How to Make Denim Yarn from Old Jeans

How to make Denim Yarn Tutorial

Have you seen all of the posts lately about making yarn from old t-shirts? That project is still on my to-do list but in the meantime, I thought, hey why not try making yarn from of jeans?

Denim is a wonderful, versatile and strong fabric that is easy to come by. And, making yarn from old jeans is super easy and quick! You can be knitting or crocheting with it in no time at all!

Update: I made some crochet trivets or potholders to test this yarn.

Here are some great Recycled Denim Ideas: Recycled Denim! Great Projects for your Old Jeans

How to Make Denim Yarn, a Tutorial

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How to make Denim Yarn from Old Jeans

Supplies needed:

– Old Jeans
Sharp Fabric Scissors

Check your closet or head to the thrift store and pick up several pairs of jeans. Straight leg or boot cut work best and keep in mind that skinny jeans won’t give you much fabric to work with. Make sure they are not too old or worn and that they don’t have rips.

Denim with a bit of spandex or polyester is fine and will actually make your yarn more durable.

Prep Your Jeans

The first step is to cut off the pants part of the jeans, cut straight across the legs at the base of the pants.

How to Make Denim Yarn, a Tutorial

Next, you need to trim both of the seams off the legs and the hem at the bottom, which leaves you with four pieces of denim fabric. If the jeans are flared at the bottom, you’ll need to remove the excess fabric.

Lay one of your pieces right side up on your table. Now, look at the outside edge of the piece. Run a finger in a straight line from the top of the right edge to the bottom. That will show you where you need to make a cut to remove the flare. Make a 1-2″ cut, grab both sides and rip off the excess.

Cut off the excess denim

Make Denim Yarn

Cut your jeans into strips to make yarn

You’re going to use the same snip & rip method to make the actual yarn. Lay the piece flat on the table and make a 1-2″ cut about 3/4″ in from the outer edge of the denim. Grab each side in one hand and rip it all the way to the other end, stopping about 3/4″ from the other end.

Turn the piece over. Now you will make another cut about 3/4″ from the previous line and again, tear it to within 3/4″ of the other end. Continue across the entire piece. Sorry if this is confusing!

How to Make Denim Yarn, a Tutorial

How to Make DIY Denim Yarn from Jeans by FiberArtsy

Finishing The Yarn

All that’s left now is to trim off any loose threads created from ripping the denim. Also, look at the parts where you turned the jeans. If you want to, you can trim the corners to make the turn more even, but this is optional.

Trim loose threads from the denim yarn

That’s it! I used a Size 7 Women’s Jeans which yielded about 38 yards of denim yarn. This is a great material for weaving or to crochet a purse, coasters or even a rug!

Update! I crocheted some trivets or potholders out of the denim strips. My next project will be a rug for the bathroom but I’ll definitely need more jeans.


Learn how to upcycle your old jeans into Denim Yarn, step by step Tutorial

Make Denim Yarn from your old Jeans. Easy step by step DIY tutorial


  1. Thanks for this, I love working with Denim and I’m always looking for new ideas. I’ve done some giant knitting before and this denim yarn would be perfect for that. Great tutorial !

  2. What size needle did you use to crochet a rug? I’ll need to get one because I’m sure mine are all too small, but this is a brilliant way to use my old jeans!!

    • My strips are about 1″ wide and I’m working with a Q hook. I haven’t tried a rug yet (on the list lol) but I’ll probably make wider strips and a larger hook. Thanks Susan!

  3. I want to see how you make the rug from denim

    • Hi Carolyn, I’m working on a couple of projects right now. Hope to have to finished in a couple weeks to show you guys. Thanks for popping by!

  4. This is of no offense to our size 16 and up Ladies, but considering that you made your yarn out of a pair of size 7 pants, wouldn’t you get a bit more yardage out of a larger size?? I’d really love to try this, and to come up with some type of pattern, but once I start cutting and tearing, I would sure like to get a larger ball than what you have in the photo. I also wondered how you attach your balls together. Do you knot them, or do you sew them together?? Thank you so much for the informative tutorial!!

  5. I love this idea! You could circular weave them into coasters or trivets and alternate between dark and light colors. A few years ago, my grandma made me a quilt that had denim patches on it and the denim added a really awesome texture balance to the quilt and I could see the same thing with the yarn! Awesome idea!

  6. Marny CA says:

    Denim in strips also makes great rugs with ‘locker’ tool!

    I’ve been collecting denim for many years to make a couple of rag quilts – but, so far, haven’t done even one.

    At my age, best not to keep waiting. Sure do love ideas and creative people.

    • Hi Marny!
      I have not heard of a locker tool. Will have to look that up lol. Years ago, I started a denim square blanket but it was going to be too heavy so there went that project.
      Sorry for the late response …
      Thanks for stopping by!