Jeans Are Good for More Than Pants

| 7/22/2010 3:20:25 PM

The 197Bluejeans Bag0s were the glory days of back-to-the-land, do-it-yourself folks. They took every opportunity to reinvent and reuse things, avoiding purchasing anything new whenever possible. I was married to one of those creative, use-it-up guys for 25 years.

When our daughter was about 6 months old, a child’s toy called a Jolly Jumper came onto the market. I have no idea how much it cost in 1971, but my husband Steve figured he could probably make one — and he did — using a leg from a pair of worn-out jeans. He sewed the bottom using some heavy-duty waxed linen thread to make two leg openings for the baby, and we fastened her into the leg with diaper pins. I can’t remember now how the bag attached to the bar above, but there was wood, metal and springs involved in the whole invention. She loved it. It hung in the doorway between the kitchen and living room. In just a couple of weeks, she figured out how to jump and twist, looking from one room to the other. She’d walk as far forward as possible, pick up her feet and swing back and forth — giggling the whole time. It was the very best in-house babysitter I ever had.

Used jeans make wonderful material for all kinds of post-consumer products — rag rugs, quilts, purses and even a tipi. And, of course, the Jolly Jumper.

So today’s question is, “What have you made out of used blue jeans?” Tell us about your creative usage in the comments section below.

kate phillips
8/2/2010 4:40:25 PM

yeah! jeans! terrific clothes pins bags with a 'rounded' hanger for the opening. rag dolls- adorable. woven and braided for trivets and little tubes filled with spices and coiled for the same.....most recently, i tear a fifteen inch strip from the rag bag, slit one end and 'thread' it into a copper coil that 'quiets' the fountain on the wall that the dog and two cats drink from..with the jean strip in place (inside the coil, hanging off one end via the slit) the fountain is even quieter and the material acts like a wick for filtering the water as it circulates...once a week toss the strip and replace...on stage, denim is fabulous for construction with chicken wire for faux rocks, leaves, tree trunks (weave it through and spray paint it) yeah! jeans!

8/1/2010 7:01:46 PM

Quilts, skirts, yoga bags, aprons, purses, pencil bags, you name it you can make it. I covered an old 70's teacher's desk chair with denim that was sewn together in a pattern. Also I love these jean leg critters, I've made 2 so far.

Fawn _3
7/30/2010 8:13:40 AM

Instead of buying reusable grocery bags I started making my own. I used some left over canvas for one and will use a pair of jeans for another. To spice it up I use old t- shirts with band names or logos that I like and stitch those on the bag to decorate them and add color. What's great about canvas, jeans, and t- shirt material is that its all washable which is necessary for the reusable grocery bags- esp. if you put meat in it!

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