How to Upcycle Old Jeans to Make Unique Patchwork Seat Pads

7 Materials
1 Day

My families old jeans are recycled into projects around the home. I love all the different shades of blue that denim comes in.

I had some dining chairs where the seat pads were a bit grubby and boring so I wanted to make some new covers for them. Instead of just covering the seat pads in denim, I decided to use a hexagon patchwork.

The hexagons really showed off the lovely different shades of denim that the jeans came in.

This sewing project is a lot easier than it seems and I did do it all by hand you don't need a sewing machine for this. However, it isn't a quick project, it's one to do slowly whilst binge watching box sets on Netflix.
That's the chair before, they are good chairs but the seat pads were a bit grubby and boring for me.
The first thing I did was gather all my old jeans for upcycling. This project is great for using up scraps. (Having 3 teenage boys in the house there is no shortage of old jeans.)
The hexagon patchwork method I used is called English Paper Piecing. If you haven't heard of English Paper Piecing its a lot easier than it sounds. There are some links to good youtube videos on my blog that explain it well.

Using double sided sticky tape, stick a paper hexagon to the wrong side of the denim. Then using a rotary cutter and board cut around the paper hexagon allowing for a 1/2" seam.
The next thing to do is to tack down the seam of the hexagon around the paper hexagon. I actually do this without sewing through the paper.
Once you have a big pile of denim hexagon patches you can start sewing them together.
To sew the patches together I use a small running stitch along the edge sewing to edges together at a time. I just carry on in a random pattern until I had a piece of patchwork big enough to cover my chair.
Once you are happy with your patchwork design. You simply remove the paper hexagons.
No, I didn't run out of denim. I decided to add a bit of quirkiness to each chair by adding in 3 random patterned fabric patches onto each seat pad
I unscrewed my seat pad from the chair and then removed the old cover.
The denim patchwork was then attached to the seat pad with a staple gun.
I love how my dining chairs have turned out. They look so much better than before, I love all the different shades of denim. I also enjoyed making them it was nice having something to sew whilst watching the TV in the evening.

I love upcycling in denim especially for the home you can see a collection of my denim crafts here.
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Claire at Pillarboxblue

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 11 questions
  • Tin32656140
    on May 19, 2018

    If I use those papers in a quilt, will the papper bunch up and be bad when washed?

    I love the chair idea!

  • Tin32656140
    on May 19, 2018

    If I use those papers in a quilt, will the papper bunch up and be bad when washed?

    I love the chair idea!

  • Pinkflmgo626
    on May 19, 2018

    Those are really cute! And unique. Are you saying here that you hand-stitched all those together? I’m thinking I might want to use a wide zigzag on the sewing machine. Had you considered that?

    • Pinkflmgo626
      on May 20, 2018

      I’m impressed that you did that. Still this is one of the cutest ideas I think I’ve ever seen. Thank you for sharing!

Join the conversation

4 of 142 comments
  • Tiena Nobles
    on Jun 4, 2019

    I love your chair seats!! What a fun idea!

  • SpudBread
    on Jan 8, 2020

    I have done someting similar for dining chairs-- exept I make removable stretch-encased elastic covers (like a toilet seat cover). Totally washable, slip-cover style easily changed, for seasons, holidays, and/or decor changes. Made them to match table runners, table cloths, napkins, window drapery panels etc. Completely coordinated room decor!

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on Jan 8, 2020

      That all sounds fabulous. Even though these aren't removable I spray them with Scotch Guard to protect them from spills.

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