If upcycled denim brings to mind at least one cringy 90s-era all denim moment, it's time to update your idea of what denim can do. After all, we love our denim in its original form, so why stop at jeans?
Because the preferred style and shape of our beloved denim jeans are always evolving, a large number of them end up at thrift stores, warehouses, and (ugh) landfills. Because of this, tons of high-quality denim material sits unused. Not to mention, if a favorite pair of expensive jeans finally rips, most people toss them without thinking of the sheer possibilities for mending and upcycling.
In an effort to celebrate one of the most endearing fabrics of our time, here's a roundup of upcycled denim goodies to inspire you.
1.) Upcycled Denim Ornaments from Handwork Studio
Crafted from upcycled denim, these lovingly stitched birds use denim's natural texture to add depth to a charming design. Rough hewn edges and hand-stitched details help bring to life these precious little avian ornaments. Perfect in a holiday tree or hung from a window, these sustainable makes are a great way to add unique detail to your home space or event.
Tiny Love Birds by Handwork Studio
2.) Upcycled Denim Drink Coasters by Second Life Denim
Who knew drink coasters could be so devastatingly cool? These patchwork upcycled denim coasters are naturally durable works of art, lending a bespoke feeling to your usual beverage routine. Second Life Denim has made a habit of creating design-worthy goods out of reclaimed denim, so be sure to check out their full collection.
Upcycled Drink Coasters by Second Life Denim
3.) Denim Trivets by Ridgetop Gatherings
As a material choice, denim immediately delivers deep, rich color and some serious durability. If you're looking for a sustainable way to protect your tabletops and counters from hot dishes and pans, these gorgeous upycycled denim trivets from Ridgetop Gatherings are equal parts artful and practical.
Upcycled Denim Trivets by Ridgetop Gatherings
4.) Upcycled Denim Top by SilkDenim
We love denim jeans and jackets, so why not denim tops? This modern upcycled patchwork denim top creates a richly hued geometric pattern that adds an instant update to our usual idea of "denim clothing". Sustainably made with reclaimed jean fabric, this eclectic design is also eco-friendly: the ultimate fashion statement.
5.) Reclaimed Denim Tote Bag by TMM Studios
Handmade in NY from deadstock vintage denim fabric, these sleek two-tone totes are an excellent everyday accessory. Each reclaimed denim bag is naturally durable and richly textured, carrying the classic weave of beloved old school vintage jean fabric. Modern shaping and finishing offer a delightful update to deadstock fabric, giving it new life as a practical minimalist must-have.
Reclaimed Vintage Denim Tote Bag from TMM Studios
6.) Upcycled Denim Yoga Bag Pattern by Maria Magnolia Designs
While it's not a finished item, this yoga bag sewing pattern does something even better: it helps you craft your own! If you have old denim in the back of your closet or waiting for you at your local thrift store, this pattern is for you. Making this patchwork yoga bag as a gift (or for yourself) is a great way to spend a sustainable Sunday.
Denim Yoga Bag Sewing Pattern by Maria Magnolia Designs
7.) Upcycled Denim Quilt Pattern by Stitch and Yarn Shop
As another stunning example for the vast possibilities for using denim, this denim quilt pattern offers all you need to quilt your own denim star pattern. Once again, the beautiful natural tones and textures of denim get a second life as a practical statement piece for your home. Denim blankets would also make an excellent field or travel blanket, as they're naturally durable and thicker than your average cotton.
Denim Quilt Sewing Pattern by Stitch and Yarn Shop
8.) Denim Pouf Pattern by Stitch and Yarn Shop
Any crafting pattern that allows you to kick your feet up afterwards is automatically a great idea. This upcycled denim pouf sewing pattern offers several options for creating and finishing your denim pouf ottoman, allowing you to customize it to fit your space.
9.) Upcycled Denim Dress by Bron Ethical
Some fashion is cyclical, and the denim dress trend is a great example of 90s fashion making a comeback. This newly handmade upcycled denim dress is your ticket to a sustainably handmade take on this resurfacing trend. Expertly finished seams and edges with added utility details allow for comfortable wear and fun possibilities for shoe and accessory pairings.
Upcycled Patchwork Denim Dress by Bron Ethical
Whether you're planning to upcycle jeans from the back of your closet or the racks of your local thrift store, the possibilities are endless! Denim upcycling can be a cost-effective way to create a new, durable item for your closet or home that you'll love in a totally new way.
Note: This post features Etsy affiliate links, but all makers are hand-selected by me!