Jeans may be comfortable and hard-wearing, but there comes a time when even the best pair of jeans has had its day. If you hate the idea of throwing your old friends away, and also like the idea of doing a little bit of a DIY project, there are lots of ways you can upcycle your old jeans and make them look fashionable again – perhaps even turning those worn patches into a feature!

If you can sew, you can turn old jeans into plenty of other things, including skirts, bags and even dresses, and there are plenty of ideas and tutorials available online if you want to try something more ambitious with your old jeans. However, here are three ideas anybody can do with minimal tools, which can give your jeans a new lease on life!


Cut Them Off


Turning jeans into denim shorts is something people have been doing for decades, but with so many different styles in fashion lately, you have far more options for customizing your look when you do this to your old pair.

For example, a pair of jeans that has become frayed around the hem from rubbing against shoes, but is otherwise in good condition, can be turned into capri pants. Skinny jeans are great for this as they already have the right fit.

If you want your denim shorts to be short and perfect for the beach, you still have a lot of options to make them unique. Do you want them very short, with the inner pockets revealed under the fray line, or do you want more relaxed, slouchy knee length shorts?

Making cut offs is easy – simply put on your jeans and, while standing, mark where you want to cut – this should be an inch or so below where you want the denim to end to allow for fraying. Then, cut your jeans off at the line, and using tools like tweezers or needles, pull away at the blue threads to create a fray.


Distress Them


Distressed jeans have been in for a while now, but for some reason old jeans never seem to develop distressed, ripped or faded patches where you’d choose to put them without a little help! With designer distressed jeans costing a fortune, it can be much better to work on the look yourself with your old pair, which are already a perfect fit!

Check out this site for some great DIY ripped jeans tutorials.


Dye Them


Blues can look cool when they have faded, but other colors, not so much. You can use a cold water fabric dye (found in all craft shops) to refresh the color of your old jeans, or, if you have a white pair that have gone a kind of off white over time, you can either bleach them or dye them a new color entirely!

Upcycling old jeans is a cheap and fun way to get something new to wear, and is also far better for the environment than throwing them away and buying new ones. Do you upcycle?