I might love denim a bit more than the average person. But what's not to love? It’s sustainable *and* fashionable. About a year ago, I had way too much denim in my closet. And it was hard for me to donate my denim pieces because I knew I had a use for them...well, I didn’t have a use for them at the time. But after a bit of research, I found a few ways to make my old pieces new again.
There’s something extremely rewarding about wearing something that you’ve made. I love to sew, especially using fabrics that I already have. Denim is one of my favorite materials to sew with because it’s sustainable and inexpensive. I find most of my denim at thrift stores and flea markets because the jeans that I find there are not only cheaper but better quality than the ones in fast fashion stores.
Most of the ideas in this list require a bit of sewing; whether that be by hand or sewing machine. I personally find it easier to use a sewing machine when making denim pieces, because the stitch is a bit sturdier. But if you’re gifted in the realm of DIY (I am not), you might be able to do a few of these with a hot glue gun.
Tired of your old jeans? Cut them into a skirt. Denim skirts are everywhere right now, but it’s hard to find one that fits *and* is in my budget. After cutting your jeans, save the bottom half! They can be used for one of the options below.
(rachspeed on Youtube has an easy to follow tutorial on Youtube)
A Drawstring Bag
I recently made one of these, and I use it all the time! I use mine for the gym, but these are great for any activity. KaliKraft has a great tutorial for a mini drawstring bag, but her instructions work for any size
I’m a big fan of mini purses, even though they don’t hold that much inside. However, I find it hard to pay over $40 for a purse that can’t hold my wallet and phone at the same time. When it’s the price of a pair of thrifted jeans? That’s a deal I can get behind! Ruchi Gharia is an amazing DIY artist, and she has a tutorial using just a cardboard box and less than a yard of denim.
An Overall Dress
I have a *huge* obsession with overall dresses. I love outfits that don't require a lot of planning, but still look like I put effort into my look for the day. And they look great with sneakers, which is always a plus. I would recommend using a larger pair of jeans for this one, just to ensure that you’ll have enough room.
(Check out Desi Chic on Youtube’s tutorial for this one!)
A Tote Bag
I usually bring reusable bags with me to the grocery store, but I wasn’t too fond of the idea of bringing my bulky, recycled-plastic grocery bags along with me on my shopping trips. Recently I made a tote bag from an old pair of jeans, and I carry it with me everywhere! It holds so much, and it's a cute addition to any outfit. (DIY Crafts TV on Youtube has a great, easy tutorial for this one)
This one’s probably the easiest on the list. It’s hard for me to find jeans that are long enough to fit me, and so I usually just roll them up and call them “ankle jeans”. But When I don’t feel like doing this, I cut them into shorts! Before doing this, I suggest trying the jeans on and marking exactly where you want to cut them. (Tip: if you’re looking for the distressed look, leave a bit of extra space when you cut!)
Textile waste is a huge contribution to our landfills. There’s so many ways to combat this issue(check out this post for more info), and upcycling is a great option. A major part of the fight to save our planet is stopping the practices that are hurting it. By upcycling, we’re extending the life of our clothes and not contributing to the landfills
We all have those clothing items that we don’t wear that much, but just don’t want to give away yet. Upcycling is a great way to revamp your clothing, making it into something beautiful and new again.