Ideas for Repurposing Jeans

Get creative with too-big jeans.

Photo: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Before you throw away or donate your too-big, too-small or worn-out jeans, consider the denim's creative possibilities. Repurposing your old jeans is environmentally friendly. You can transform your outdated denim into stylish home decor items and customized accessories, including purses and bangle bracelets.

Denim Bag

A handmade denim bag is the ideal complement to casual outfits. By turning old jeans into a new purse, you'll save the clothing item from the trash while gaining a stylish accessory. Create the bag by sewing one leg of the jeans together and attaching a strap. Personalize the handbag by gluing on flat-backed gems and buttons or by using fabric paint.

Denim Quilt

Create a warm, cozy winter quilt using trash-bound jeans. Throw the handmade quilt over the back of a couch or love seat, fold it at the end of your bed, or give it as a thoughtful holiday or birthday gift. To create the quilt, cut out equal-size squares of denim and sew them together by hand or with a machine. Attach them to a backing to complete the craft. You need more than one pair of jeans; use several pairs in different shades to make the quilt.

Denim Bangle Bracelet

If you're looking for a creative way to update a boring plastic bangle bracelet, look no further than your old jeans. Wear a denim bangle to lend a casual touch to neutral-colored clothing items, such as taupe skirts, brown dresses and tan pants. Make the bangle by cutting a thin strip of denim from your old jeans, apply fabric glue to one side and wrap the fabric around a wide plastic bangle.

Denim Shorts

Before you kiss your favorite ripped or torn jeans good-bye for good, turn them into a pair of stylish shorts. Use fabric scissors to cut the shorts at the desired length and embrace the frayed edges. If the rip is on a back pocket, cover it with an iron-on or sew-on patch.

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