DIY: Old Jeans to Pillows


So I had this pair of jeans. They were my favorite jeans for a long time and after becoming worn and faded, they ripped. Instead of throwing them away, I had an idea to uses the legs to create pillows.


First, I cut off the legs to the length I wanted the pillows. After trimming off the bottom hem, I was left with two tube-like shapes of fabric, now all I had to do was sew up the ends to create the pillow. But before that, I wanted to use the fabric markers I bought a few years ago as an experiment—the Stained markers by Sharpie.

I decided to use the reverse side of the jeans as the outside of the pillow. The fabric was lighter than the outside of the jeans and I thought would take the ink better and look better.



I found a pattern that I liked online. It was just a simple image I pulled from a set of speakers I saw that had the geometric pattern printed on the front. I printed out the image the size I wanted and began tracing the pattern with the black marker and a ruler.


After some trial and error, I used the colored Stained Sharpie markers to fill in the pattern. Though I wanted a stained-glass look, the first attempt looked more like I took regular Sharpies and colored all over it. The second attempt, I used water to dilute the colors and let it spread like watercolor paint or dye, mixing the colors.

The second attempt looks the best, but both pillows turned out mostly how I wanted.


The markers bled quite a lot over the border I had created, so I went back over it with a very thick black Sharpie and created a thicker border that I ended up really liking anyway.

After trimming the loose threads, I ironed them (to help the ink set) and hand-washed the pillows cases, then put them in the dryer so that they wouldn’t smell like Sharpie—by hand-washing them, there was no fading.



Then it was time to start sewing. I hand-sewed them, and though I’m a terrible hand-sewer, it didn’t take very long and looks fine. I first turned the cases inside out and marked a line on the edges as a guide for the needle.


It didn’t really matter that the stitching was so terrible. As long as it holds, no one will be able to tell because it’s on the inside. On one end, I sewed it all the way shut, but on the opposite end, I left a two-inch gap not sewn. With this hole, I used my fingers to reach in and pull the opposite corner through to turn the case inside out again so that the pattern was on the outside.




After the entire case was back to where it should be, I began stuffing the pillow with stuffing I bought at the craft store. I used the ruler to help push the stuffing into the corners and fill the pillow. After moving it around and making the stuffing less lumpy, I sewed up the two inch gap I’d left open to stuff.


IMG_3665And that’s that. I repeated all the steps for the second pillow. Though I’m not exactly happy with the result of the first pillow (the one without the use of the water to spread the ink of the marker; it was too late to ) I’m still happy with them as a set.

It was a great full-day project, taking me several hours to complete both of them. I love that the possibilities are endless with the jeans pillows by themselves. Any pattern or art could be added for an entirely different look.



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