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Tearing at the seams? 5 DIYs with raw scrap denim

5 DIY projects even a guy can make

Blue jeans and denim may have gotten their start in Genoa, Italy (Gene-Oh-Ah) and Nimes, France, (Or de Nimes, France… deh-Nims) but most of the planet associates denim jeans with the cowboys of the American West and/or the 1950's fashion craze known as the Greaser culture, both of which started in the USA.

Blue jeans saw their first appearance in America in the 1850 and are more popular today than ever before. Just about every American man has owned a pair of jeans at some point in their lives and many have worn them for most of their lives. A large part of their popularity can be attributed to the fabrics durability, wear-ability, (Comfort) and clever advertising throughout the years.

We Love our Jeans

If we were to be perfectly honest… many men grow very fond of their favorite pair of blue jeans. We are often hard pressed to part with them to the point that if nothing else, we will wear them ragged around the house and would not dream of doing yard work without them. When it finally comes time to let them go, we will actually mourn them as if they were a faithful dog or an old friend that passed away.

If you have a pair of favorite jeans that have surpassed the point of no return… even for around the house wear, there is still hope. All it takes is a little bit of creativity (And a few minor supplies) to turn those ready for the trash jeans into something useful. Here are five excellent DIY ways to get even more miles out of that faithful pair of denim jeans that served us so well.

Difficulty Levels: 1 = you can do it with both eyes closed…

level 5 = tough design and intricate sewing so seek advice from the fairer sex…

level 10 = find a woman to help because you are in way over your head…

  • Sweat Bandana
  • Rugged Mobile Phone /Shades Case
  • A Denim Leash For Man's Best Friend
  • Denim Pin Board (For the Home Office or Workbench)
  • Knife Case (Closed Style… like an Old Timer or Uncle Buck)

The Denim Sweat Band (Difficulty Level = -1)

When we are working outdoors in the heat, men rely on our baseball style caps or a bandana to keep the sweat out of our eyes. That blue jean material is perfect for the job, especially cotton denim. Simply cut a swatch of denim leg roughly 19 to 24 inches square, depending upon the size of your head. Now you have two choices. You can leave the edges rough, to give them a manly look, or fold the edges 1/8th inch and run a stitch all the way around to keep the edges from fraying.

Mobile Phone & Sunglasses Holder (Difficulty Level 3)

Toss out those flimsy plastic phone carriers and grab that old pair of jeans. Make sure both back pockets and at least two belt loops are in good shape. Depending upon the size of your phone, cut your pockets out and clip off one side so the phone just fits with a quarter inch to spare. (About 1/8 inch on either side of phone)

Carefully cut two of the belt loops off your old jeans and sew them on the back of one pocket. Now sew those pockets together with the good sides in together and the loops on the inside. Turn it inside out (Which is right side out) and Presto! You have a phone holder that loops onto your belt, holds your cell phone snugly, and has an extra slot for your sunglasses, smokes, or whatever else you may need to carry with you.

A Leash for Man's Best Bud (Difficulty Level 2)

Some guys would not be caught dead without their best friend by their side. The problem is, that pastel colored leash your mom bought for Rover sticks out like a sore thumb. You would not dream of going to your favorite frisbee park without your blue jeans so give your dog the same consideration. A denim leash is durable, easy to make, and will help bring out the blue in your Siberian Husky's eyes. You will need a stainless steel latch (Preferably one with a swivel on the end) and a roll of denim colored duct tape for this project.

  • Cut three long strips of tough denim from cuff to crotch. Braid them together tightly and use a piece of duct tape to hold the ends temporarily. (Leave a couple inches unbraided on each end)
  • Fold one end down about four inches and tie it to the leash to form the loop handle and reinforce it with duct tape. Make it tight to create a strong hold. (You can throw a few stitches in it for more reinforcement)
  • Weave the other end to the latch, tie the ends, snip off the excess, and secure with denim colored duct tape.
  • Grab the frisbee, load Rover in the truck, and go have a ball.
  • If you can sew, tack the ends as well as tie them and secure with duct tape.

Easy Pin Board for the Man's Home Office Wall (Difficulty Level 1)

Dress up your workspace with a corkboard made from denim. This project is a lot easier than it sounds. Here is what you will need.

  • A pair of old jeans with enough savable material to cover a twelve by twelve board (The butt areas works great since it has two pockets for extra stash opportunity)
  • A piece of corkboard or Styrofoam approx. 12" x 12"
  • A roll of denim duct tape and a stapler

Cut your jean material with two extra inches all the way around. Stretch it tight over your corkboard or Styrofoam and tack overhang down in the back with staples from your desktop stapler. Use your duct tape to secure the denim in place. Nail it to the wall and start posting your important numbers with tacks. Use the pockets to hold bills and such.

Closed Knife Case (Difficulty Level 4)

That Uncle Buck or Old Timer pocketknife that your dad or granddad left in an old tin can with a broken pocket watch needs a home. Hey, you did not rescue, clean, oil, de-rust, and hone that nostalgic blade only to have it fall through a hole in your pocket. It belongs on your belt where you can get to it in a hurry. This one is a bit tricky… but doable. Here is what you will need.

  • Denim (Of course)
  • Duct Tape
  • An Iron (Ironing board optional)
  • Heavy Needle and Thread (Dark Blue or Black)

Lay your knife on the fabric and cut your denim four times the size in width and a half inch shorter than the knife (Closed) in length. Lay your cut piece with the good denim side face down and cover the back with three good layers of denim colored duct tape. This is the inside of your sheath.

  • Position the knife (Closed) directly in the center with a half inch showing on top and fold the piece of duct taped material over the knife.
  • Remove the knife, fold all edges except the top over by about a quarter of an inch, and smooth it out with your hot iron.
  • Lay a heavy dose of thread around the edges. A good trick here is to wrap your thumb with duct tape to keep from puncturing yourself a hundred times.
  • Now sew one or two of your denim belt loops to the side with the worst stitching. Guess what… you have a man's pocketknife case of which your granddaddy would be proud.

These are just five easy ways that you can put that faithful pair of old blue jeans to use once they are no longer serviceable as pants. Try to time your project on or near Christmas or your birthday. This way, instead of receiving a gift of cologne or another new tie, you will almost certainly get a new pair of blue jeans to replace the ones you used in your DIY project.

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