10 Ideas for Upcycling Denim with Crochet

Yesterday in my post on crochet shorts I mentioned that one way of making crochet shorts is to take an existing pair of shorts and add crochet embellishments to them. I said that I should have included the idea in my roundup of upcycled doily ideas but the truth is that you can embellish denim with far more than just doilies. And there are other ways to upcycle denim using crochet, too, so I thought I’d put together some ideas for that. After all, we all love crochet and we probably all have denim in our closets!

1. Sew Crochet Appliques to Jeans

The most obvious and perhaps simplest way to upcycle denim with crochet is to crochet an applique or embellishment and then sew it (or glue it with fabric glue) to attach it to a pair of jeans. You can also add crochet embellishments to denim skirts or denim shorts. Here are some great examples:

I adore the crocheted Pacman jeans upcycled by Etsy’s LaviniasCrochet

The neon look of this crochet from Etsy’s TranscendentBird is definitely attention-getting!

Etsy’s UnraveledClothing shows how you can add crochet to the pockets to make a statement with your denim.

2. Crochet Trim On To Denim

Instead of adding a crocheted item to your jeans, you can crochet right on to your jeans. The best example is to add crochet trim onto the bottom of a pair of jeans or jean shorts.

These are Lipstick brand jeans sold on Shop Celebrity Kids. I love the inspiration for a great DIY project, though.

This example comes from Crochet Handicrafts. Crocheting onto the bottom of a denim skirt is perhaps easier than on jeans because you just work in the round.

LauraLRF from Buenos Aires shows a great example of upcycling jeans with colorful crochet trim.

Etsy’s redeuxclothing has a nice idea here with adding crochet to a jean jacket. Of course, this goes beyond just adding some trim to the item but it’s in the same ballpark.

3. Crochet Denim into a Rag Rug

You can crochet denim as you would with any other rags, by cutting it into strips and then using a large hook (such as a P hook) to crochet it.

This pretty crochet jeans rug was made for the Brooklyn Art Project

ThriftyFun has a crochet tutorial for this blue jeans rag rug

Joybilee Farm shared this heart-shaped denim crocheted rag rug

4. Crochet Denim Purses

Rag rugs are a popular choice for crocheted denim because they are well-suited to the bulky style of this type of upcycled crochet but you can make other items, too. Purses seem to be a popular choice.

My Recycled Bags shares a crochet pattern for making a tote out of recycled crocheted demin strips.

Etsy’s mariknits made this purse out of crocheted denim strips, a faux leather strap and a heart charm. It’s lined with fabric.

ArtFire’s starryhomecrafts takes a different approach, upcycling the denim into a purse first and then adding crochet embellishment

5. Use the Denim to Start a Necklace

There are several great examples out there of taking denim to make a collar or wide necklace and embellishing it with crochet to give it more style.

This example shared by DaintyCrochetByAly on FlickRiver is my favorite example of upcycled denim/ crochet.

Here’s a beautiful example of a denim crochet necklace by Jurema Basso

Etsy’s microscosmos made this crochet collar over a beautiful checked denim

6. Other Denim Crochet Accessories

Necklaces are just one example of upcycled denim jewelry items. Here are some other ideas:

Denim cuff embellished with buttons and crochet lace by Etsy’s Abbtique

Here’s another denim crochet cuff from Etsy’s TCakeTarot; this one is embellished with gems

Etsy’s sanchezc30 created this crochet headband with big denim bow

7. Crocheted Craft Organizer

What a creative idea! It’s based on the same idea as the denim rag rug but then pockets and handles are added to make a hanging organizer for your craft/ crochet materials. There is a DIY tutorial for this project over at King Soleil.

Here’s a similar idea from Etsy’s RipNRollRugs. It’s not really crochet but it could certainly be used to organize crochet stuff at home!

8.Make a Crochet and Denim Flower

This example of a crochet jean flower from NorthernCottageGifts on Etsy is actually a brooch

This example comes from Etsy’s Heirloomstudio; it’s actually a denim cuff but it’s specifically the flower I liked here

9. Crochet Jean Baskets, Bowls and Vases

She’s Crafty crocheted recycled denim into a bowl in this example

This vase by Etsy’s MixeDesign is made from a recycled denim shirt and enhanced with crocheted wire

10. Make a Denim Crochet Hook Organizer

Technically this one doesn’t use crochet but it’s definitely a good upcycled denim project for crocheters! And you could always embellish it with crochet if you wanted to.

This example of a denim crochet hook organizer comes from Etsy’s CoutureService

Etsy’s grandmassewingloft shows what a denim crochet hook organizer might look like when it’s rolled up

What other ways can you upcycle denim using crochet? Share your creative thoughts in the comments below!


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San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


  1. Lot’s of cool ideas here. :)

  2. LaurindaReddig

    I totally scored at a rummage sale a few years ago with a huge bag of jeans strips already cut, stitched together, and rolled in balls, ready to be made into rugs, purses and hats (though the hats are a bit heavy)…

  3. Love the jean jacket, skirt and shorts! Jeans and lace, awesome combination!

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  5. Gr8 idea with gr8 design… looking awesome… can i put this on my site The Jeans Blog- JBLO

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  7. I use old denim / jeans pieces for making bags. One bag I made with opened up jeans material and then embroidering on it. Another I made with a drawstring pattern had jeans pocket from the same pant fixed with zig zag pattern. On a third bag, I fixed all random buttons I had which made it so colourful, a friend of mine bought it for her little girl. Wish I could post pictures here.

    • Sounds like a great way to work with denim! I’d love to see the photos. You can email them to me (kathryn.vercillo on gmail) or share them with me on Facebook (account is under the name Crochet Concupiscence).

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