This is a simple tutorial on how to make hexagon patchwork denim placemats from repurposed blue jeans.
Making these patchwork denim placemats was what I call a slow craft. This was because they were handstitched. You could make them quicker on the machine if you wanted to.
I find it hard to sit still and watch telly in the evenings unless I have something to do with my hands. Simple hand sewing tasks, such as making denim patchwork is a perfect telly watching craft. That’s because the craft is very simple, it doesn’t require much concentration.
Even if you aren’t much of a seamstress, I think you should give this denim upcycle ago. The sewing is very basic and can all be done by hand.
Hexagon Patchwork Denim
Not only are these mats made from repurposed patchwork denim, but they have “hex appeal”, in that they are hexagon-shaped.
It’s not just me that loves a hexagon, but they are also very common in nature. Hexagons are a very efficient shape. Just think of the interlocking cells of a beehive and the crystals of a snowflake. The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Island is a geographical feature composed of 40,000 hexagonal columns of basalt.
I already have some hexagons in my dining room with my denim patchwork chairs, which were also hand-sewn. These hexagon patchwork denim mats will really complement them.
Six equilateral triangles placed side by side makes a hexagon shape. It’s the triangle that makes the patchwork.
My star wars loving family think that the denim mats look like the wings of Tie Fighters.
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What You Need For Denim Placemats
- Scraps of denim from old jeans. If you can, use the denim from several different pairs of jeans in different shades of indigo. The patchwork denim will look even better on the placemats.
- Scrap fabric for the back of the denim placemats. Heavyweight upholstery fabric is best.
- Quilters equilateral triangle ruler. The ruler I used the sides were 16.5cm (6.5″) long. I have drawn out this shape and the hexagon shape here. Which you can download and use as a template.
- Paper for templates
- Needle and thread in denim blue.
- Sewing pins
- Rotary cutter and mat.
- Double-sided sticky tape
- Iron and ironing board
How To Do Patchwork Denim
1.. Using the triangle ruler or a template, cut out 6 denim triangles. For the best result cut out the denim shapes from pairs of jeans in different shades of indigo.
2. Next, cut out 6 paper triangles. These triangles will be the size of the patchwork triangles without the margin for sewing. So they will be smaller than the denim triangles.
Stick the paper triangle to the wrong side of the cut denim shapes using double-sided sticky tape.
3. Next, iron down the denim seams for each side of the fabric triangles. Use a hot iron.
4. Next, pin two denim triangles together, along the edge with the flat point. Then hand stitch these two pieces together along the hem crease. Do not stitch through the paper.
5. Repeat the last stage by stitching another patchwork denim triangle to the shape. Carry on until all six triangles are stitched together to form a hexagon. Then, remove the paper triangles from the back.
Backing the Denim Placemats
6. Next, to add a pop of color to my denim placemats, I used a colorful fabric to back them and added a decorative hexagon in the center.
The center hexagon is also great for hiding the center where the six points meet. This can be difficult to get neat.
7. First, use the ruler to make a hexagon pattern for the back of the placemat. This hexagon will be larger than the patchwork denim one. At the same time cut out a small hexagon shape with 3.5cm sides.
8. Use these templates to cut out two fabric hexagons, one little one and a big one. I used a stiff upholstery fabric that I had in my stash. It was the same fabric I had used to back my woven denim pillows.
Top tip: If you are using a thinner fabric, you might want to think about adding a layer of wadding to the placemats.
8. Next, stick the small paper triangle onto the wrong side of the small fabric hexagon and iron down the seams. Then, tack around the fabric edges, (as I did with my hexagon pillows). Then, remove the paper.
9. Next, hand stitch the small fabric hexagon to the centre of the patchwork denim. I just use tiny little stitches right on the edge of the hexagons.
Not only does the center hexagon add a bit of color to the denim placemat but it also hides any mistakes you may have made in matching the points of the triangle patches.
10. Next, to add the fabric backing, place the denim patchwork on top of the wrong side of the patterned fabric. Make sure it is in the center. There should be a couple of centimeters of fabric showing all the way around the placemat.
Fold this visible edge in half towards the denim and iron it down. Next, fold the edge over again, iron it down and pin it to the denim patchwork. You will end up with a nice fabric trimmed edge to the patchwork denim.
11. Finally, using small stitches, hand sew this fabric edge to the denim hexagon and then remove the pins.
More Hexagons and Denim Crafts
I love how these patchwork denim placemats have turned out and I’ve really enjoyed making them. As I’ve already mentioned, they have given me something to do with my hands whilst watching TV.
I really like the hexagon design. I’m tempted to scale up these mats to make a denim blue jean rug. All I would need to do is to make the patchwork triangle much larger.
If you are looking for more upcycled hexagon crafts then check out my patchwork repurposed sweater blanket and denim pinboard. For more crafts using old jeans, check out the comprehensive A to Z of denim crafts.
For more denim patchwork shapes other than hexagons, check out my quilted denim star decorations. They would also make a great design for table mats.
- Scraps of denim from old jeans in various shades of indigo.
- Colorful upholstery fabric scraps
- Denim thread
- Double sided sticky tape and paper
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Quilters equilateral triangle ruler 16.5cm
- Use the quilters ruler and rotary cutter to cut out six denim equaliteral triangles. Make sure you use denim in various shades of indigo.
- Cut out smaller paper triangles, so that you have a 5mm seam with the denim.
- Stick the paper triangle to the wrong side of the denim triangle. Iron the seams towards the paper.
- Next, hand sew the denim triangles to each other. Sew along the ironed crease, joining each triangle one at a time until you have made a hexagon shape. Remove the paper from the back of the patchwork denim hexagon.
- Cut two hexagons from the colorful backing fabric. One small one for the center of the denim placemat. The larger hexagon is bigger than the denim placemat. Use the quilter's ruler to make the template for the large hexagon.
- Iron the seams flat on the small hexagon and hand sew it to the center of the denim patchwork.
- Place the denim hexagon on top of the wrong side of the backing fabric hexagon.
- Fold the outside edge of the colorful fabric over twice, then iron it flat and pin it to the front of the patchwork denim.
- Finally, hand sew this fabric edging all around the hexagon placemat.
Find more sewing crafts here.