Repurpose Old Denim

Denim Upcycling ideas

I don’t know about you, but I always find myself hanging onto all my old denim jeans. Jeans are my comfort blanket, I live in them.

The ones with holes in get stored in my craft room while I find ideas on how to re-purpose the fabric, while the ones that are still in good nick get delivered to the local charity stores.

Every so often I will find myself on Pinterest wondering what I can do with all the left over denim. We have several boards with ideas pinned ready to inspire our creative spark. You can find book cover ideas, up-cycle projects, interesting finds and quick sew projects all here.

Japanese folded patchwork bag

Just recently I revisited one of our early workshops with our Home educators sewing group. It was the Japanese folded patchwork project bag that was created for us by Craftier The Second Time Around. You can find the project printed in our book, Unravel & Unwind, here.

The bag is large enough for an A4 diary or even a laptop. I quite often use mine when I go on a workshop or a meeting as it is just the right size.





denim bag denim bag  denim bag




Above are just a few of the design ideas that the group, aged 8 to 12, came up with for their project bags. I particularly liked seeing them using the embellishment features of their jeans in the final design.

denim jeans
re-purpose old jeans

A few years back I went through the fashion phase of skinny jeans. I easily had a dozen pairs. More recently though I have gone back to straight leg and boot cut jeans because skinny ones were causing me pain and discomfort in the knees. That meant I was left with perfectly good jeans that still fitted around the waist. I didn’t want to just cut them up and use the fabric for something totally different. On this occasion I wanted to still be able to wear my denim. Another route around Pinterest gave me the spark to try something totally out of my comfort zone. I’m a yarn loving crochet addict – but just for one day last summer I became a seamstress extraordinaire!

Well, not quite! But I did manage to convert a pair of skinny jeans into a lovely knee length skirt. It was fairly simple really. You just break the seams of the inside legs, cut off the excess length and do some magic around the wedge seam that sits just below the zip. Okay, that was where I got stuck but I found this great tutorial to follow.

One BIG thing I learned that day, was to never use cheap shoddy machine needles that I picked up in a pound store. They bend, break, blunt and invariably waste several hours trying to fix the machine and repair the fabric. 

denim skirt
denim skirt

denim needle

So what ideas do you have for re-purposing denim? One future project I think I would like to try will involve using the old down cushion pads from my last leather sofa. We reclaimed the cushion backs and the leather. They are lovely and huge and will make great floor cushions.

Funding workshops with Gayle Wallace


18 April & 2 May 7pm to 9pm £40

If you’re are perplexed by Proposals or baffled by bids, then this is 2 part workshop is for you!

This is subject 1 of a unique series of workshops designed for anyone who needs to get better at writing bids for funding or producing proposals for contract commissions.

Get tickets here


16 & 30 May 7pm to 9pm £40

If you feel overwhelmed by managing several projects at one time and at times it feels like you just get all the plates spinning nicely, only to find that one has unexpectedly dropped!

If you find it hard to know if you have captured, planned and managed all the potential risks in any project and lack confidence in having covered all the bases? Then this should have you project managing like a pro!

This unique two-part workshop will help you to effectively manage your work (no matter how many projects you have going at a time and furthermore, you will be able to quantify the value you have added to any initiative you are managing!

Get tickets here



13 & 27 June 7pm to 9pm £40

How do you know whether what you do is of value? Can you demonstrate the impact of your work? Do you know how to develop and improve your performance? Why does this matter?

Either as an organisation, relying on bidding for funds, or as a business, you are always, ‘only as good as your last job!’ Learning how to monitor what you do and evaluate how well it has gone are invaluable tools for increasing your likelihood of being successful in applying for grants from funding bodies or winning future contract commissions.

Run over two sessions this workshop will provide you with a sound understanding of the principles of monitoring, that will give you the key resources to gather the information that evidences your value.

You will learn how to evaluate your work in a way that is both meaningful to your professional development and service delivery but also demonstrates your ability to improve.

Get tickets here


Drawing on over 30 years of writing successful bids, providing grant funding for organisations, managing multi-layered projects from a £7,000,000.00 budget as well as successfully and continually writing work proposals for contracts with the Department of Health, Greater London Authority, Department of work and pensions, several Local Authorities, Estate Action, New Deal for communities, Sure Start Programmes, Single regeneration Bids Well Communities, Charities and many more. Gayle Wallace will give you a complete array of tools that you can use to either secure contracts as a business person or greatly improve your chances of successfully applying for funding to voluntary, statutory and charitable sector funders.


G.W Training & Consultancy Ltd is a consultancy and training organisation, delivering high-quality services across a range of areas. The director Gayle Wallace has over 30 years of experience in providing Project management, research, impact assessment, training and facilitation for the Public, Private and voluntary sector.  Key to every aspect of G.W Training & Consultancy Ltd’s work is the level of personal and professional development offered to individuals and organisations ensuring that they are more empowered to fully take on new challenges and opportunities.

The director Gayle Wallace – also founded the Women Who Want Change personal empowerment programme 17 years ago and is passionate about the personal and professional development of women. Gayle is additionally the director of the company named after the programme Women Who Want Change Ltd.

Further information can be found at &