Upcycle Jeans

How To Upcycle Jeans to Make Them Everlasting? The Power of Sustainable Fashion and Tips

Good old jeans! Who doesn’t have at least a pair of their favorite denim jacket or worn-off denim trousers? Guess what? They can’t wait to have their second life.  

DIY patch denim
Image source: HonestlyWtf

Ever since Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss invented them in 1873, the world went crazy! 

With upcycling fashion in a blaze of glory these days, it’s hard not to mention jeans. The options of upcycling jeans are countless. Let’s go through the most brilliant jeans upcycling ideas.

But first, let’s see what is sustainable fashion and what’s all the ‘upcycling vs recycling’ fuss about.

Upcycled denim
Image source: HuffPost

Sustainable fashion and jeans upcycling

The fashion industry is the second largest polluter on the planet. It’s also one of the most wasteful industries in the world. 

No wonder that sooner or later someone pushed that state of affairs to change. Significant (qualitative) adjustments had to arrive.  

According to UCLA (as we read on Huffpost):

‘One of the most quoted definitions of sustainability comes from the United Nations’ World Commission on Environmental Development. Sustainable development is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’

Many certified slow-fashion brands take over the field before reserved for fast fashion. 

Slow fashion brands are all about:

    • quality 
    • craftsmanship
    • longevity

I want to upcycle my jeans sustainably

The world of today makes an effort to balance a powerful urge for consumerism with the need for sustainability.  

Yet, the first is still a strong trend. Just think: Wouldn’t it be hard to give up all the affordable fashion shiny novelties from Zara or H&M? 

Those who decided to uptake upcycling clothes (jeans included)know that it’s worth the effort. Not only our planet gets better, but we can save a few extra bucks and have unique projects in our wardrobes. 

Also, there is no reason not to stay up to date with the latest trends if you do slow fashion. Upcycled blue jeans ideas can be more fashionable than ready-to-wear shop-bought garments.

Clothing labels smily hand icon cutom

For the new upcycled denim to take its final form, think about adding professional woven labels or care labels by Super Label Store

Check the table below to compare all the available products:

Type of label Description
Custom woven labels Fully customized. Comes in two options: design with the configurator or upload your logo/design.
Custom care labels Fully customized. Comes in one option: design with the configurator.
Custom hang tags Fully customized. Comes in two options: design with the configurator or upload your logo/design.
Pre-made labels Different, ready products

Why is it worth the chase to design and order your custom labels? With them, you can show that this new pair of gorgeous upcycled blue jeans is not a hobbyist experience but an actual classy, sellable outfit.  

The worldwide interest in sustainable and ethical fashion is growing. 

Who knows, maybe one day you’ll go from a sewing hobby to a successful sewing business

Upcycle old jeans
Image source: DIYnCrafts

How does the upcycle jeans process relate to their history?

Do you know how it all started? Let’s see what connects the original jeans’ historical invention to the current idea of pants upcycle. 

Jeans are made from denim or dungaree (cotton twill with indigo-dyed warp thread). At first, they were working clothes. Then, ‘digested’ by popular culture, they grew to be the symbol of disobedience. Later on, they became fashion items. 

The price of the most expensive pair of blue jeans sold was $250,000. Is your upcycled denim clothing going to hit the next record price? Don’t forget to add one of these different types of woven labels to make it even more special. 

Denim upcycle ideas
Image source: Pinterest

If you still struggle to decide whether you need this new pair of jeans from the shop, ask yourself:

    1. Do I actually need them?
    2. Will they bring value to my life?
    3. Was the manufacturing process healthy for people or animals engaged?
    4. What resources were used in its construction? Is the brand transparent about this?
    5. Will I continue to wear them for years to come?

This set of issues, when resolved, will help you make the right consumer’s decision. Read more on Minimalism

Ways to upcycle jeans

If you’re an upcycle beginner you may worry that most of the upcycled denim projects require sewing. All can be learned! If you can sew a straight line, you can make it work. Check these health benefits of sewing for more inspiration before you start. 

How to upcycle jeans? A few examples for beginners

Let’s check a few actual denim upcycled projects shared by Society19.

Item Description Level of difficulty
Denim lace-up skirt Everyone has a pair of too-tight jeans that were a fit once. Why not upcycle skinny jeans and transform them into an outstanding, updated skirt? 

  1. Cut off the legs of your pants
  2. Open a seam
  3. Add a few grommets and lace through them
  4. Optional: Iron on some patches using different colored lace

That was a quickie wasn’t t?

Embroidered denim There is nothing that underlines your personality more than personalized writing on the pair of DIY upcycle jeans. No one said that upcycling must be an ultimate makeover. By adding adorable embroidery will make a piece uniquely yours. More ideas? Add flower embroidery or make a daring writing. Easy
Denim top But pants can also turn into a top. Yet, some sewing is involved. Check these 10 reasons to start sewing clothes and summer sewing projects for higher motivation. For our denim top, reach out to this tutorial on CutOutAndKeep.

Following a step-by-step process with pictures will make the process much easier. Everything seems possible with a little imagination (and sharp scissors). You can make:

  • short top, 
  • top peplum, or 
  • fulfill any other of your fashion desires;

With the jeans basis and instructions from experts, this plan becomes doable. 


Upcycled denim projects
Image source: Society19

Denim upcycle ideas―fashion

Impatient to know more ways to upcycle old jeans? Here we go with more exciting ideas. 

