How to Make Ornaments out of Recycled Jeans
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Do you recycle household items?
If you've ever seen some of my other craft projects you know that I really enjoy repurposing items. It's something I'm fairly new to, but the more things I create with items I find around the house, the more things I want to make.
One item I can always find around the house is denim. I have old pairs of jeans that aren't suitable to donate and definitely can't be worn. So instead of throwing them away, I make things out of them.
So, instead of throwing the scraps in a big box that is already overflowing with fabric like I normally do, I made these adorable ornaments. They are an easy project to make and don't take a lot of time. Best of all, they make unique gifts and decorations that don't cost a thing.
These ornaments don't have to be just for Christmas. With a quick change of a design and color scheme, they are cute for any season.
Next time you have an old pair of jeans that are ready for the trash can, whip up a few of these ornaments to add a whimsical homespun touch to your holidays.
Supplies you'll need
- Denim scraps
- Cookie cutters or other templates for ornament shape
- Quilt batting scraps or stuffing for toys
- Embroidery floss
- Embroidery needles
- Embellishments like buttons and beads
- Scissors (good ones that can cut through denim)
- Marking pen
Step 1: Cut out the ornament shape
Layer 2 pieces of denim, wrong sides together and then:
- Using a marking pen or pencil, begin tracing around the cookie cutter or other template shape.
- Trace around the entire shape.
- Cut out both layers at the same time, ensuring that both pieces of denim stay together. You may want to pin them so they don't slip. Cut inside the tracing line so it's not seen in the final product.
Step 2: Prepare the filling of the ornament
There are two different types of filler that can be used to put in the center of the ornament.
- Quilt batting - Trace the template and cut out the shape, cutting it smaller than the denim piece so it won't show around the edges. The ornament remains rather flat when batting is used.
- Toy stuffing - A little goes a long way with stuffing, so use it sparingly. Add the stuffing when the outer edge is almost sewn shut and then continue sewing until completely finished. Using stuffing gives the ornaments more definition.
Need filler for your ornament?
Step 3: Add the hanging ribbon
If this is going to be hung on a tree, it will need a ribbon for hanging. Decide what length you'd like the hanger to be and cut a piece of ribbon to that size. I used about 7 inches of ribbon which made a loop of about 3 1/2 inches.
Pin the loop to the back piece of the denim and set aside until ready to sew.
Step 4: Embellish the front of the ornament
- Lay out the embellishments of your choice until you come up with a pleasing look.
- Using clear sewing thread so the stitches can't be seen, sew down all of the embellishments.
- With wrong sides together and all of the edges lined up, sew around the outside edge of the ornament until done. I use about an 1/8 inch seam allowance. When finished, feed the thread through the the top layer of denim and knot off where the knot can't be seen.
- Don't forget to remove the pin keeping the ribbon in place before you finish the project.
- I use 3 strands of embroidery floss around the edge so that the coordinating color can be seen.
Need beads to decorate your ornament?
Repurposed denim makes a cute ornament!
Ornaments can be made for any occasion!
Star, Tree, Gingerbread Man, Bell, Snowflake
Red, Green, White, Blue, Silver, Gold
Star of David, Menorah, Dreidel
White, Blue, Silver
Red, Pink, White
St. Patrick's Day
Shamrock, Top Hat
Easter / Spring
Oval, Duck, Rabbit, Flower
Fourth of July / Memorial Day
Red, White, Blue
Pumpkin, Witch's Hat, Ghost, Bat
Orange, Black, White
Thanksgiving / Fall
Cornucopia, Leaf, Pumpkin, Turkey
Brown, Orange, Rust, Yellow
It's such a waste to throw out a pair of jeans that can no longer be worn or donated. I have so many pairs in my sewing room and every time I look at them the ideas start flowing, like these ornaments.
One thing that makes them so special is that they are small and don't take much time to do. You can put one on a package as an added decoration, or give one as a hostess gift or stocking stuffer.
These ornaments can be designed to fit any occasion and add a special homemade touch to any home.
Recycle your old jeans
© 2014 Claudia Mitchell