How to Recycle old Jeans

Published: 19th May 2014 08:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th May 2014 08:15 AM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: The web is flooded with countless ideas of reusing and upcycling pairs of old jeans and clothes.

I don’t know why, but every time I decide to cut up an old dress, pangs of sentiment kill me enough to abandon it. I am inspired now though, by a beautiful recycle project my friend Saritha just completed.

It’s a quilt, a coffee table spread, it could work as a floor mat or even pinned up a wall. We used old jeans and an old striped shirts for this.  The quilt is classy, warm and a perfect size for multiple uses.

Things you need

  A pair of scissors. 

  A base cloth of cotton or blended fabric,  quilt pins, needle and threads of about three colours. 

  Two shirts and a pair of jeans.

  You can either hand-stitch the whole thing or even use a sewing machine.


Step 1:

Cut strips of 8 centimeters or 3.1 inches long from the fabric.

Step 2:

Use quilt pins to hold these strips in place over a base cloth.

As for the base cloth, you can use two layers of it, stitch up three sides and insert a foam sheet between the layers before stitching up the fourth side.

This is to give it the cushion feel and thickness.

Give a gap of an inch on each strip towards each of four sides over the base, to enable neat stitching.

Step 3:

Arrange one type of strips horizontal and the other type vertical over these strips, and pin them for the weave.

Step 4:

Next step, is to weave them.

Step 5:

Cut the excess cloth and stitch it up in a way that the excess pieces on the strips are attached below the foam base cloth.

The size of strips we used was 8 centimeters long each, or 3.1 inches, but you could use your discretion depending on how big you want the final piece to turn out. Our place mat or quilt-mat turned out 56 cms by 56 cms or 22 inches by 22 inches, leaving aside the extra inch on each strip that was used to stitch up on the sides.

Step 6:

To give it a better look, draw spirals, squares and diamonds on the jeans part of the mat, and do a running stitch over the designs.

As for the jeans pocket that got left behind in this quilt project, here is what we did with it. We made a pen holder from the scraps. All you need now is a tack or nail to fix it on the wall, or simply stick or hang it from a table top.

Radhika M B, a  former journalist currently lives in New Jersey, USA. She writes, recycles crafts, and runs the craft blog -


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