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How To Make A Rug From Jeans - Totally Green Crafts

How To Make A Rug From Jeans

One pair of jeans takes around 1,800 gallons of water to produce.

Where you can, you should try to upcycle and repurpose your jeans rather than throwing them in the trash.

They can take 1-5 years to decompose, so upcycling them is a perfect way to avoid damaging the environment!

We’ve rounded up some of the best and easiest ways to make a rug from jeans so that your old clothes can be given a new lease of life. 


This is fairly self-explanatory, but a very simple way to make a rug from old jeans is to sew them together. If you have lots of different pairs of old or broken jeans, this would work perfectly. Mix and match colors and weights of denim to create a fun contrasting effect. 

To make a rug you will need cotton batting, some grip-resistant fabric (this is optional, but highly recommended), needles, and thread. Once you have cut out your patches and sewn them together, iron the seams flat.

Cut to your desired shape. Lay your batting on the floor, then the grip-resistant fabric, right side facing up. Top with your denim patchwork, face down.

Pin and sew around the outside edge, leaving a 6-inch space unsewn. Turn your rug inside out so that the patchwork is the right way around. Iron the seams flat and then hand stitch the exposed edge.


Another idea is a waistband rug. As the name suggests, this is made solely from the waistbands of old pairs of jeans. Most upcycling designs call for the leg material, so you may be left with a lot of spare waistbands. This is the perfect design for them! 

All you need to make a waistband rug is some old denim waistbands, a small, non-slip mat, some fabric glue, scissors, a corkboard, and thumbtacks. Cut the waistbands as close to the seams as possible, then remove the belt loops and button. 

Lay the non-slip mat on top of the corkboard. Cover the back of the waistbands and the top of the non-slip mat in fabric glue and stick the waistbands on. Push thumbtacks through the waistbands to keep them in place as the glue dries. 

Trim off any excess and tidy up the edges. To do this, open a seam on an unused waistband and fold back together over the exposed edges of your rug. Glue well and add more thumbtacks while it dries. Pull out the thumbtacks before use!


This method of rug making requires a loom, there are some good instructions for creating your own here DIY woven wall hanging. Set up your loom.

You will need to cut your old jeans into strips around 1-inch thick. Use a sewing machine to stitch all of these strips together to make one long strand. This is your yarn.

Weave this in and out of your loom, alternating the direction of the weave at the end of each row. Continue to the desired length and tie off. You can sew on some tassels to the ends if you like. 

You can also make woven rugs with a sewing machine. You will need 2-inch thick strips of denim, a backing fabric such as canvas, and a non-slip backing.

Cut the backing fabric to the size you want your finished rug to be. Mark a diagonal grid on your canvas to use as a guide for where the denim should fall. Lay your denim strips on the canvas, all parallel to one another.

Start from one side and begin weaving strips of denim perpendicular to the ones you have just placed.

Once you have finished weaving in one strip, pin it in place. Try to line the strips up with your grid.

Using a straight stitch on your sewing machine, sew along where your grid lines fell.

Work from one side to the other, removing the pins as you go. Trim the edges, leaving a ¾ inch overlap. Pin this overlap over the canvas. Sew to hold in place.

Add the non-slip backing by sewing or with glue. 


A very easy way to make a rug, all you need is lots of jeans, scissors, and a needle and thread. Cut your old jeans into long strips and sew the ends together to make 3 very long strands. 

Sew the three strands together at the top to hold them together. Braid from here as you would in hair. Once you have reached the end of the strands, sew the braid closed.

From here, all you need to do is curl the braided strands around each other to make a large flat rug. You can use fabric glue to hold the coils in place or sew together.


For this method, you need long jean strips, yarn, a crochet needle, and scissors. Make a slip knot with 2 strands of yarn around your needle. Twist one of your denim strips so that it is a more cylindrical shape. 

Single crochet 2 stitches around the end, 2 inches in. Fold the tail down and continue to single crochet along the length of the strip. Fold the denim over itself and continue to crochet, adding in turning stitches at the end of the rows.

Continue until your rug is done. Finish off the last row by tucking in any raw edges and crocheting over. Tie the yarn off firmly, weaving in loose ends.

Shag rug 

This is the simplest and most traditional way to make a scrap fabric rug. All you will need is a lot of thin strips of denim, and a large non-slip mesh backing fabric.

To make a shag rug, start at one end of the mesh. Start at the bottom left-most corner of the backing.

Use tweezers or jewellery pliers to feed one of the denim strips through the first square. 

Feed it through about halfway, and then knot the strip. Continue in this manner until the entire backing mat is full of small denim knots.

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