Today we have here my very first Etsy customer – Sara @ Made by Sara: go and add her to your blogroll, if you don’t already have done it!

She’s a super nice Portuguese mom and she writes about her sewing journey and mommyhood: here’s your chance to learn her native language, since she writes a bilingual blog!

Today she’s sharing a huge collection of tutorials and ideas for

Repurposing old jeans

Hi! I am Sara and I blog over Made by Sara.

I am a mom to three kids under six and I love all things handmade.

I am so excited to be here at Serger Pepper today to give you the ultimate idea and tutorial list for repurposing old jeans!

These are my kids and their overworn and outgrown (above the ankle) old jeans.

Did you know that denim was born in Italy? (How fun is that, Irene? 🙂 ) Denim was originally worn by Italian sailors from Genoa in the 1500s and was known as the “blue de Genes”. Nimes (in France) tried to replicate the fabric but failed. Their product was called “de Nimes”. Hence the English words Blue Jeans and Denim!

In the late 1800’s, during the gold rush in the USA, Levi Strauss brought denim to the United States. The pants quickly became popular because of their durability and are worn ever since throughout the world. (Source:

I came up with this blog post while I was looking to this big pile of old jeans from the five of us and wondering what to do with them… Some were outgrown and some are just too damaged or tear in a certain part… I have kept them for about one year now – I can’t just throw them away, right? – but the time has come to actually make something out of them (DH keeps complaining about all the stuff I keep to make something “one day”… :)).

I think I have reused denim clothing only once – I have turned a baby’s jeans dungarees into a girls size 5 skirt – but I can’t wait to make more refashioning and to make something out of all those denim scraps/ leftovers.

This post is not mainly about refashioning – turning a garment into another garment. If you are looking for some inspiration on women clothes, there are already a lot all around fashion & DIY blogs. If you are like me – sewing mostly for kids – then you may want to have a look at these amazing ideas of refashioning kids clothes from do Guincho, Kid Approved and Things for Boys.

Before we go any further, we need to learn how to make the most out of a pair of jeans, right? Here you have two tutorials on how to cut old jeans the best way!

Reuse jeans with no waste 

How to make flat denim fabric

If you need some great tips and tricks on how to sew with denim, you have to (I mean, you really really have to!) take a look into this Serger Pepper’s post on “Sewing Denim like a Pro!

Do you prefer sewing with vintage sheets? Check this out:
Serger Pepper - 50 things to know about repurposing old vintage bed sheets

And now, here it is a big list of links for ideas and tutorials for repurposing and recycling denim!

You can find the links below!


Shorts bag

Knitting needle case

Drawstring bag

Water bottle bag

Denim backpack (video)

Tote bag (video)

Lunch bag (video)


Jewelry and brooches

Denim flower necklace

Denim flower DIY

Rose brooch



For babies and kids

Soft book

Kids aprons


Toy storage

Pencil roll

Playing cubes

Denim roads

Baby bibs

Whale softie

For the kitchen

Oven mitt

Pot holder

Pocket pot holder



Two quilt ideas

Modern denim quilt

Picnic blanket


Baskets and Organizers

Coil basket


Magazine basket

Quick & easy small baskets (video)


Crocheted rag rug

Braided rug

Floor mat (video)

Pillows and cushions

Circle pillow



Frayed edge pieced 

Other fun ideas you can make: hats, slippers, phone sleeves, iPad cases, placemats, table runners, Christmas ornaments, floor cushions, wall art…

This is half of my pile of old jeans…

Hopefully these tutorials will inspire you to create new ideas and projects!

If that is the case make sure to come back and link it up in the comments, will you? We would love to see it and even include it in a future denim repurposing roundup!


… thanks for being here, Sara<3

And, after all those sewing denim… better clean your serger and sewing machines!

1. Serger Pepper - Clean your serger - pinnable title