How to Make a Pillow Cover by Repurposing Old Jeans


How to Make a Pillow Cover by Repurposing Old Jeans

Find out what to do with old jeans with this easy, step-by-step sewing tutorial.

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How to Make a Pillow Cover By Repurposing Old Jeans
How to Make a Pillow Cover By Repurposing Old Jeans

Before you finish cleaning out your wardrobe, learn how to make a pillow cover by repurposing old jeans. This free step-by-step sewing tutorial will teach you how to make a denim pillowcase by upcycling jeans that no longer fit or have holes in the knees.

Use jeans in varying washes for a lovely contrasting effect. You can offset the colors by sewing in orange ribbon and really highlight the chevron shape. If you're looking for old jeans ideas, this is a fantastic project for making denim pillow covers. Denim is so sturdy, too, so this new DIY pillowcase will last you for years to come!

From the blogger: "One of my go to fabrics is denim – its so versatile and strong. One of my all time favorite makes is a denim rag quilt. Today I am going to share with you a chevron denim rag cushion. It’s perfect for using up scraps of denim from other projects."

Estimated CostUnder $10

Time to CompleteIn an evening


Primary TechniqueSewing


Project TypeMake a Project

Materials List

  • 3 pair of old jeans or more
  • 18″ navy zip
  • 6 meters of thin orange ribbon

How to Make a Pillow Cover By Repurposing Old Jeans


  1. Start with the back of the cushion cover. Check your jeans, pick the pair with a wide and straight leg. Cut off the hem of the jeans and then cut the leg off at 18″. Cut down the seam with the most curve leaving a straight line. Next cut a further piece of denim 18″ long from the other leg.

  2. Place together – check the two pieces will make a 18″ square. If not add another panel.

  3. Turn and press an edge, place along the zip. Pin and stitch using a zipper foot. Repeat for the other side of the zip. Trim the back of your cushion to 19″ square.

  4. For the front panel cut a 18″ square of denim. If necessary piece together pieces of denim.

  5. Using a quilters ruler and tailors chalk mark down the center. Fold a square of paper diagonally in half. Place on your denim to use as a guide to mark the stitch line for your strips of denim. Mark several stitch lines both sides of the center.

  6. Cut a number of strips of denim measuring 1 1/2″wide. Pin to the cushion with ribbon down the center of the strip. Stitch in place to secure.

  7. Place your next strip parallel, with your ribbons being approximately 1″ apart. Stitch to secure. Continue until you have finished one side.

  8. Repeat for the second side, ensuring you are aligning the ribbons at the center of the cushion.

  9. Snip in the denim strips up to the ribbon. Snip 1/4″ apart down both sides of every strip.

  10. Partly unzip the zip. Place right sides together of the cushion. Stitch with 1/2″ seam allowance.

  11. Turn right side out – lastly wash your cushion to roughen up the edges. Tip – do not place in the washing machine with other items unless you wish to be pulling lots of threads of denim off your clothes (learn form my mistake!).

  12. Fill with an 18″ cushion.

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This is a great idea to recycle old jeans into a colorful pillow. The instructions call for using three pairs of old jeans which seems like a lot. However, I found I could use a plain muslin square to stitch all the denim strips and ribbon onto and use muslin for the back of the pillow and only used one pair of jeans. Fun project.


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