Got a whole bunch of jeans you don’t wear anymore? Get ready to wear them again because I am going to show you fifteen ways to either upcycle or alter your jeans so that they go back to being your closet favorites. There’s really no need to get rid of old denim when you can turn it into something fabulous! Watch the tutorial below to learn how to make your forgotten pair of jeans into one of your most worn pieces.
15 Amazing Ways to Upcycle Jeans
Tools and Materials:
- Fabric scissors
- Sewing machine
- Seam ripper
- Needle and thread
Let’s kick this off with an absolute favorite of mine. Adding jeans to a chambray shirt to create this upcycled jumpsuit. I started by cutting off the waistband of my jeans.
I then sewed my jeans onto a chambray shirt leaving out a shirt flap on the one side in the front.
I left one side of the flaps from my shirt out because I love the illusion that this fashion statement outfit is a two-piece. On the other side, I put in a drawstring which lets everyone know this is an amazing jumpsuit.
This alteration is for all of the girls who never find a pair of jeans that fit properly around the waist. I created two incisions in the inner waistband.
I then used a safety pin to pull the elastic through the incisions.
Once the elastic was through I sewed up my incisions and voilà, no more gap at the back of my jeans.
If your jeans feel too short there are a couple of cool ways to make them longer.
I started by taking the leg pieces of a pair of jeans that I had previously cut to make into shorts and added them to the bottom of my jeans.
A great tip is to cut the jeans and legs at an angle and then sew them together to get a really cool contrast. I love this look! You would never know this was an upcycled pair of jeans.
Speaking of contrast, why not turn the bottom pieces inside out to create a gorgeous denim on denim look?
This is now one of my absolute favorite pairs of jeans, and they are so easy to make!
When it comes to making jeans skinnier you could always just turn them inside out and take in the seam, but why not make things a bit more interesting and add some style while you’re at it? I started by removing the back pockets and made an exposed seam right down the back of each leg.
I finished this look by adding the pockets back on. I threw the jeans in the wash and those awesome frays came naturally.
Another great way to skinny your jeans is by adding two seams up the front. This method works well with a heavier, vintage denim.
I used a seam ripper and pulled the strings to create a really nice, deep fray at the front.
The fray on this pair does take a little extra patience but it’s totally worth it!
If you have a couple of pairs of jeans that are just too big on you, you should take the front of one pair of jeans and the back of another pair and sew them together to create a stunning two-toned pair of jeans.
For a different two-toned look, I took one side of a pair of jeans and added them to the other side of a different pair.
I love these two-toned jeans! It’s such a clever way to upcycle old pairs of jeans into a glamorous new pair.
A great way to upcycle jeans that are too small is to use two small pairs to create a new fabulous one. In this step, I cut the outsides off of one pair of jeans.
I then took a different pair of jeans and cut the insides, removing the crotch area.
I put the two pairs on inside out and pinned them so that I’d have the perfect fit for sewing.
You can easily make this into a skinny pair of jeans, but I decided to add some extra triangle pieces from a third pair of jeans to give my new pair a bit more flair.
I am obsessed with these two-toned, wide-leg jeans. There is just so much you can do with extra denim lying around.
If your jeans are feeling a little too tight, why not add a little something from your favorite pair of track pants?
I cut the seam off one of my favorite pairs of track pants
Once I had the seams, I cut the jeans down the side and sewed in the seams from my track pants. This new pair will have some extra room and added comfort!
I love this retro upcycle look!
If you love mixing your jeans and track pants, then make another pair, and this time keep the pockets and the logo for an added bonus.
Once I had sewn in the seams and pockets, I created a ripped effect in the jeans to show off the logo of the track pants.
These classic Adidas stripes made for an iconic upcycle. I love this upcycle because it really gives you the best of both worlds!
If you are feeling extra adventurous try adding in the sides of a flowy skirt to an old pair of jeans.
You’ll be left with all the movement and glam a girl could ever need!
Once you’re done with these different denim projects, you’ll most definitely have scraps left over. I love using these scraps to create different patches, which can then be added to jackets to give them an amazing denim finish.
I love that nothing goes to waste when you’re upcycling jeans. A little denim here and there can always become something awesome.
This is my ultimate upcycle. I removed the flat fell seams off of twenty pairs of jeans.
I put them all together to create this amazing denim top!
I love that there are so many different ways to upcycle old jeans! Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
- Fabric scissors
- Sewing machine
- Seam ripper
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Sue Robertson-Gates on Mar 10, 2021
WOW ! You are truly creative ....and have amazing unique fashion sense.
Penny Cavve on Mar 11, 2021
These styles will never be hanging in Macy's or J C Penney's. You made quite a few cute pairs of jeans, to hang out in and make others envy your creative sewing. Nice ability to use your old jeans, parts are parts!