't remember the brand we used, but it is definitely something to investigate. We were able to install it ourselves and was easy to do. We've been very happy with our recycled denim insulation and would certainly recommend it.

Charlu profile image

Charlu 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Moonlake I love the purses also and what a great idea with the coat. I'm going to have to try the coat idea especially because it would be big enough for my hounds :))

FionaBaron that is an awesome idea that I've never even heard of and what a great alternative to fiberglass Definitely one to store in the think tank for future projects

Thank both of you so much for your time and great ideas. I apologize for the delay in my thanks but had a little situation that kept me away way to long, (only a little over a week but way to long for me to be away from HP) Have an incredible day and thanks again

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Charlu,

Loved the finished picture of the purse / beach bag and that dog bed with the puppies...just so cute! I also have clothes that are kept for the "when I get back into them" scenario. By the time that happens they will be vintage and right back in style! Haha! Like your idea of using things in other ways. Voted useful and interesting and up. Thanks!

Charlu profile image

Charlu 4 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks Peggy I love trying to figure out another use for things that, let's just say don't fit anymore. Thanks again for your wonderful comment and vote. Take Care

Qmarpat profile image

Qmarpat 4 years ago from Northern,California

I really like the jean bag! Good ideas.

Charlu profile image

Charlu 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Qmarpat The bags are great because they're so easy and can be used for everything from tool, shoe, overnight, beach, or any other type of bag. Thanks for your time and wonderful comment, and have an incredible day.

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