The other day I found a water stain on our table and realized we needed more coasters around the house. So I decided to use old jeans and make some. Denim is a tough and durable fabric which lends itself well to this kind of project.
I am going to go out on a limb and say that pretty much everyone owns at least one pair of jeans, and occasionally they wear out. In the case of my family, that happens more frequently than I like. I donate the jeans if they are in decent shape, but if they are badly torn, they get recycled.
These coasters are made from some of these jeans, and I love the way they turned out. Even better, they are incredibly easy to make.
There is not much measuring, and the sewing is basically a raw edge quilt-as-you-go method. The only tricky part is the binding.
So grab those old torn jeans, a few other sewing supplies, and let’s get started!
Video of The Recycled Denim Coasters Tutorial
Here’s what you will need for a set of four 5” square coasters:
- Denim Blue Jean Fabric – The more shades the better. For the back: 4 pieces cut 7” X 7”: For the top, various strips cut various lengths widths (none larger than 2” wide so you get a good variety in the top)
- Low Loft Quilt Batting – 4 pieces cut 7” X 7” – This is a great project for all that left over batting you may have.
- Fabric for Binding – 4 strips cut 25” X 2 1/2”
- Good Fabric Scissors
- Square Quilt Ruler (optional)
- Rotary Cutter (optional)
- Cutting Mat (optional)
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Step 1 – Prepare to Sew
- First, Lay the backing 7” X 7” denim square on a flat surface with wrong side up.
- Next, Lay the batting on top of the fabric square. (See Figure 1)
- Then cut a square from a denim strip of your choice, about 2” X 2”. Place it, with the right side facing up, in the approximate center of the batting. (See Figure 2)
- Next, cut another piece of a denim strip, about the same size as the center piece, and overlap it about 1/4” to 3/8” over the center square. (See Figure 3)
Step 2 – Sew
- Begin by sewing along the overlapping section, about 1/8” from the raw edge of the piece of fabric on top. Then remove from machine and snip off any threads. (See Figure 4)
- Next, rotate the coaster a bit, choose the next piece of denim you want to use and overlap along the edge, cover about 1/4” to 3/8” over the fabric that is already sewn.
- Sew along that edge. Making sure to sew over the top fabric and catch the top and bottom fabric. (See Figure 5)
- Continue rotating to the right, adding a strip of fabric each time.
- Lastly, once you have added enough strips to be able to cut out a 5” square you can stop. (See Figure 6)
Step 3 – Cut Out Coasters
There are two ways to trim the shape down to 5”. (See Figure 7) Use care when cutting the squares. It’s not very easy to cut through the layers of denim and batting.
Method 1 – Using a rotary cutter, quilter’s ruler, and a cutting mat. Cut out a 5” square. Follow all safety rules using the cutter.
Method 2 – Cut out a 5” square template, trace around it on the coaster and then, using good fabric scissors, cut along the traced lines.
Step 4 – Prepare the Binding
- First, take the 25” X 2 1/2” strip of binding fabric and, on one of the short ends, fold over the edge, with wrong sides facing each other, about 1/4”. Press with iron.
- Next, fold the strip in half length-wise. Press with iron.
Step 5 – Add the Binding
Note: I use a traditional method of binding, however, you can use any method you prefer. Consult the step-by-step photos to help with this process.
- Starting about half way down one side of the coaster, line up the raw edges of the binding to the edge of the coaster. Start with the edge that is turned under. (See Figure 8)
- Next, pin the binding to the coaster, about 1” from the folded edge.
- Then, starting at the pin, sew along the edge, stopping 1/4” from the corner. Backstitch at the beginning and the end. (See Figure 9)
- Take the piece out of the machine and snip any threads.
- Using a flat surface, fold the strip back, forming a 45˚ angle. Then, fold the strip back down over the angle formed and line up the edges of the binding with the edge of the coaster. (See Figure 10 & 11)
- Starting 1/4” in from both sides, stitch down the side, stopping 1/4” from the corner. Repeat until the last edge.
- When you are ready to sew the final edge, trim the binding down so that it will fit into the binding that hasn’t been sewn at the beginning.
- Slip the raw edge into the binding with the folded edge, forming a continuous strip. (See Figure 12)
- Lastly, sew along the edge, backstitching at the beginning and the end. Remove from sewing machine and snip all threads.
- Repeat with the next three coasters.
- Flip the coasters over and hand stitch the binding down on the back. (See Figure 13)
The binding is the most time-consuming part of this project, but even that does not take that much time. You can easily make these in about 2 hours.
Love These Coasters!
These recycled denim coasters are the perfect hostess gift, or you can keep them for yourself. They are a fun and unique way to use materials that might otherwise end up in the trash.
The fun part of this project is that it can be tailored to whatever look you want. You can use the same denim for each strip, or you can add variety of shades. You can also completely change the look with the binding fabric you choose.
If you like repurposing jeans, then you might like this project as well.