Upcycled Denim Placemats {DiY}

Upcycled Denim Placemats--LOVE this idea for using old jeans!I think I have probably been on a quest for the perfect pair of jeans for my entire adult life.  Can anyone else relate to this?Until recently, my closet shelves were filled with jeans that didn’t quite fit just right.  I didn’t want to give them up because over the years I had spent a lot of money on this quest.  But since none of them fit well–and some didn’t fit at all–I never really wore them either.

But with all the de-cluttering we’ve been doing this year, I finally did an absolutely ruthless purge to my closet (more on that later) and decided, once and for all, it was time to let those old jeans go.  Besides, after writing about these fun Earth Day Party Ideas for Home Made Simple, I was excited to repurpose them into placemats!

This project was SO easy.  While it did require a very small amount of sewing, it was literally just a few straight lines, which even the most novice sewer should be able to do.  However, if you really don’t know how to sew and don’t care about having a pretty back to your placemats, you could just do step one, then skip to step four.  The edges are left raw, then frayed in the washing machine.

upcycled denim placemats

Here is what you need:

old jeans
pre-washed fabric
sewing machine
straight pins


upcycled denim placemats

Step One:  Cut the seat of your jeans into a rectangle shape.  Trim until the edges are relatively straight and corners are square(ish), but don’t stress about making them perfect–they won’t be.

 Upcycled Denim Placemats--super cute way to repurpose old jeans!

Step Two:  Place fabric face down on table, then place denim rectangle on top so that wrong sides are facing each other.  Pin in place, then cut fabric around denim.

Upcycled Denim Placemats--super cute way to repurpose old jeans!

Step Three:  Stitch around all 4 sides of placemat, leaving a 1/2 inch margin.

Upcycled Denim Placemats--super cute way to repurpose old jeans!

Step Four:  Wash & dry placemats in washing machine & dryer to fray the edges.  It will fray better if you wash it along with other items!

Upcycled Denim Placemats--super cute way to repurpose old jeans!

Step Five:  Trim any stray threads and even out the fray.


Bonus Step:  To make very simple matching napkins you can cut cloth napkin-sized squares from your extra fabric using a pinking shears.  Fold them into triangles, then fold them into back pocket of denim.  The pocket can also be used to hold silverware!

Upcycled Denim Placemats--super cute way to repurpose old jeans!

Upcycled Denim Placemats--super cute way to repurpose old jeans!

Upcycled Denim Placemats--super cute way to repurpose old jeans!

Other than my husband joking that they were probably the most expensive placemats on the planet (ouch!), I love pretty much everything about them.  They are fun, casual, & perfectly practical–exactly the kind of decorating I love!

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Have you ever found yourself with too many old pairs of jeans?  What did you do with them?

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{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Aimilee April 15,

    I love these! I have SO many jeans that I never wear….I am totally making these today! Where did you get the cute fabric?

  • Kristi April 15,

    Sorry, but personally, I don’t think I’d want to eat my dinner – or lunch – or breakfast – off of someone’s rear end (so to speak :) ) There is just an eww factor there for me! Nope, just wouldn’t be appetizing…. My old jeans will be going off to Goodwill! Have a good one!

    • Ruth Soukup April 17,

      LOL Kristi, that is funny…..since they are MY jeans, that is exactly why my husband likes it! 😉

  • Britney Mills April 15,

    This is an interesting idea. I know I have a couple pairs of pants in the sewing closet to repurpose into something. We’ll see what becomes of them.

  • Vanessa@cashcowcouple.com April 15,

    Practical, cute, and definitely a conversation starter! How creative!

  • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom April 15,

    Oh my goodness! This is ridiculously cute! I love using the pocket to store the cutlery!

    Wishing you a lovely week!

  • Shaidy April 15,

    My daughters have purses made out of jeans…Except they used the front and back of jeans.
    Added a couple of cheap plastic handles and they are very cute.
    this is a cute idea!

  • Simplee Sue April 15,

    Oh my gosh. These are so cute. Love them. FB them.

    Consider yourself hugged,

  • Marji Roy April 16,

    I love projects using old jeans. I have collected many jeans as well. Check out my collection of pillows here
    Plus i did an extensive blog series on great ideas for denim here:
    Love your placemats and might try some myself.

  • Dee Wolters April 20,

    Cute idea! I make crafts to enter in our local county fair, then give them as gifts, so I have to make things in many different catagories than I might otherwise. One that always challenges me is “recyled item”. I think this would work very well, and be a cute gift afterword. Plus, really would not cost anything, as I can get jeans from a local clothes closet, and have a stash of fabric.

  • Ellen Johnson April 23,

    I love this idea! Especially the napkins and silverware in the pocket. Too cute! It’s going on my to do list.


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