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The Best Upcycling Ideas For Denim Old Jeans Seams

Crafting with old jeans is one of my favourite ways of upcycling fabrics. I repurpose all the bits of worn jeans, even the denim scraps such as the seams and hems.

The knobbly bits on jeans can add interest to the average denim upcycle. These include elements such as waistbands, pockets and seams. I’ve made fabric key fobs from the waistbands before. I used a button and a bit of waistband to make fish eyes for a denim Koinbori (windsock).

I’ve already curated the best ideas for repurposing jeans pockets. This time, I will focus on the often neglected denim scraps from seams, hems, and belt loops.

Denim seams and hems

What Are The Seams on Old Jeans

There are often several places you can cut seams from old jeans. The best for crafting with are the double-stitched raised seams. These are on either the outside or inside of the jeans leg. And include the hems and detailing around the seat of the jean.

For denim crafting purposes, seams include belt loops as they are constructed similarly.

The best way to deconstruct a pair of jeans and remove the seams is to cut them out. Using a pair of scissors, cut as close to the edge of the seam as possible.

With a pair of jeans that has a double stitched seam on the inside leg, a long piece of denim seam can be cut out. The hems provide shorter lengths, and belt loops are even shorter.

Crafting with old jeans seams, belt loops and hems

Belt loops are best removed with either a seam ripper or razor blade.

Denim belt loops

How To Craft With Denim Seams

Denim seams may provide interest to an upcycled jeans craft, but they can be a pain to stitch. I’ve lost count of the number of sewing machine needles I’ve broken trying to stitch through thick seams. And I have a really good Bernina sewing machine.

I use the seams in no-sew jeans upcycles or with minimal stitching. The great thing about the hems, belt loops and seams of jeans is that they are double stitched so they won’t fray.

Fabric glue is a good alternative to the sewing machine for crafting with denim seams. Another good way to craft with seams without sewing is to weave with them.

I’ve even seen denim belt loops rolled up to make denim beads. These beads are then repurposed into denim jewellery.

I will replace twine with good jeans seams to add an extra dimension to some of my upcycle crafts. I’ve used them for indoor recycled hanging planters and denim wall vases.

I used an extra-long denim seam from the inside leg of a pair of jeans to hang some woven denim hearts bunting.

Crafting And Upcycling With Seams From Old Jeans

I would love to make one of those denim seam rugs. I’ve made one out of denim waistbands before, and I think a seam would complement it. However, it may take me a while to collect enough jeans seams as you need a lot for a rug.

For a comprehensive list of denim craft tutorials, check out the A to Z of upcycled denim.

Repurposing old jeans seams

ivana gerhard

Friday 26th of April 2024

fabulous ideas

Claire Armstrong

Monday 29th of April 2024

Thank you, I love thinking of new ways to upcycle denim seams.

Joan Hooper

Saturday 26th of March 2022

Wow! I have just come across this site and Iove it. Can't wait to get started, but there's so much inspiration I don't know which to try first! Thank you for sharing x

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 26th of March 2022

Thank you, that is lovely to hear, I'm glad you like what you find.


Wednesday 23rd of June 2021

I cut the seams and use them as the handle for upcycled denim bags. They are perfect for cross body bags. I also cut a seam the size I would like a bracelet. I put a snap on the ends and sewed beads on and I get lots of complements on it.

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 23rd of June 2021

Those are great ideas too. I like the bracelet idea. I also use the waistbands and seams as straps.

Kirsty Little

Friday 11th of September 2020

Oh WOW! .... I make a lot of things by upcyling/recycling thrown away tents... my main waste product is the seams! NOT ANY MORE!!! amazing ideas all in one place ...Thank you

Claire Armstrong

Friday 11th of September 2020

Thank you, I'm really pleased you have found some inspiring ideas.

Diana Valle

Friday 7th of August 2020

Great ideas. I'll make a christmas wreath. U can also make a coat for a big dog w bigger pieces of denim re legs sew together + decorate. I buy some African style circle skirts + 2 long so I make coats 4 my yellow lab service dog named Scarlotte 65lbs + 4 Bella lab mix rescue from Oklahoma!

(Lynette)Hi, May we see the upcycled dog clothing you make?

Wednesday 5th of July 2023

@Claire Armstrong,

Claire Armstrong

Friday 7th of August 2020

Thank you, a denim dog coat sounds like a great idea.