I am an avid crafter, but as someone who cares about environmentalism, I am ashamed to admit how much I spend on buying new craft supplies.
I have kicked the dollar store habit because of the unknown toxins in the products, but with my list of crafting hobbies growing (knitting, bead making, DIY jewelry, card making, scrapbooking, sewing, embroidery, crochet, homemade personal care products) I often have to spend money to buy supplies to feed my habit.
There are so many reasons to be mindful when buying new supplies for crafting. First and foremost is that by purchasing at big box stores it feeds the never ending cycle of consumerism which is drowning the world in plastic waste, harmful production practices, human exploitation and carbon output. I am working on buying supplies from local artisans and craft stores, but this can be more expensive and does not eliminate all the issues.
When I am able, I try to upcycle supplies that I may have around the house or from other people, and Pinterest is perfect for generating ideas. Full disclosure: I am horribly addicted to Pinterest.
One recurring idea that I see on upcycling and crafting Pinterest boards is how to upcycle blue jeans. In the past when I have cleaned out my drawers and closets I have donated my clothes, but recently I have begun saving them to upcycle into something else.
For most projects using old jeans it is important to cut off the hems and other seams so that the material is not too thick, especially if you are machine sewing them. Depending on the size of the projects, if I plan ahead how I will cut the jeans, I can get two to even three projects out of each pair of jeans. I also save all unused parts of the jeans for future projects. For example, the thick bottom hem of each leg makes a perfect drawstring or rope, the zippers can be cut off and reused again, and the pockets (both front and back) are perfect for instant pockets on bags.
Here are some ways I have given old jeans (or other clothing and bedsheets) a second life as material and fabric in crafting projects:
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