Don’t forget that jeans are not the only upcycling material. You can also upcycle tshirt, upcycle mens shirt, upcycle sweater, or even upcycle fabric scraps

After you’re done with the project, check the Super Label Store custom woven labels or care labels. The company is open to offering services to:

    1. DIY/clothing crafters at home 
    2. Textile/sewing fanatics
    3. (small/starting) clothing brands
    4. Fashion designers
    5. Hotels, bars, and hospitality businesses 

If you wish to order one of the different types of woven labels, feel free to do it regardless of the desired amount. Super Label Store produces even the smallest quantities of products.  

As supporters of upcycled jeans projects and other slow fashion products, Super Label Store shares a bunch of advice on these topics. 

See e.g. the ‘corner’ dedicated to sewing: 

    1. easy beginner sewing projects
    2. 35 intermediate sewing projects, and 
    3. advanced sewing techniques

Ready to start sewing? Let’s see how to upcycle denim with a few simple techniques. 

Upcycle jeans to painted shorts

How to upcycle old jeans? This adorable idea will melt your heart. 

With this uncommon painted project, you’ll break away from the ordinary with no effort. Cut and refresh your old jeans pants instead of throwing them away. Give them some personality with the use of your artistic skills (which all of us have!)

If you’re a real DIYer, you hate throwing things away. Even the most worn-out, pale, riddled outfits tend to live ages in the closets of such individuals

Upcycle jeans
Image source: LittleMissExpat

But there are ways to give them a new life. If you feel bad letting go of old clothes, then don’t!

Check this blogpost by Little Miss Expat to learn what she did exactly with her old pair of jeans.  

When you upcycle denim jeans you not only have lots of fun but you also add your piece of care to the environment

Upcycle jeans to DIY lace denim jeans 

This one will blow your mind with its fine feel. What’s more, the authors of Creative Fashion Blog claim you can do it in ten minutes. 

It is also said to make a feminine statement. Well, this universal pair of jennies does become girly after we’re done. 

Easy diy upcycle jeans
Image source: Creative Fashion Blog

Follow the tutorial above to learn how to perform this jean upcycle.

You can also take a look at sewing projects old jeans to tackle other innovative concepts.

Upcycle jeans to denim paper bag waist shorts

Don’t know this type of shorts? You haven’t seen the best yet!

If you have a too-big pair of jeans in your closet (way too big), transform them into paper waist-length shorts.

Upcycled denim clothing
Image source: Society19

With this natural, no-waste approach to manufacturing, no single scrap is left! Stay tuned and after cutting off the jeans legs, keep them at hand. 

The remake you do to your clothes gives them a new life. In this casethe difference is fairly visible. 

Even if it seems like a big deal, this project is simple and requires no sewing. After cutting off the bottom part, fold the shorts to form a cuff at the hem. 

Adjust the waist, add the belt, and here you go! This is exactly what upcycling serves for. To do some magic. 

Upcycle my jeans
Image source: NoelleODesigns

Denim upcycle ideas―accessories

Ways to upcycle old jeans don’t end here. We can also turn good, old jennies into a bunch of fashion gadgets, or even… shoes!

How to upcycle jeans
Image source: Pinterest

Upcycle jeans to hair accessories

One of the unexpected upcycled denim ideas is to change them into hair accessories. Use an old pair of jeans (what about the one from the example above?) and try making denim barrettes. 

Now, guess which part we’re going to use for this new item? You got it―old belt loops!

Snip them off and attach them to a pair of nude barrettes. Well, on a scale from one to ten, this one was as easy as pie!

You can also cut strips and use them to create hair ties, hair bows, headbands, or scrunchies. Every scrap can be useful so let your imagination flow. Read more about the ways to upcycle fabric scraps.

Upcycled blue jeans ideas
Image source: Society19

Upcycle jeans to a denim mini backpack

You’ve seen it coming, haven’t you? A pair of useless worn-out jeans can turn out to be the best fabric for the new denim mini backpack. This time, you can even mix two or more various pairs. It will add fun to the item. 

A friendly reminder: Don’t throw away pockets―they are the most entertaining! Sew them on the sides and front for extra space to store for your necessities. Then add:

    • buttons,
    • flowers,
    • embroidery, 
    • writing,
    • studs, 
    • patches,
    • pearls, 

or all of them at once!

Upcycle jeans to a denim fanny pack

Do you want to give your life a little more energy? Clutch bag is too chic and you’re a bit too serious for a backpack? See this funny, handy pack whose customization potential can accurately reflect your personality. His pack will let you keep your stuff handy while being personal and cute. 

To make this fancy accessory work: 

    • cut the pocket of a pair of jeans, 
    • make the pouch and sew another piece with the zipper still attached to the top, 
    • use another sipper or a sturdy strip of denim to create the strap;

Jeans upcycling ideas
Image source: Society19

Upcycle denim ideas―conclusion

The journey through lands of upcycling jeans ideas was a fruitful one. Now you know what sustainable fashion is and how to upcycle ripped jeans

Take your time to explore why it makes sense to take a look at Super Label Store custom woven labels. You’ll need them to finish your new garment and add a professional look to it.  

Custom woven labels by Super Label Store are: Description
super easy Easy-to-use configurators help you design 

and order in minutes.

of super quality Premium quality from start to finish.
super 100% custom We understand you want to finish your unique 

work with 100% custom labels.

super low quantities From big to small, Super Label Store is happy 

to make it all.