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DIY Blue Jean Pot Holders

I love to combine crafting with reusing – there are so many materials and objects in our homes that have more than just traditional uses. Old jeans are one of my favorite things to reuse and craft with, so today we’re making a set of DIY blue jean pot holders. Because denim is so sturdy, a pair of jeans that are no longer wearable usually still have plenty of miles left to go as something else. And if you don’t have old jeans lying around, you can always pick them up for $.50 a pair at yard sales.

Making pot holders is my top favorite craft with old jeans. I’ve also made quilts and shoulder bags, but potholders are so quick and easy and can be made from 100% reused materials.

DIY Blue Jean Pot Holders

Blue Jean Pot Holders

Here’s how to do it!

Supplies:

  • an old pair of blue jeans
  • quilt batting
  • sewing machine
  • sewing pins
  • felt or fleece fabric, for the back side

Instructions:

Before you begin cutting out the pieces for the pot holder, cut all the way up one seam (the outer seam would be easiest) so you can open the jeans up and have a single flat surface to work with.

hand made hot pad

1. Cut the front piece.

With a rotary mat and cutter, cut a square around the back pocket on an old pair of jeans. For a 10×10 potholder, cut the square 10 x 10, centering the pocket.

hand made hot pad

2. Cut the back piece.

For a 10×10 pot holder, cut the back piece 11.5 x 11.5. You’ll need 3/4″ on each of the four sides of the square to fold under and enclose the raw edges, so you’ll be adding 1.5″ extra on both the height and the width.

hand made hot pad

3. Cut the batting.

For the batting you can use old blanket scraps, sweatpants or other fleece scraps, or polyester fleece batting. Cut the batting to be the same size as the top piece, 10×10 for this pot holder.

Abutting lateral edges
Abutting lateral edges

Finished view
Finished view

If you only have strips of blankets, clothing, or batting, abut the edges and zigzag them together using a stitch width of 4 and stitch length of 2. You don’t want to create a seam, so abutting the edges is the best method.

denim hot pad

4. Sandwich the batting piece in between the top and bottom pieces, lining the batting up exactly with the top piece and centering the top piece over the bottom piece.

handmade hot pad

5. Fold down the edges on the top and bottom first. Turn each raw edge under 1/4″ and then fold that over another 1/2″ so that the edge of the top piece is to the edge of the fold.

handmade hot pad

6. Pin the corner. Fold the bottom edge up at a 45 degree angle to the top and side edges.

pinning and sewing

7. Fold the side edge up 1/4″.

pinning and folding

8. Fold the side up 1/2″ so that the top piece is underneath the side piece and the fold is diagonal.

pinning and folding

This is how the corner should look. This step is tricky because the denim is so bulky. Be patient and use lots of pins.

pinning and folding

9. Finish pinning and preparing the corners by repeating the above steps. When you’re finished, the top and bottom hems should be underneath the side hems.

sewing hems

10. Choose a color of thread (I used hot pink on mine), and, using your blind hem foot, sew 1/8″ inside the hem edge. Because the corners are so bulky, you will have to stop and lift up the presser foot, but be sure to leave the needle in the down position so the fabric doesn’t slip.

sewing hems

11. Sew around the 3 outer edges of the pocket through all layers – don’t sew across the top edge of the pocket. Use your blind hem foot again, but keep the needle in the center position so the stitching is as close to the pocket edge as possible.

sewing hems

Here’s a close up of what the corner should look like.

DIY Blue Jean Pot Holders

And…All done! You can use the pocket like a glove/oven mit or as a pot holder on the table. These are so easy to make, and so cute too! You can do these any size your jeans will allow, even mini ones from kid’s jeans.

Well, thanks for having me Marie and all you Make and Takes readers! I’m lucky to get to do a guest post on such an awesome blog. I do sewing/craft tutorials and talk about family life and fun on my blog, Vanilla Joy. I will also be giving away a Cricut in a few weeks, so don’t miss out on a chance to win! Thanks again!

Yeah for Guest Make and Takers! I love having others share their great ideas on Make and Takes. Like Kelsey from Vanilla Joy. She’s got a great blog with tips, tricks, and fun crafts. Today, she’s sharing a fun project recycling our old blue jeans into pot holders. Get out your sewing machines, even you beginners can give this one a try!

22 comments

  1. ALthough this is adorable and a good idea…you need to fix your instructions. First of all you should make it clear that you should check the tag on the jeans to make sure they are 100% cotton jeans with no lycra. You should ONLY use 100% cotton when making potholders because anything with nylon or polyester would melt. So it goes without saying that your suggestion to use polyester fiberfill is a bit reckless. You should only use cotton batting or the like. I was thinking why not use several layers of 100 % cotton tshirt pieces to layer inbetween the denim for the padding. Also if you do it that way you wouldn’t have to finish the edges. Just sew all around the potholder (all layers) from the RIGHT side of the potholder. You could use a zigzag or decorative stitch and just let the tshirt material curl on the edges and the denim to fray. That would look awesome.
    Again DO NOT USE POLYESTER FIBERFILL for these ….it could melt and you could give yourself or someone else a nasty burn!

  2. I was saving jeans to use as rag rugs for the kitchen. I love the pot holders and the placemats ideas. It will bring the whole room together! I think I’ll add a few scraps to a vase with hot glue for a complete kitchen remodel! Thanks everyone!

  3. Very cool idea. I have heard of them before, but never really took interest. Since I am poor these days and would like to make “cheap” and “recycled” gifts, this is a great idea. I know what some of my relatives are getting for Christmas! :-)

  4. To Sherry, April 9, 2010 — cut everything just as instructed and use a 9 1/2 insh square of an old blanket (or another square of the denim) for batting. Pin as instructed and either hand stitch the ‘fold-overs’ or use a blanket stitch if you know what that is. OR — plan on the ‘ragged’ edge and use either of the stitches I already mentioned or just whip-stitch over the edges to hold everything together. Hope this works for you!!!

  5. I don’t have a sewing machine and some of the terminology here is unfamiliar to me. Can anyone explain, in very simple terms, how someone could do this if they are doing it all by hand (no rotary cutters, whatever they are, etc)?? Love the idea!

  6. Why not put right sides together, sew around 3 sides, turn right sides out and the do a topstitch on just one side or go around all the sides with a topstitch to finish.
    i love denim too, there’s nothing quite like our favorite pairs is there!

  7. April – The ragged edges is a fun way to do these too. Thanks.

    Teresa – I love the Blue Jean placemat idea. My kids would get a kick out of the silverware pocket. Fun idea.

    Jessica – yes, always great to have reusable items!

  8. Very cute. I love denim…this is a project I think I’ll have to make. I was thinking of using jeans to make placemats, and the pocket could be a little silverware holder!

  9. awesome using the pocket!!!! i was going to suggest the same ragged edge… much easier on time and the sewing machine! and if you put a colorful peice of fleece inside it’ll really ad some color on the clipped edges!

  10. One can also make these the same exact way except that one would sew a seam around the edge of the entire potholder about 1/4 inch in and leave the edges raw. Then go around and clip them almost to the seam in increments of about 1/8 inch. Wash and dry and voila! Very cool ragged edged potholders!

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