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How To Make Patchwork Denim Fabric Bowls

This is a tutorial on how to make upcycled patchwork denim fabric bowls out of your old jeans. Best of all, it doesn’t require any sewing.

I don’t know if you have noticed but patchwork denim is on-trend at the moment. The trend is universal from high-end fashion brands such as Prada and Gucci, to high street clothes shops. The popularity of denim patchwork at the moment gave me the inspiration to make these denim bowls.

I’ve been a big fan of denim patchwork in the home for years. Jeans come in so many lovely shades and tones of indigo. One of the best ways to show the shades off is with patchwork. I’ve made patchwork denim rugs, patchwork chairs, and even quilted stars to name a few.

denim off cuts

Paper Mache Denim Patchwork

In the past, I have made many Paper Mache bowls and wondered if I could use the same technique to make a Paper Mache type fabric bowl.

I experimented by making a small patchwork denim bowl. This turned out so well it gave me the confidence to go large and make a big patchwork denim bowl. The technique worked really well. The bowls are surprisingly sturdy.

There was No sewing involved with this old jeans upcycle. The bowls were really easy to make. And very affordable as the material used was denim scraps.

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What You Need To Make No-Sew Fabric Bowls

  • Denim scraps, if you can use the denim from three different pairs of jeans in different shades of indigo, all the better. Thinner softer well-worn denim scraps work better than stiff thicker pieces of denim. You will also need a denim waistband from a pair of jeans.
  • Bowl to use as a mould – the size of the bowl will determine the finished size of your fabric bowls.
  • Clingfilm (plastic wrap)
  • Mod Podge – I recommend a big bottle as you will need a lot of glue.
  • Bulldog clips and pins

How to make a no-sew denim bowl

1.. First, cover the outside of the bowl that you are going to use as a mould with clingfilm.

covering the bowl in clingfilm

2. Next, cut the jeans scraps into small squares. The size of the squares will depend on the size of the fabric bowl you are making. For my large denim fruit bowl, I cut the jeans fabric into approximately 5cm squares. For a smaller bowl, I’d probably cut smaller squares.

I used the denim fabric from three different pairs of jeans to give the patchwork more contrast.

cutting denim squares

3. The denim fabric bowl was four layers thick. For the first layer of the bowl, I pasted the front of the squares with Mod Podge. They were then stuck face down onto the clingfilm-covered bowl.

Each patchwork of denim should be totally covered in the glue. Cover the whole of the outside of the bowl with denim. The denim squares will overlap slightly, and you may have to cut some into small pieces to fill small gaps.

Sticking down the denim squares
first denim layer for fabric bowl

4. Next, cover the first denim patchwork layer with a thick coating of Mod Podge glue.

covering patchwork fabric bowl in Mod Podge

5. Then add another layer of denim patchwork squares. This time paste the wrong side of the denim with glue.

Top tip: There is a lot of glue used with this upcycle, which can get a bit messy. I use a glass plate when pasting the glue, which keeps my work surfaces clean.

Applying the glue to denim squares
Adding more denim squares.

6. Next, repeat the last two steps. Until the fabric bowl is covered in four layers of denim patchwork. The combination of the glue and fabric layers will help make a stiff bowl. You should finish with a final fabric layer, don’t cover this with Mod Podge unless you want the outside of the patchwork denim bowl to be shiny.

Then, leave the bowl to dry for about 24 hours.

Final fabric layer on bowl

Finishing of the Paper Mache style fabric bowl

7. Once the glue has totally dried, carefully lift the patchwork denim off the bowl. The denim should be stiff and easily come away from the mould. Then remove the clingfilm from the inside of the bowl.

removing the mould
removing the cling film
Patchwork denim bowl

8. Even out the rim of the bowl with a pair of scissors. To neaten up the denim bowl even more and to add character add a denim waistband rim. First, unpick a denim waistband from a pair of jeans using a seam ripper. Unpick the belt loops from the waistband, but keep the label if there is one.

Top tip: To make the inside of the denim bowl more water resistant, add another layer of Mod Podge to the inside.

