If you’re like a lot of people, you feel rather attached to your favourite pair of jeans. No matter how faded or torn they become, you still want to have your old jeans in your life. Well, fear not. There are plenty of fun ways to reuse, recycle, and reimagine your old denim jeans. Here are a few of the best.
Always in fashion
Denim jeans are one of those garments that never goes out of style. Oh, the fashion mongers of the day may dictate high-waist or low, cuffed or uncuffed legs, or whether the jeans are stone-washed or natural blue, but generally, jeans can be worn for decades.
A tried-and-true method of reimagining jeans is via patches. First, cut a square of fabric large enough to cover a worn spot on your jeans. Fold over the edges of the patch one-quarter inch and iron the edges flat with a steam iron on the ‘low’ setting. Pin the square onto the jeans and hand-stitch in place. A ‘whip stitch’ is right for applying a patch to denim jeans.
If you have stitchery skills, invest in a rainbow of embroidery flosses and decorate your old jeans to your heart’s content. Go for geometric patterns, or stitch meaningful song lyrics onto your favourite old denim blues. Embroidered jeans make a one-of-a-kind fashion statement that can’t be replicated by anyone else.
Of course, the easiest way to repurpose old jeans is to snip off the legs and turn them into a casual pair of summertime shorts. While you’re wearing them, use chalk to mark the new length. Remove jeans and use sharp scissors to carefully cut at your predetermined mark. Bind the edges with bias tape, or let them fray naturally. If you cut your shorts too short, don’t worry. You can always add a lacy pair of shorts extenders by Lacistreet to add a bit of modesty. Even if your shorts are the perfect length, you can spiff them up for special occasions with fancy coloured lace shorts extenders.
Other ways to recycle old denim
If your old jeans are beyond wearing, but you want to keep them around, reimagine them as something entirely else. From one pair of old jeans, you can make several baby bibs or a couple of pretty pillow covers, notes Wimp magazine. Alternately, you can tear old jeans into narrow strips and weave or crochet them into a cool and casual bathmat or kitchen rug. Upcycle your old shorts into reusable tote bags you can use to carry your sunscreen to the beach or to bring home a bounty of veggies from your local farmers market. If your jeans are finally ready to be tossed, take them to a Levi’s retailer for free recycling, advises Quartz Media.
Wear your jeans until you wear them out, then cut ‘em into shorts and wear them some more. I did this last year with a pair I could not bear to part with! An old pair of jeans can feel like an old friend, and they’re good to keep around.