Fun Repurposed Jeans Fish Pillows

6 Materials
1 Hour

One of my favourite things to upcycle is the families old jeans. I just love all the different shades of indigo that denim comes in. In the past, I have made lots of denim pillows in different styles ( you can see them here).

This time having been inspired by visiting my parents in Portugal, I decided to make some fun fish shaped pillows out of the jeans. (Did you know the Portuguese eat more fish than anyone else!).

These fish would look great in a summer beach or lake house, or just on the lounger around the pool.
All you need are some old jeans and an old sweater or t-shirt. Household bleach and a stencil for the scales.
I drew out my fish pattern on paper. You can draw your own or simply download and print mine for free. It's on the blog post link at the end.
I cut out the pattern into distinct parts, the head, body, tail, and fins.

Using the template I cut out 2 pieces of denim for the tail, fins, and body. I used the sweater (t-shirt) fabric for the head. Don't forget to flip over your template when cutting the second pattern piece.
To add interest to my fish, I added scales. Using a stencil (similar to this one) and household bleach I simply stenciled on bleached scales.
Once you have bleached stenciled the fish body wash it in soapy water to get rid of the excess bleach.
For the fins and tail pieces, I used the more interesting parts of the jeans like the pockets and bits with the seams on.
I pinned and stitched up each side of the denim dish pillow. Then I pinned both these pieces right sides together and then stitched them up leaving a hole for the stuffing.
Once stitched turn the fish pillow right side out. Add a button from the jeans as an eye.
To finish stuff the pillow with fiberfill (I use the filling from old pillows), then stitch up the hole.
I loved these fish pillows so much I ended up making two of them.
I think they look really good on my blue shibori dyed sofa outside on my back patio.
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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?

1 question
  • Felicia
    on Jun 18, 2018

    They are so cute! I love the pocket flap fin too. Why didn’t you stay with denim for the head?

    • Klf101062
      on Mar 28, 2020

      VERY cute idea! But don't fish scales go the opposite direction?

Join the conversation

3 of 89 comments
  • Patsy47
    on Mar 27, 2020

    totally adorable!!

  • Lisa West
    on Apr 3, 2020

    These are so cute. I just might make a set. What do you think about a beta fish using flowy material for the fins? I bet it would look fantastic.

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