These days it is more important than ever to find ways to save money. Before throwing out those old jeans and t-shirts, think of some uses you can find around the house for them! Instead of spending money to by new items make them! My kids who are 15, 12, and 10 do not throw anything away without asking me if we can make something out of them. It is also a great project to help keep the kids occupied, and teaches them that you don’t have to throw something away just because you are done with it. In this article we will be focusing on making items from jeans and old t-shirts.
My daughters love purses! A great use for old jeans that may be stained is to make purses or wallets out of them. My daughters have different purses that match different outfits. One of the things you can do is cut the jeans off just below the zipper leaving enough room for the bottom seam. After sewing the bottom seam up you have the base for your purse! You can take a plain t-shirt and cut it to fit the inside of the purse, sew it into the same shape and there is your lining. You can either use it like that or add some embellishments, such as cutting out designs in the jeans part of the purse and sew some decorative stitches around it. If you have a patterned t-shirt that you like you can also cut around the purse to let the design show through. Again you would want to use decorative stitches. You can also add ribbons, buttons, an old belt anything you have extra laying around to dress it up. Then you take the legs of the jeans you just cut and make the handle for the purse, or make a flap for the purse as well. You can use beads, cross stitch designs, anything that you like, your imagination is your only limit!
Another great use for old jeans is to make skirts out of them. You can make any length of skirt you desire. The picture I have posted with this article is an ankle length skirt I made for myself using a pair of jeans and a shirt that I could not wear. I cut the inside seams of the jeans, cut the shirt apart, and decided how I wanted it to look. Once I placed the pieces where I wanted them I pinned them into place, and hand sewed the seams. I sewed up the back of the skirt straight along the seams that were made. If the jeans no longer fit you can take them cut panels, cut the zipper out, and make a whole new skirt with the zipper in the back to close it. To make all the stitches match you can reuse the thread to sew all of your seams if you took it out carefully.
For my all my kids I have made laundry bags out of old clothes and t-shirts. Decide how big you want the bag to be, and you can either cut square patches out of the jeans and t-shirts, or rectangles, any shape that fits together you can use! Just pin the pieces together how you want them and sew them up. It can be a very quick project, since you don’t want to get too intricate on a laundry bag. Add a pocket seam to the top and add a cord. Viola you have a laundry bag! The best part about it is that if it gets dirty you can always throw it into the wash also!
If you are a pillow lover like me, you will love this next one. You know how your favorite pair of jeans gets nice and soft and the next thing you know they either rip or you get something on them you just can’t get off. Cut the legs off and make a pillow! You can use the rest of the jeans to stuff it with just by cutting or ripping strips and sticking them in the pillow! If you use the leg then you only have to put seams on the 2 ends for a simple pillow. You can also take and stuff the leg full, and cut circles out of the back pocket areas of the jeans to match the size and you have a cylindrical pillow with pockets on the ends. You can also cut squares out of the jeans, sew up the sides and stuff. Then you can make a more traditional square pillow. If you want to dye the fabric to match your house you can use a number of different things to dye the fabric. Or add old t-shirt pieces to your pillow to add color.
Old jeans also make great heating pads! Cut the leg off the jeans, fill with rice, sew up the ends and you have a heating pad. Put it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so and you have a great heating pad. If you like aromatherapy also you can add a few drops of oil to the rice. When it heats up you have a wonderful smell as well as having the heat that you need. Old t-shirts can also be used this way, they do tend to cool a little faster, and you have to be more carful so you don’t burn yourself.
With some old cardboard, some glue, and a lot of imagination you can make some very interesting photo frames. Cut the cardboard into whatever shape you want it to be. Making sure you make both the front and back pieces the same size. Cut a hole for the picture in the front piece. Cut the jeans or t-shirt for the back piece slightly larger then the piece about a ½ inch should work. Wrap it around the cardboard and glue in place. For the front piece, lay it on the jeans and make where the center hole will be. You want to have at least a ½ inch seam allowance around where you are going to cut for the inside piece. If you want a puffy frame you want about ¾ to an inch of seam allowance. If you are making a puffy frame, glue the batting down to the cardboard first, then glue the jeans piece into place. When both pieces are dry, glue 3 of the sides together leaving the top unglued and let dry. You can make a stand for the frame by cutting a triangle shape piece out of the cardboard, glue on the jeans or t-shirt, and attach to the frame. You can put anything you would like on the frame for decoration, add your picture and you are done! These make great Christmas presents for the kids to give to family members.
There are so many more things that you can use old jeans and t-shirts for the possibilities are endless. With your imagination I am sure you can expand on this list and come up with a lot of things on your own! Getting the kids involved is great because they often think of things that you wouldn’t. It’s also a great way to spend some quality time together!