What to do with old jeans

Here’s the latest of my crafting projects. I used old jeans, quilt batting, and some of my $1 fabric to make some cute new hot pads. A couple of them even incorporate the back pocket of the jeans, making them usable as hot mitts.

Each pad consists of two layers of denim, a layer of quilt batting, and a layer of ‘cute’ fabric. If I didn’t have quilt batting, I probably would have cut up an old towel for an additional layer of heat protection in the core of the pad. I cut the denim and batting all the same size (about 6 inches square). Then I cut the decorative layer of fabric about two inches longer and wider.  This way I could use it both as backing and as edging, by simply folding the extra width over the raw edges of the denim and stitching all the layers together.  All in all it was a fun project.  Now all I have to do is force myself to use them.   They’re so cute and perky that I’m not too eager to start getting them dirty.

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Update:  if you’re not so crafty but you love this idea– they make great gifts!– check the Owlhaven etsy shop to see if I currently have any potholders for sale.  Here’s a sampling of what I’ve made recently.


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  1. Darling, I love this! I am so going to print this and add it to our sewing projects to do this school year. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hum. One of my goals this school year is to learn to sew. This looks like a great project!


  3. Great idea! And I have a basket full of old jeans to repurpose so this is perfect. Another option instead of the quilt batting would be to use remnants of an old wool sweater that you’ve felted. Maybe I can make some of these as stocking stuffers for some grown-ups in the family.

  4. Super cute, Mary! I saved a ton of old jeans for when I was making dolls last year, but I got burned out on dolls and still have the jeans! I know what I’m gonna do…

  5. Love this!!! I’m not a very good sewer, but I’m getting better! I just made two, using a leg cut from a pair of my son’s ripped jeans and one of my other son’s old blankets. I’m still looking for a good fabric for the underside; may look for an old sheet at Goodwill. I see Christmas presents, too!

    Thanks so much!

  6. These look great and sound fairly easy. My girls spent a day refurbishing a pair of old jeans into two purses for the new school year and a clothespin holder for the line. Another use for old jeans that we have seen cropping up around our town is pet owners using them to make outer wear for their dogs.
    Someone mentioned old wool sweaters for batting but we use those to make mittens for our cold winters. With them selling for $30 or more, making them ourselves has saved us hundreds of dollars.

  7. These are sooo cute!!! My cooking friends would love these. Is there a pattern or something I can use to make these (super beginner sewer here 😉 )

  8. Hm, now i have loads of old denim and I really want some new oven gloves. I wonder if I could adapt this idea/….

  9. You can also use part of the leg of a blue jean, cut in rectangular, sew the open sides and fill with rice(not too full).
    This bags can be heated in the microwave for 2 minutes. They make
    wonderfull little heating pads you can give to your friend and to
    senior citizens @ church.


  10. Michele T says:

    These are really neat!! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Robin in New Jersey says:

    Great idea! I have about 20 pairs of old jeans in a bin waiting to be used.

  12. Johanna says:

    This is such a cute idea. I’m doing it today! Thanks 🙂