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  • Irina

A rug from old jeans

I like upcycling, especially jeans. It´s beautiful, super durable material.

I made many things from old jeans in the past - pouches, baskets, scissor covers, pincushions, potholders etc. I mainly use the legs, sometimes pockets but the rest usually goes to the bin. The other day I was cutting the seams off the jeans in preparation for a big upcycling project and suddenly they caught my eye in the waste bin. I had a crazy idea which I wanted to test right away, so I took the seams out. Surprisingly it worked well. My post on Instagram about weaving a mat from the inner seams of old jeans got a very large response, so I thought I would share how I made it.

Originally, I was aiming at the door mat size but it required too much material, so I made it slightly smaller. You can make a trivet, placemat or a small candle mat, for example.

It is super easy and does´t require any sewing until the last stage. You should be familiar with basic weaving.

So, first you need to cut off the seams from old jeans with scissors. I used mainly inner seams - they are usually double stitched. It is possible to use those which have only one stitch as well as they fray nicely after washing.

You can either weave on a board (as I did) or use a table. Place your jeans strips vertically (desired width of your mat) and tape them with WIDE painter´s tape at the top to the board or table. Leave 2-2,5 inches from the top if you would like your mat to have a fringe on all 4 sides (mine has fringe only on 2 longer sides ).

Take a strip and start weaving alternating placement of horizontal strips - above or under the vertical strips, leaving 2,5-3 inches on the sides. The next row has the opposite placement of the horizontal strips.

I used a wooden tool for clay molding to ensure tight placement of the strips. It helps to move the rows up to tighten the weave /if necessary/. Once I wove 3-4 rows I secured them on the sides with the tape.

Once you reach the desired length, tape the bottom. So you have all 4 sides taped. I also taped just 1/4 inch from the woven edge.

Now we are ready to secure the edges by sewing.

You will need a denim needle. I used #100.

Take a jeans strip - I used the side seam (that was ironed to one side). Place it right next to the woven edge. Lift the painters tape /on the right side from the edge/ so you don´t stitch on it. Now stitch the strip along the woven edge.

I secured the strip with 3 seams. Take the tape off the side you have just sewn.

Repeat on the other 3 sides.

Once you have secured all 4 sides, then you can trim the fringe to your desired length either on 2 /as I did/ or 4 sides.

I washed my mat in the washing machine and it came out just perfect, no blocking was required. But as expected there was a lot of frayed threads. Once it dried I trimmed them with scissors.

My finished mat measures 15,5 x 20 inches /39 x 50 cm/. It´s nicely sturdy, soft to touch and I think it is too good for a door mat. I need to find a better use for it.

In case if you are curious, how many seams are there - from almost 50 pairs of jeans! It was a fun project. I am glad that now less goes to the waste! And I am looking forward to seeing what you will make!

Happy Weaving!

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Feb 03

This was exactly my idea!! Thank you for the tips. I am disappointed to hear how many pairs of jeans it took, lol I was hoping for a larger rug.

Mar 30
Replying to

Just make your own seams from the left over denim from the jeans!


Jan 19, 2023

Thank you for this. It gave me some ideas on how to make mine. I chose to sew all my seams on to a main seam going vertical and horizontal and than weave them all together and then sew the other two sides. I can't wait to finish it :)


Nov 14, 2022

It would make a nice

mat for the center of a square kitchen table

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