Recycle Old Jeans into a Patchwork Jean Bowl

How was your long weekend? It’s always the 3rd day that does our family in – Monday just seems to drag on forever! But we made it to Tuesday and back to school (whew). And after last week’s 25 ways to update your jeans for fall we got a little craft happy with an old pair headed to the denim graveyard. Here’s a fun and simple way to give old jeans a new life. These bowls make perfect catch-alls around the house – and wouldn’t they be a perfect gift for a guy?

DIY Bowl with Recyled Jeans | How to make a recycled jean bowl

Supplies needed:

  • Old pair of jeans
  • Mod Podge and foam brush
  • A bowl to use as a shape

DIY Bowl with Recyled Jeans | Start by ripping strips of denim about 4 to 5 inches long and a couple of inches wide. Being precise isn’t necessary so there’s no need to measure. But you do want to rip instead of cutting to get the frayed edge. Once you have a few strips cut, generously brush on Mod Podge and start layering them around the bowl shape.

Turn some pieces inside out to get a color variance and add some strips vertically and some horizontally for the patchwork effect. Keep adding strips until the bowl is well covered. Once the Mod Podge is dry, remove the bowl from the base and it’s ready to use.

If the Mod Podge is taking forever to dry or just doesn’t seem to be getting hard, stick the bowl in the oven at a low temperature and let it bake for 10-15 minutes.

Another helpful tip: You don’t need to worry about the jeans sticking to the bowl base. Once dry, it comes off easily. We tried putting a layer of parchment paper between the bowl used for shaping and the jean strips on our first attempt, and it will be impossible to get the paper off the jeans!

DIY Bowl with Recyled Jeans | Do you have any outdated jeans you can’t bear to get rid of? Come on, I know there’s some acid wash hiding out there somewhere!


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  1. Deanna Snyder says

    And if you want to “pretty up” the rim… you can mod podge lace just inside the bowl’s lip to just outside the lip… leaving a little ruffle “free” on outside. White ruffled lace would be gorgeous with the denim!

  2. Lorien says

    So I tried this with the half elmers glue and water recipe… It did not slip of the bowl. I broke one of my knives trying to get it off it was stuck on so well. What did I do wrong?

  3. Antonella says

    lovely idea! :-)
    here in Italy we don’t have Mod Podge, any ideas of alternative glue I could use?

    thanks a lot

    • gerbermom says

      They are best used for decoration – if you get them wet the glue will get soggy and they will probably start to fall apart.

  4. Jenny says

    I LOVE ALL your ideas!! This is the best dyi/craft site ! Where do you get all your brilliant ideas? I really really like the no sew, easy, and quick crafts. It looks like I’ve spent endless hours sewing and slaving over all the great crafts and jewerly that I have made..but I hav’ent…That will be our little secret. Thank you so much for all the ideas.

  5. says

    I always feel bad throwing away old jeans! This is a great idea for recycling them. We would love to have you share this our Saturday Link Party. It starts Fridays at 6pm, hope to see you there!

    Please remember to put a link back to Made From Pinterest at the bottom of your post(s).


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