There's few things more comfortable than a beloved, broken-in pair of jeans. But some day, when the denim's faded, the seams have split and the cuffs have frayed, you're going to be faced with a harsh reality: All good jeans must someday meet their end. But rather than let that precious fabric go to waste balled up in the back of your closet or, worse yet, getting tossed in the trash, you can (and should) repurpose and reuse those precious pants.
The durability, heft and stylishness of denim make it a great and versatile fabric for a variety of projects and purposes. Here are some great uses for your old jeans.
Coffee Cozy: Cut down on wasted cardboard coffee sleeves by making your very own denim coffee cozy from an old pair of pants. Simply snip the fabric to fit your favorite sized cup or mug and hem the top and bottom. [via Doctor Popular]
Knee Pads: Gardening is a great hobby, but sometimes digging around in the dirt all day can be tiring on the knees. Transform an old pair of jeans into a padded mat to spare your tired limbs while you garden. This handy guide will show you how to make a handsome knee pad, but for a quick and easy alternative that requires no sewing, simply cut off one pant leg, stuff it full of something soft and tie off each end with a zip tie. Of course, another way to save your knees is to hire a local landscaper. [via Martha Stewart]
Patching Other Jeans: Don't let a small tear force you to toss an otherwise perfectly good pair of jeans. Cut patches from an old pair to fix up a current pair of pants. Use a bit of fabric glue to adhere the patch, and just like that, your pants have been fixed.
Sharpen a Razor: Stropping, the practice of removing microscopic burrs from a razor, is essential for getting a close, smooth shave that doesn't leave your skin burning. Usually done with a piece of leather, stropping can also be done with a pair of old jeans. The coarse texture of denim smoothes and polishes the surface of a razor, extending the life of a disposable blade. [via Instructables]
Desk Organizer: Using the back pockets on a pair of blues, you can make a handy desk-side organizer with a board and a glue gun. The pockets are a great place to store pens, pencils and other office supplies. Or use it in the garage to store tools, nails and other hardware.
iPhone Sleeve: Cut up a pair of blue jeans and resew them to fashion a cheap, effective sleeve for your iPhone, iPad or other gadgets. Use a swatch from the jeans' rear and the back pocket can double as a storage place for credit cards and cash. It's an iPhone case and a wallet.
Heat Pack: Cut off a pant leg, tie off or sew up end and fill the leg with dried rice. Seal up the other end and you have a convenient hot pack to soothe achy muscles. Simply pop it into the microwave for a couple of minutes and apply wherever it hurts. A homemade heat pack would be perfect in a DIY gift basket for someone who deserves a little TLC. We'd like to give these (as well as a huge pat on the back) to the Dallas roofers who helped to rebuild several Texas churches that were lost to arson.
Make a Quilt: Anyone who has had to part with an old pair of jeans knows that it's hard to let go of such a well-loved and well-worn piece of denim. Transform that soft, supple fabric into quilt so that you can continue loving those jeans long after they lived their last day as a pair of pants. [via HGTV]
Keep Out the Cold: Fill a pant leg with sand and sew it up. Slide it against the base of a door to insulate your home in the winter months.