Unpicking a denim waistband

9. Open up the denim waistband and paste the inside of it liberally with Mod Podge.

glueing the inside of the waistband.

9. Next, carefully place the waistband over the edge of the fabric bowl. The rim of the bowl should be inside the waistband. Use a combination of bulldog clips and pins to hold the waistband in place as the glue dries.

By the way if the circumference of your bowl is bigger then your waistband, then just use a piece from another waistband to fill the gap.

Gluing the denim waistband to the rim

10. Finally, when the glue has dried remove the clips and pins.

upcycled-patchwork-denim-fabric-bowl
denim patchwork bowl

The bowl very stiff and robust, the insides can be wiped clean. This makes it perfect to use as a fruit bowl or even a bread basket on the table. It will match both the denim stenciled table runner and hexagon patchwork placemats, I made.

It also goes well with the test mini fabric bowl I made. As that bowl was smaller, I used the seam from a pair of jeans to create a rim.

mini denim fabric bowl
cool denim fruit bowl

If you are looking for more upcycled denim ideas for the home check out my A to Z of denim crafts, and ideas for upcycling fabrics.

Upcycled denim fabric bowls
Yield: Patchwork Denim Fabric Fruit Bowl

Denim Fabric Bowls

Denim Fabric Bowls

This is a really easy way to make fabric bowls without sewing. The method is very similar to Paper Mache but with denim scraps rather than paper. The fabric bowls are hard and sturdy and can be used as fruit bowls or even bread baskets on the table.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Active Time 1 hour
Additional Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1

Materials

  • Old denim scraps from a variety of jeans.
  • Mod Podge
  • Clingfilm
  • Bowl to use as a mold

Tools

  • Bulldog clips and pins
  • Scissors
  • Glue brush

Instructions

  1. First, cover the outside of the bowl that you are going to use as a mold in clingfilm.
  2. Cut the denim scraps up into small squares.
  3. Paste the right sides of squares with Mod Podge.
  4. Stick each square face down onto the clingfilm covered bowl. Carry on until the whole bowl is covered.
  5. Next, add a layer of Mod Podge to the denim on the bowl.
  6. Paste another set of denim patchwork squares with Mod Podge, this time on the wrong side of the denim. Then cover the bowl again with the squares.
  7. Repeat the last two stages until the bowl is covered in four layers of denim fabric.
  8. Once the fabric and glue has dried, remove it from the mold and the clingfilm.
  9. Next, unpick a denim waistband from a pair of jeans. Open up the waistband and apply Mod Podge to the inside.
  10. Then, place the waistband over the rim of the denim fabric bowl to create a neat edge. Hold the waistband in place with bulldog clips and pins until the glue has dried.

You can find more of my DIY ideas here.

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Lisa | Handmade in Israel

Thursday 6th of May 2021

How clever - it looks terrific and what a great way to make use of worn out jeans! #ccbg

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 6th of May 2021

Thank you, it's a great denim scrap buster.

Rachelle

Wednesday 5th of May 2021

I'm always inspired by your jean creations. This bowl idea is a keeper!

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 6th of May 2021

Thank you, yes it's sitting on my dining room table at the moment.

Condo Blues

Wednesday 5th of May 2021

What a fantastic upcycle! I'd love it if you shared it with my Friday Favorites Link Party this week on Condo Blues!

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 5th of May 2021

Thank you so much and thanks for the invite.

Shirley

Sunday 2nd of May 2021

I absolutely love these! I love anything made with denim and these bowls are just awesome! I won’t wear denim..the fabric is just too thick for me. Even the newer stuff, I’m just not fond of wearing it but the things that can be made from denim is unlimited!

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 2nd of May 2021

Thank you, so much. I love to both wear it and then craft with it when finished. I know what you mean some denim can be a bit heavy but there is also softer denims around.

Deirdre Henry

Saturday 1st of May 2021

This is a wonderful idea. I am going to try making a bowl as it is a great way to use up denim and very practical. Thank you for the tutotial.

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 1st of May 2021

Thank you, it was very easy if just a little messy at times with all that glue. But the result was worth it.

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