Skip to main content

Denim is a great fabric because of its versatility.NATALIA KHIMICH/iStockPhoto / Getty Images

Let’s Talk Science and the Royal Society of Canada have partnered to provide Globe and Mail readers with relevant coverage about issues that affect us all – from education to the impact of leading-edge scientific discoveries. Let’s Talk Science offers a number of fun activities to get youth engaged in STEM.

Transform an old pair of jeans into a fun new item. Upcycling your old clothing instead of throwing them out and buying new ones keeps waste out of landfills which reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

What You May Need

· One or more pair of old or ruined Jeans

· Scissors

· Glue, tape or a needle and thread

· A sewing machine (optional)

· Optional: Recycled materials or fabrics, ribbon, glitter, embroidery floss, etc.

Things To Think About

· What do you want to make?

Denim is a great fabric because you can make so many things with it. When trying to decide what to make with your jeans, take a look at some inspiration ideas below. Decide how complicated you want your project to be. Also think about what kind of upcycled item you will actually use or wear.

· What part of the jeans do you need? Depending on what you decide to make you may want to think about which parts you will use. You could use the legs of the jeans, the pockets or even the zippers. Make sure that before you start cutting, you know exactly which parts of the jeans you will need.

· Will one pair of jeans be enough? Be sure to measure and mark exactly how much fabric you will need before you begin cutting. If you don’t have enough for your upcycle, you can always grab another pair of old jeans for more fabric.

On the other hand, consider what you can do with any extra fabric you have. Can you make something small with it such as a scrunchie or bow-tie? Can someone else use your leftover fabric?

· How will you express your style?

When creating your project, you can add personal touches to make your project unique. These could be items such as iron-on patches, buttons, or interesting pieces of fabric. You might also think about how you can showcase important parts of your identity or cultural heritage.

Get Inspired

· Inspiration for upcycling your jeans (No Sewing Machine Required)

· Inspiration for upcycling your jeans (Sewing Machine Required)

Share your JEANS UPCYCLING PROJECT with us!

Go Further

· Take it to the next level by selling your creations at a craft fair, on Etsy or Depop. You could even donate the profits to a charity or environmental organization.

· You could make denim items for your school such as denim aprons for the kindergarten class or denim tool belts for a makerspace.

· Have you always wanted to get into the fashion industry? The FIDM Fashion Club mentors high school and college students who want to pursue careers in design and creative business.

Discover more free, English and French, Let’s Talk Science hands-on STEM activities, resources and events online.