Denim is a durable material designed specifically to last through much wear and tear. However, after hiking, camping, and running around, you may outgrow your jeans or get an unrepairable rip. Even when you’ve worn out a pair of jeans, there are still plenty of ways to make use of the fabric. Here are a few upcycling projects to get you started.

Woven Potholders

Denim tends to be thick. A couple of layers are all you need to protect your skin from a hot stove. A woven denim potholder is an easy craft that does just that! For this project, all you need are scissors and an old pair of jeans. Note that you cannot use jeggings because these are too thin and made with fabric that can melt in hot temperatures. You may also want some pins or something to help keep the fabric in place as you weave.

Start by cutting loops of fabric off the pant legs. Each loop should be about ½ inch thick. Next, lay out several loops next to each other until they form a square. Secure these in place using pins, or have someone hold them down for you.

Using your remaining fabric loops, weave the through in an over-under fashion, making sure to alternate the weaving pattern for each new loop. Continue until you have woven as many loops as will fit.

Now, cut a long strip of fabric that is slightly longer than the perimeter of your potholder. Starting at one corner, stick this fabric through each denim loop until you return to your starting point. Tie the two ends together, and your potholder is complete!

Denim Bags

This is your opportunity to get creative. After following the instructions, feel free to embellish with paint, ribbon, embroidery, or whatever you want! In addition to old jeans, you will need basic sewing supplies as well.

Cut off a large section from a pant leg; this will be the size of your bag. Flip the leg inside-out and stitch one side closed. Cut and fringe long strips of fabric that will be used as handles. You can choose to have one handle or two, but it’s recommended that you braid your handles to make them stronger. Sew the ends of your handles onto the wrong side of the bag.

When you flip your bag right-side-out, you can begin decorating. If you’d like, you can cut a back pocket off of the jeans and sew it to the front of your bag for extra storage. Get creative, and have fun!