Friday, February 15

How to recycle old jeans: quilt place-mat

The Web is flooded with countless ideas of reusing and upcycling pairs of old jeans and clothes. But never tried the bit myself.

I don't know why, but every time I decide to cut up an old dress, pangs of sentiment kill me enough to abandon it. Am inspired now though, with a beautiful recycle project my friend Saritha just completed.

It's a quilt. It's a coffee table spread. It could work as a floor mat. Or even pinned up a wall. She used old jeans and her hubby's old striped shirts for this. Am so in love with this piece that I am inspired to make one soon.

Old jeans recycle by Sarita
 It's classy. It's warm. And a perfect size for multiple uses. Sarita was an angel to send me a more detailed picture progress of this lovely project.

She used;
  • a pair of scissors, 
  • a base cloth of cotton or blended fabric, 
  • quilt pins, 
  • needle and threads of about three colours and 
  • of course, two shirts and a pair of jeans.

``I hand-stitched the whole thing. But you can make it quicker if you use a sewing machine,'' says Sarita.

She first cut strips of 8 centimeters or 3.1 inches long from the fabric.

She used quilt pins to hold these strips in place over a base cloth.

As for the base cloth, she used two layers of it, stitched up three sides and inserted a foam sheet between the layers before stitching up the fourth side.

This was to give it the cushion feel and thickness.

She gave a gap of an inch each on each strip towards each of four sides over the base, to enable neat stitching.

She arranged one type of strips horizontal and the other type vertical over these strips, and pinned them for the weave.

 Next step, was to weave them.

Cut the excess cloth and stitch it up in a way that the excess pieces on the strips are attached below the foam base cloth.

The shirt strips pictures above are for representation only. She used this method, with the strips cut from her pair of old jeans.

``I used blanket stitch to seal the ends,'' says Sarita.

The size of strips she used was 8 centimeters long each, or 3.1 inches, but she says you could use your discretion depending on how big you want the final piece to turn out. Her place mat or quilt-mat turned out 56 cms by 56 cms or 22 inches by 22 inches, leaving aside the extra inch on each strip that was used to stitch up on the sides.

Here is how here piece turned out after stitching the sides up.

To give it a better look, she drew spirals, squares and diamonds on the jeans part of the mat, and did a running stitch over the designs.

And now, for how the piece finally turned out.

Isn't this lovely? You can use this method by adding thicker foam or cushion sponge, to make throws probably.

My head is already on the ideas mode.

As for the jeans pocket that got left behind in this quilt project, here is what she did with it.

Old jeans recycle: pen holder
A pen holder! All you need now is a tack or nail to fix it on the wall, or simply stick or hang it from a table top.
Thanks Sarita, for sharing this wonderful project! And the meticulously shot pictures. An amazing recycle-upcycle idea. 
Remember, not to trash your old pairs of jeans from now on. Use your imagination and start off on a project!
Pictures by : Ratnala Sarita
For permissions to use:
Please note: all pictures are watermarked. 


  1. Very good ideas! These are creative ways to make recycling fun for the whole family.