A denim rug has been on my upcycling bucket list for ages. And what a great way to start off a new year of crafting by finally making one. I’m pleased that I can tick the denim rug off my list. But I’m really chuffed with how it’s turned out.
I think the rug looks so good, as it’s made with only waistbands. Which are the most interesting part of a pair of jeans.
Originally the rug was going to be for my son’s room to go with the denim pocket organizer I made for his wall.
Not anymore! I love it so much I’m going to have it on show elsewhere in the house. Probably in the hall or the dining room, I haven’t decided yet. I may just have to make another one.
Repurposing Jeans Waistbands Into A Gorgeous Denim Rug
The striped effect from all the different shades of indigo and the odd leather label really give the denim rug character. I have used all the families’ old denim so I can recognize the waistbands from some old favourite jeans.
As they are so thick denim waistbands can be a bit of a pain to sew. That’s the beauty of this rug DIY, it’s a no-sew denim upcycle, (yeah!). Which has made it one of the easiest upcycled denim rug tutorials.
I used an IKEA Signe rug as my backing for this upcycle. That actually then makes it an IKEA hack, so I can tick that box too.
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What You Need To Make A Denim Rug
- Denim waistbands from old jeans.
- IKEA Signe rug or any other small rug or non-slip mat. The IKEA Signe rug is only £1.90. That’s why I used it. It was cheaper than buying a non-slip underlay.
- Fabric Glue – You will need a lot of this, at least a whole tub. Gorilla glue contact adhesive clear is a good glue to use as it’s waterproof.
- Large glue brush
- Box of thumbtacks/drawing pins
- Large foam board or corkboard. ( Preferably as big as the rug).
How to Make an Upcycled Denim Rug
First, cut the waistbands from the jeans as close to the seams as possible. Use a mixture of jeans waistbands from dark to light denim to show off the shades of indigo.
Don’t worry if some of your waistbands are not intact or are a bit small. All bits of the waistband will be useful.
2. Cut off the belt loops and save them for another project. However, if the waistband has a nice leather label on it, don’t cut that off. Labels will add further interest to the rug.
Snip off the end of the waistband with the button on. As I didn’t think standing on a jeans button in bare feet would be very comfortable. A bit like standing on lego but maybe not quite as painful.
3. Next, cut the fringe off the IKEA Signe rug and lay it down on top of the foam board.
4. Assemble the rug using the same method I used to make my jeans handmade advent calendar. That is I apply glue to both the rug and the back of the waistband and then stick them together. To ensure that glue adheres to the fabric use thumbtacks to hold down the denim as it dries.
5. The denim waistbands were stuck down in strips. Sometimes the waistband was long enough to cover the whole width of the rug. Other times I used 3 or 4 waistband offcuts to make up the width.
6. Carry on until the whole rug is covered. Then trim off any overlapping excess.
Tidying up the edges
1. Finally, neaten up the edges of the denim rug. Use 2 waistbands as binding, as I did with my recycled sweater blanket.
Firstly, split the denim waistband open at the seams.
2. Next, apply glue to the inside of the waistband and then sandwich the edge of the rug in between it.
3. Finally, once all the glue has dried remove all the thumbtacks. With fabric glue, you should be able to wash the rug with warm soapy water if needed. But as you know denim is great for hiding the dirt.
I’m so pleased with this rug. So, I’m now saving up my denim scraps to make an even larger one. Hopefully, it won’t take too long. I have also made a chevron denim rug out of the legs. There are more ideas for DIY blue jean rugs here too.
Did you know that you can make fabric yarn out of jeans legs? That’s what I did to make a rag rug really easily.
My family and friends know how much I love to upcycle denim so they happily hand me over their old jeans to repurpose. I’m sure if you let your friends and family know you are after old denim they will happily give you their cast-offs.
- IKEA Signe Rug
- Denim waistbands from lots of pairs of jeans
- Gorilla Glue Clear Contact Adhesive
- Foam Board
- Thumb tacks (drawing pins)
- Cut the waistband to the length of the rug.
- Place the IKEA rug on a foam board
- Cover the back of the waistband and the rug with glue
- Stick the waistband to the rug.
- Use thumb tacks to hold the waistband in place as the glue dries.
- Make a trim using more waistbands
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What To Do With The Other Bits of The Jeans
If you have any bits of waistband left over from this rug, you can use them to make some personalized fabric key fobs.
If you are wondering what to do with all the other bits of denim from a pair of jeans you should check out my denim page for inspiration.