How to Make Denim Yarn from Old Jeans

Upcycle Your Old Blue Jeans into Awesome Denim Yarn for Crochet or Knitting

Have you seen all of the posts lately about making yarn from old t-shirts? I have not attempted to make T shirt yarn and it 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!

How to Make Denim Yarn, a Tutorial

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Supplies needed:

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– Old Blue Jeans
Sharp Fabric Scissors

Check your closet or head to the thrift store and pick up several pairs of blue jeans. The larger, the better! Straight leg or boot cut work best and keep in mind that skinny jeans won’t give you much fabric to work with.

Also, make sure your blue jeans are not too old or worn. You don’t want fabric with holes or very thin areas. No tears or rips, either.

Your jeans don’t have to be 100% Cotton. Denim with a bit of spandex or polyester is fine and will actually make your yarn more durable.

Prepare the Blue Jeans

The first step is to cut off the pants part of the jeans. There are too many seems with all the pockets and zippers to be useful. Using your fabric scissors, make a cut straight across the legs at the base of the pants.

Cut the legs off your blue jeans to make yarn

Next, you need to cut both of the seams off the legs and the hem at the bottom of each leg. This leaves you with four pieces of denim fabric. If the jeans are flared at the bottom, you’ll need to remove the excess fabric. Trim is until you have a rectangle shaped piece of denim fabric.

Lay one of your denim 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

Making the 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!

Blue jeans cut into strips to make yarn

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 pair of blue 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 made some crochet trivets or potholders to test this yarn.

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


And if you’re interested in making T-Shirt yarn, here’s a cool video from Sustain My Craft Habit:

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

Related Denim Fabric Posts:

Crocheting with Denim Yarn
Recycled Jeans: 12 Cool Denim Projects
17 Fun Scrap Fabric Projects
Upcycle an Old Sweater into Fingerless Gloves

Upcycle your old blue jeans into awesome yarn

Upcycle your old blue jeans into yarn for crochet projects

How to Make Denim Yarn from Old Jeans


  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. 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!