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Easy Decorative DIY Denim Pot Holders From Your Old Jeans

With a sewing machine and a sprinkle of creativity, I transformed some old denim scraps into stylish and functional denim pot holders, perfect for the festive season.

These DIY denim pot holders capture the essence of jeans upcycling and protect your hands against the hottest pots. The layers of insulation, achieved by sandwiching wadding between two denim pieces, ensure you’re shielded from heat, all while adding a chic touch to your kitchen.

One of the standout features of these pot holders is the reverse applique decorative touch. With this added festive twist, they make a fun gift for friends and family or a unique Christmas craft to make and sell.

Remember, the charm of repurposed denim lies in its worn-out look, shades of blue, and texture. It adds a rustic yet chic feel to any item you create. It’s a great way to repurpose your old, worn-out favourite pair of jeans.

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Materials Needed

  • Old Jeans: The heart of our project. The more worn and loved, the better!
  • Wadding: To give our potholders the insulation they need. Use 1-2 oz wadding.
  • Decorative Scrap Fabric: The more colourful, the better. Think festive or any fun patterns you have lying around.
  • Christmas Cookie Cutter: This is for our applique. Of course, feel free to use any shape that tickles your fancy. If you don’t have any Christmas cookie cutters, you can draw around the shapes I’ve provided in the template below.
  • Fabric Mod Podge
  • Sewing Essentials: This includes thread, needles, scissors, and your trusty sewing machine.
What you need to make decorative denim pot holders

How To Make A Denim Pot Holder

Step 1: Denim Selection: Dive into your denim stash and cut two equally sized squares. These will serve as the front piece and back piece of your potholder. The squares should be about 15cm (6 inches).

You will also need to unpick a belt loop from the jeans waistband to use as a hanging loop.

Denim squares and belt loop

Reverse Applique Magic

Step 2: Place your chosen cookie cutter shape on the ‘wrong side’ of the top denim square and trace around it. Simple shapes work best; the festive ones I used were a bauble, a Christmas tree and angel wings.

Christmas cookie cutter templates for reverse denim applique

Hearts are also an excellent shape; check out these popular denim heart pockets to see how reverse applique works so well with a heart shape.

Drawing around the cookie cutter shape

Step 3: Dab some fabric glue along the drawn outline to stop the denim from fraying when you cut it.

Dabbing glue around Christmas outline shape on denim

Step 4: Using small, sharp, pointy scissors, carefully cut out the shape. This will create a charming decorative hole.

Cutting out the Christmas shape from the denim square

Step 5: Underneath the cutout, on the ‘wrong side’ of your denim, position and pin in place a piece of your decorative scrap fabric. This will peek through your cutout, adding a vibrant pop! Then, using colourful embroidery thread, secure the material to the denim using a decorative blanket stitch.

reverse applique on denim

Making the Denim Pot Holder

Step 6: Cut a square piece of wadding the same size as the denim squares.

denim wadding before sewing

Step 7: Place the two denim squares ‘right sides’ together. Then, place the wadding square on the top and pin all three layers together.

Layer sewing sandwich for DIY denim pot holder

Step 8: Using a sewing machine, sew all the squares around the edge with a 5mm seam allowance. Leave a small gap at the top of about 2 inches.

Cut away the excess fabric at the corners, then turn the denim potholder right side out.

Cutting corners

Step 9: Stitch the hole shut by hand, adding the hanging belt loop.

DIY angel wing denim pot holders

The Finished Pot Holders

These denim pot holders are great for handling hot dishes in the kitchen and double up as a festive decoration when hanging up.

decorative DIY denim pot holders for Christmas

You can create a matching set for a more comprehensive kitchen look or gift bundle. For an added personal touch, embroider initials or embellishments to make it an extra special gift.

Or try out these other slight variations.

  1. Use the back pocket of the jeans as the front of the pot holder. This adds a unique design element: a functional hand slot or pocket for recipe cards.
  2. Make the pot holder larger as a trivet for hot dishes.
  3. Don’t add the wadding, and make the squares into coasters or placemats.
  4. Instead of squares, cut the denim into shapes like circles, hearts, or even mittens for a fun twist.
diy denim pot holders

Check out all these other unique ideas for upcycling denim for Christmas and these other Christmas sewing projects.

The same templates were used for these Christmas Applique denim pockets.

DIY denim Christmas pot holders pin

Other Uses for Repurposed Denim in the Kitchen

Using old denim in the kitchen is smart and stylish. It’s tough and looks great. Plus, it’s a great way to recycle and turn old jeans into helpful kitchen items. Just check out these fabulous ideas!

  1. Denim Table Runners: Use long strips of denim, perhaps with fringed or stitched edges, as a unique table runner. Like this stencilled denim table runner.
  2. Denim Placemats: Combine different shades of denim to create quilted patchwork placemats. Or, for a non-sew denim version, make coiled seams placements.
  3. Denim Apron: Craft a chic apron using larger sections of jeans. Pockets are handy for holding utensils or recipe cards.
  4. Denim Napkin Rings: Roll strips of denim into rings, securing with a stitch or decorative button. Or make decorative denim flower napkin holders.
  5. Denim Coasters: Use the seams and hems of old jeans to make woven denim coasters. Or make hexagon patchwork mug rugs.
  6. Denim Wall Organizer: Use the pockets of your jeans to create a wall organizer. Or paint denim pockets and hang them for easy storage with timeless appeal. Great for holding kitchen utensils, mail, or even plants.
  7. Denim Wine Bag: Craft a wine bag from a jeans leg, adding a drawstring or handle at the top.
  8. Denim Plant Holders: Stitch together strips of denim to create a hanging indoor herb garden.
  9. Denim Bowl: Use strips of old jeans to make a no-sew paper mache-style denim fruit bowl.
  10. Denim Door Mat: Make a no-sew denim rug for your kitchen door.

Another fun thing to make for the kitchen is this denim snake plant; it will last forever!

Upcycled denim kitchen ideas

Donna via Funky Junk

Friday 3rd of November 2023

Ohhh these denim pot holders have all those cozy upcycled jean vibes in the best of ways! Love the added designs!

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 4th of November 2023

Thank you, they are a fun addition to the kitchen at Christmas.


Thursday 2nd of November 2023

These are adorable! What a great way to reuse denim. I'm happy to tell you I'll be featuring this post today, at Thursday Favorite Things. :)

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 2nd of November 2023

That's awesome thank you so much.


Sunday 29th of October 2023

The denim guru strikes again :D Love these post holders with the added festive touch.

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 29th of October 2023

Thank you, I just love to upcycle my old jeans.


Saturday 28th of October 2023

Such a versatile idea; lovely as pot holders, coasters etc but you could size them up and make cushion covers or table mats maybe. Looks like a lot of fun.

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 29th of October 2023

Thank you, yeah I like the idea of cushion covers!


Thursday 26th of October 2023

Love this scrappy project.

Claire Armstrong

Friday 27th of October 2023

Thank you, it was fun to make.