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How To Make A Cool Denim Rug Without Sewing

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.

denim waistband rug

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What You Need To Make A Denim Rug

  • Denim waistbands from old jeans.
Pile of 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.
IKEA signe rug
  • 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).
  • Scissors

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.

Cutting off denim waistband fro rug
Collection of jeans waistbands

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.

Jeans waistband prepared for making into rug.

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.

Making a no sew denim rug

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.

glueing waistbands to denim rug

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.

splitting jeans waistband

2. Next, apply glue to the inside of the waistband and then sandwich the edge of the rug in between it.

Binding the edge of the rug
rug binding

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.

Tutorial for a DIY denim rug made from repurposed jeans waistband- Ikea hack no sewing.
Denim waistband rug DIY
DIY denim waistband rug

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.

Yield: Denim rug

Make A Denim Waistband No-Sew Rug

Tutorial for a DIY denim rug made from repurposed jeans waistband- Ikea hack no sewing.

A simple way to make a no-sew rug for the home using the waistbands of old jean.

Prep Time 1 hour
Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5


  • IKEA Signe Rug
  • Denim waistbands from lots of pairs of jeans
  • Gorilla Glue Clear Contact Adhesive


  • Scissors
  • Foam Board
  • Thumb tacks (drawing pins)


  1. Cut the waistband to the length of the rug.
  2. Place the IKEA rug on a foam board
  3. Cover the back of the waistband and the rug with glue
  4. Stick the waistband to the rug.
  5. Use thumb tacks to hold the waistband in place as the glue dries.
  6. 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.

The seams of the jeans can be combined with upcycled sweaters to make some fabric placemats. Or even to make some jeans planters. These again is a no-sew denim project.

The legs of the old jeans can be repurposed into a Boho denim table runner or some Boho jeans pillows.

The pockets can be used to make some handy hanging pocket storage or even sunglasses cases.

Don’t throw away the scraps, even they can be repurposed. Perhaps into a bouquet of denim flowers, or used to make a cool world map floor cushion to compliment the rug.


Catherine Sokolowski

Monday 29th of May 2023

Thanks for this tutorial! What a great idea and that fact that its no sew makes it an even greater idea!

Claire Armstrong

Tuesday 30th of May 2023

Thank you, it make a lovely fun mat in the home.

Stephanie Popp

Sunday 2nd of May 2021

Sure wish I had found this several years ago. I’ve been cutting up old denim for a long time and just discarded all of the waistbands as I knew there was no way to sew them. Gosh, if only I had held onto them. I could make several of these amazing rugs! Know that I will be saving them from this point forward!!! Thnx!

Claire Armstrong

Monday 3rd of May 2021

Thank you, yes waistbands can be difficult to sew. If you have lots of waistbands you could think about weaving them.


Friday 16th of April 2021

Fun project, I love it! I featured it in my “D=Denim” post ;) Quilting Patchwork & Appliqué

Claire Armstrong

Friday 16th of April 2021

Thank you so much, I look forward to seeing it.

Lee V Jones

Monday 7th of December 2020

Instead of foam board because some are expensive, why not use cardboard? I break down and save boxes from Amazon all the time for my art classes.

Claire Armstrong

Monday 7th of December 2020

Yes, you can use cardboard. I used foam board as I had some and it's thicker than card so better for the push pins. Anything that you can stick push pins into would work.

Von Pickering

Tuesday 22nd of September 2020

Love the rug idea!!!! As for the buttons. I’m thinking about a key holder in a straight line using the waistband as a backdrop. Or a picture frame style with denim background or contrast designs with buttons spread apart !!!

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

Thank you, I like the key holder idea and the picture frame.

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