A good way to recycle old blue jeans is to make them into a rag rug. Rag rugs make your home look cozy and recycling jeans is good for the environment. A braided rag rug doesn’t require any special equipment. Make them any size you like; these rugs are versatile and their construction method is very forgiving. Rag rugs made with blue jeans are strong and durable and will last for many years.
Things You'll Need
- 10 to 15 pairs of old blue jeans
- Rug-sewing thread
- Heavy-duty hand-sewing needle
- Sewing machine
Cut old blue jeans into 1½-inch strips. Use the leg part and discard the part of the jeans with the pockets and zipper. Do not include the side seams—they add too much bulk to the braids.
Sew the ends of the strips together to make three lengths of blue jean strips. Make each of these strips of blue jean fabric several yards long and wind them as you go. If the balls of blue jean strips become too large or unwieldy, begin a new ball. End up with any number of balls of jean strips that is divisible by three.
Overlap the leading ends of three of the balls. Secure with a pin. Sew them together with a sewing machine using a back and forth motion.
Braid these three strips together in a conventional braid, just like braiding hair. First take the strip from the far right and cross over the middle strip. Then take the strip from the far left and cross over the middle strip. Continue to the end of the balls of blue jean strips. Leave about 2 to 3 inches of fabric unbraided at the end.
Add more strips of denim to the braid by overlapping the end of the current strip with the beginning of a new strip by about 2 inches. Continue braiding; the braid will secure the ends of the added strips.
Sew together all of the strips once they are braided. Begin at the center of the rug. Fold the strip back on itself about 12 inches from the beginning. Use a heavy hand-sewing needle and rug thread to sew the plaits together, beginning at the folded point, not the beginning of the braid. Take a stitch in one of the braids and then insert the needle into the same place in the opposite braid. When you reach the loose ends that are at the very beginning of the braid, tuck them under the plait and secure with stitches. Continue laying the leading edge of the plaited jean strip alongside the portion already sewn together and secure with hand stitches.