Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Upcycled Jeans Bracelet

My boys kill jeans (well any pants, really) with such regularity that I end up with lots of extra fabric in my upcycle pile.  I love that fabric, because despite having paid for it at some point, it is like free fabric to muck around with as I please.

What, try a new idea?  Sure, because it is free!  No worries that you are wasting your money on some craziness.

So, when we went to Germany, I was looking to make something or somethings really cool for my niece to match these cool t-shirts that I had made for my nephew.

Since I love upcycling, especially jeans, I was perusing pinterest for ideas and found this great idea by Av Susanne.

When you visit her blog, there is a fantastic tutorial about how to make these great jeans and beads bracelets just like she did, but of course, being me, I followed my own path.  Av Susanne cut and used existing seams to create her bracelets, which according to her tutorial only wrap around the wrist once.  I chose to create my bracelets such that they wrapped 2, 3, or 4 times (use your imagination) around the wrist.  (If you use a leg seam, you could do the same thing still using her tutorial.)  The reason for the multiple wrap idea, was that I thought this bracelet would be great to grow with my 9-year-old niece versus a bracelet that only wraps once, i.e. if if it wraps 4 times around her slim wrist now, it will wrap 3 times around when she get bigger like me.  It wraps nicely around my wrist 3 times.

Step 1

I cut up some destroyed jeans on the bias like your are making bias tape.

I ripped out the seams at the cuff and the legs, using the different textures and colors that provides to add interest to my bracelet.

Step 2

After squaring off my pieces (because I am weird like that - maybe next time I will do it the right way, maybe...), I pinned them together to create a length of jeans bias tape.  If you need a tutorial for bias tape, here is a good one that I used from Dana at danamadeit.comAnd no, she does not square off her ends like me.  I am pretty sure she does it the 'right way'.  :)

Step 3

Iron the seams flat, and then fold and iron the piece lengthwise in half and iron flat.  Finally, pin along the fold for sewing.

Step 3

Pick some pretty thread.  I had this great glossy embroidery thread that my mother gave me for Christmas one year.  For me, the beauty in this bracelet is not to hide the thread, but to use it too as decoration.

Sew you piece with an eighth of an inch seam allowance, leaving the edges to fray in the wash.  Throw your bracelets in the wash with your regular laundry - cold, warm, whatever - and then in the dryer.

The reason to cut on the bias is that the fraying is nicer.  It is not as extreme as when cut at 90 degree angles, and you also don't get those long pieces coming off that you want to or need to cut away.

You can use your thread as a simple decoration - explore the decorative stitches your sewing machine has to offer or love the simple straight stitch like I did.  Match up different colors of denim.  The possibilities are endless.

Step 4

Now, if you want some bling, sew on some beads.  I added different color seed beads at varying intervals and varying patterns.

Then, add a closure.  I used one off my more colorful KAM snaps (PINK) in order to add to its decoration.

Look at the gentle fray.  No dangling strings on that sucker.



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