Jeans Are Good for More Than Pants

Reader Contribution by Heidi Hunt
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The 197

0s 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.