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501 things to do with your 501s
October 2, 2008 7:55 PM   Subscribe

Your favourite jeans are giving out on you, but you don't want to let them go. These are the jeans you were wearing when you met your partner/got your all-time best score on Frogger/performed at your garage band's only ever paying gig/whenever you move out of, then back into, your mother's basement. They're not just jeans — they're your history. But since you can't wear them anymore, you think you could reincarnate them. You have many options, especially if you've got more than one pair due for retirement. You could make journal or photo album covers so your jeans can truly be part of your historical record. You could make a quilt or two or three, or a wall hanging, or some woven rugs. Or a Christmas tree. You could make a slipcover for a chair, pillows or placemats, or an apron or two.

You could make a toy kangaroo or frogs for your kids. You could make a jean purse or bag, choosing from among a number of different shapes and sizes. If you choose the butt style of purse, the advantage is it will be proportional to your figure. You could make a hat, or a jean skirt. If you're willing to bleach the jeans to white, you could make a wedding dress. If you prefer using sewing patterns to winging it, design-wise, you could do so as this woman has. If you're not into DIY, this company will make shoes out of your old jeans for you. Here are 25 more things to do with old jeans. And now, I'm glad to have inspired you and saved your old jeans from going into a landfill, and it's interesting to see that nothing has been getting between you and your Calvins, but could you PLEASE put down your scissors and pins for long enough to go put some pants on?
posted by orange swan (14 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
You're really going below the belt lately.
posted by jonmc at 7:57 PM on October 2, 2008


Yeah, I think you were wearing panty hose under the jeans playing frogger...
posted by lee at 8:04 PM on October 2, 2008


Or you could just have your mom patch them so much that they look like a quilt and contain less than 50% original material and wear them anyway.
posted by inparticularity at 8:20 PM on October 2, 2008


Use them as backing for a t-shirt quilt. (My sister actually did this for her husband; I hope my wife gets the hint.)
posted by TedW at 8:29 PM on October 2, 2008


My jeans don't stay on long enough for them to get too worn out, am I right, ladies?
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:30 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or you could just have your mom patch them so much that they look like a quilt and contain less than 50% original material and wear them anyway.

My brothers used to tease my mother about how when she patched their jeans (we lived on a farm and the patched jeans were worn for work/around home only) that she put patches on the patches, though she always insisted she never ever did that. I do remember the patch count could get pretty high on a pair of jeans, though.
posted by orange swan at 9:02 PM on October 2, 2008


DS Lite case, instructions.

I like the etymologies connected with denim and jeans:
demin = de Nîmes
jeans = Gênes

The word comes from the name of a sturdy fabric called serge, originally made in Nîmes, France, by the Andre family. Originally called serge de Nîmes, the name was soon shortened to denim. Denim was traditionally colored blue with indigo dye to make blue "jeans," though "jean" then denoted a different, lighter cotton textile; the contemporary use of jean comes from the French word for Genoa, Italy (Gênes), where the first denim trousers were made.

posted by nickyskye at 9:24 PM on October 2, 2008


Nooo... I was hoping you'd show me how to fix my old favorite pair of ripped up favorite jeans.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:04 PM on October 2, 2008


If you've got old jeans you can certainly make them into a skirt. Or you could make a skirt. Or a skirt. Maybe a skirt would be nice, if you'd like a skirt. Did I mention that you can make a skirt? If all else fails, make a skirt!

Or a purse. Or two purses. It's also possible to make a purse. Maybe a purse would be nice. If you don't want to make a purse, you can make a handbag or a book bag or shopping bag or a hip bag.

Jeans. Versatile!
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:38 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was hoping you'd show me how to fix my old favorite pair of ripped up favorite jeans

Fixing ripped jeans: here and here and here.

Making ripped jeans: here and here and here.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:52 PM on October 2, 2008


I cryogenically froze my favorite jeans. I was going to use them for taxidermy, but I thought it might be too meta.
posted by puckupdate at 3:11 AM on October 3, 2008


I'm a jeans man. I hate suits and slacks. I only wear suits for celebrations and deaths.
It's jeans forever, baby.
posted by doctorschlock at 10:07 AM on October 3, 2008


I never understood the obsession with old jeans. Styles change so fast... the un-tapered jeans I wore only a couple years ago look downright baggy these days.
posted by thbt at 10:10 AM on October 3, 2008


Styles change so fast

Only for the trendy.
posted by jonmc at 5:48 PM on October 3, 2008


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