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Repurpose Old Jeans – Dinner Placemats

A little while ago I shared a post on how i massacred an old pair of hubby’s jeans to make a storage box which i use to hold Piper’s toys (well, some of Piper’s toys, after opening a huge pile of Christmas presents she has significantly more now). Whilst i was making that project I thought, “hey, i should use the rest of this denim to make placemats.”

You see, we bought a new dining table and chairs before Christmas and all of a sudden we were very aware of the fact that we never use placemats or coasters, and we both agreed that it would be a good idea to maybe invest in some. I refused to buy any because i felt inspired to make some with the denim, and i even went as far as to buy material for the other side. In fact i did everything except actually make them.

My old grump of a sewing machine held me back. I didn’t want him to chomp up the fabric and rain on my parade. Boooo.

So on Boxing day, my new lady (aka my new Singer sewing machine) made her virgin voyage (aka first sewing project) and its no surprise that it was the placemats. That day we feasted on Turkey sandwiches (a customary dinner for Dec 26th), served on plates, resting safely on my new groovy placemats.

For my last project lots of people wants a template…confession time: i have never used a template. I’m more of a “lets wing it” kinda girl. BUT this time i took some step by step photos.

1. Raid your husbands wardrobe. Convince him that despite your fantastic sewing skills, those jeans are beyond repair. Cut off a leg and cut up the outer seam you’ll have a chunk of denim to play with.

2. Either use a quilting ruler, or use your noodle to find an alternative. You can see that I used one of Piper’s wooden jigsaws. It seemed the perfect size for a place mat so I simply cut around it with my rotary cutter. If you prefer you can mark it out with chalk or a pen and then cut it out.

These jeans had a design in them so there was an extra seam. I didn’t worry about this, it just meant that some of my placemats have a line across the middle. Adds a bit of quirkiness.

3. Cut the same size out of the coordinating fabric. Mine was a pretty red with hearts. Lay right sides together and pin them together.

4. Sew around the edges with a straight stitch, leaving a 2-3 inch gap. I used the edge of the foot as a guide for the edge of the fabric, this was the seam is pretty much even all the way around. Snip the corners off the fabric as in the photo.

5. Turn the right way round and sew around the edges again (make sure you sew up that gap). I used the triple straight stitch for this. I NEVER even knew about this stitch before, and I totally LOVE it. It gives a really cool look, almost as if it has been hand stitched. I think i will be using this a lot.

 Here’s a close look without the flash.

Isn’t it lovely.

I love my new placemats. To keep them all together in the dresser drawer i pinched a ribbon that came around one of Craig’s Christmas presents and used it to bundle all the mats together.

I wonder what else i could steal from my husband to repurpose…

Oh, seeing as I’m feeling inspired by my new sewing machine I’ve decided to make another category called ‘sewing’. This will make it easier to find all the fabric fun that I have. 🙂


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