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How To Make An Upcycled Woven Denim Pillow

One of my favourite things to make for my home out of upcycled blue jeans, besides rugs is denim throw pillows. This is a tutorial for a woven denim pillow.

On Pillarboxblue, there are various tutorials showing how to make different types of denim pillow covers. There is an iPhone denim pocket pillow, which I made for my son. A repurposed denim fish pillow, I made for the outdoor sofa. Also a Boho jeans pillows, I made by combining denim and sari trim.

DIY woven denim pillows made out of recycled blue jeans

For my latest project, I upcycled jeans to make a woven denim pillow. Scraps of fabric from several pairs of old blue jeans were used to make the throw pillow.

One of my favourite things I love about upcycling old blue jeans is all the different shades of indigo. And a woven pillow is a fabulous way to show this off. Also, it is a great way of using those leftover scrap pieces of denim, that are too small for larger upcycles.

Another reason I made this woven denim pillow is that I think the frayed edges of the strips give the throw pillows a bit of a Boho look and feel. And I love a bit of Boho in my home.

Just as a side note and as an apology to my British readers. I know that a pillow is something you lay your head on at night in bed and a cushion is something you put on your sofa. I’m so used to looking at American interior blogs and websites that I now call cushions, pillows. I didn’t actually notice until my friends pulled me up over it.

You should have seen the look I got the other day when I said burlap. My friends thought I was being rude until I told them it’s what the Americans call hessian.

Denim strips

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What You Need to Make A Woven Denim Pillow/Cushion

  • A selection of denim scraps from old jeans in various shades of blue.
Denim scraps from old blue jeans
  • Piece of cardboard to make a template
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Fabric for the back 2 pieces approx 52 cm x 40 cm
  • Foam board and thumbtacks
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins and needles
backing fabric

How To Make A Woven Denim Pillow

1. First, make a template out of cardboard approximately 52cm long and 6cm wide.
cardboard template

2. Next, using this template and the rotary cutter, cut out 18 strips of denim fabric from the jeans. If you use denim in a variety of shades of indigo this will look better for the finished woven denim pillow.

cutting out denim strips

3. Next, get hold of one of the strips of denim and fray the long edges. Do this by pulling out the threads at the edge one by one. This is the same method I used to make denim feathers. I pulled out at least 3 rows of threads on each side. Repeat with all the strips of denim.

This is easier to do with non-stretch denim fabric but it can still be done with stretch denim it’s just a bit fiddlier.

fraying denim by pulling threads
fraying denim strips

4. Next, gather up all the frayed denim strips. Take half of the strips and pin the top of them to foam board using the thumbtack. Pin them so that they lie next to each other and mix up the indigo shades.

pinning denim strips to the foam board

5. Then take one of the other strips and weave it across the rows of denim strips. Secure this denim strip in place with a thumbtack. Repeat with the other eight denim strips.

Weaving strips for woven denim pillow
woven denim pillow strips

6. I made my woven denim pillow without stitching across all the woven denim strips. This gave the pillow a nice relaxed woven look. However, if you want to keep the denim strips rigid, I suggest you stitch across them before making the back of the pillow.

7. Next, prepare the back of the pillow. I made an envelope style cover for this denim woven pillow. (If you prefer a zip cover there is a tutorial here ).

From my fabric stash, I cut 2 pieces of fabric into approximately 52 cm by 40 cm. On one of these pieces of fabric, I stitched a 5 mm hem along the 52 cm edge.

Then, I pinned the 2 pieces of backing fabric right sides together with the woven denim. The two pieces of backing fabric will overlap, make sure the hemmed edge will be the top edge of the pillow.

pining right sides together

If you have not made an envelope pillow cover before there is a tutorial here that helps explain how to.

8. To finish off the woven denim pillow cover, stitch up all the sides together on a sewing machine. Then turn the envelope right sides out and pop in a cushion pad.

Finished woven pillow back
denim woven cushion
woven denim pillow

The woven denim pillow looks great on my shibori dyed sofa in the garden. Weaving the different coloured denim strips gives the blue jean throw pillow a chequerboard look.

I used the same backing fabric on these woven pillows with my patchwork denim placemats. They both look great together.

upcycled woven denim pillow
Yield: Woven Denim Pillow

How To Make An Upcycled Woven Denim Pillow

woven denim pillow

A tutorial for a chequered board looking woven denim pillow from old jeans.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1


  • Scraps denim from a variety of old blue jeans
  • Backing fabric of your choice 2 pieces 52 cm by 40 cm
  • Cardboard


  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Sewing machine
  • Thumbtacks
  • Foamboard


  1. Make a cardboard template 52 cm x 6 cm
  2. Using the template cut 18 strips of denim in various shades of indigo
  3. Pin half the strips side by side onto foam board using thumbtacks
  4. Weave the remaining 9 denim strips across the pinned denim strips
  5. With spare fabric make an envelope pillow back
  6. Pin the fabric back and woven denim right sides together
  7. Stitch the two pieces together all around the edges
  8. Turn the pillow cover right sides out and insert filler cushion.
    woven denim pillow

    If you liked this post you might want to check out some of my other popular denim home projects.

    For more denim sewing projects visit

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    Anita Holland

    Thursday 11th of July 2019

    Love this idea, will be trying it soon.

    Claire Armstrong

    Friday 12th of July 2019

    Thank you and good luck with it.

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    […] in the sewing room, Claire from Pillar Box Blue shared How to Make an Upcycled Woven Denim Pillow. What I love about this project is that we all have some spare jeans in our closet waiting to be […]


    Monday 1st of July 2019

    Thanks for sharing your clever tutorial at Vintage Charm!

    Claire Armstrong

    Wednesday 3rd of July 2019

    Thank you, Cecillia

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