16 Ways to Give Your Old Jeans a Whole New Life

Jul 8 2020 - 7:09am

Jeans can totally feel a bit boring after a while, but rather than donate them [1] or let them linger in the back of your closet, why not try changing them up so you can fall in love with them all over again? It can be as simple as wearing the jeans in a different style [2] than you usually do or taking them apart and making a whole new pair of jeans. The choice is up to you and whatever new trend or style you want to try. We came up with 16 ways to give old jeans new life [3] in the gallery ahead, so check them out and let your creative side shine!

Cut Holes in the Knees

Try messing up an old pair of jeans with some new rips. If you don't mind turning a pristine pair of jeans into a more casual look, go for the slices. Cut them anywhere you want around the knees, then throw them in the laundry to fray the edges.

Iron On Some New Pieces

Add flair to an old pair of jeans with iron-on patches or new pieces of fabric. The new pieces could be bright if you want to make a statement or another color of denim for a more subtle change.

Wear Them Under a Cutout Coat

This twist requires a long cutout coat, but if you have one on hand, wear it over an old pair of jeans for a new look you may not have tried before. This keeps your coat casual and adds a layer in cooler weather.

Sew Together 2 Old Pairs of Jeans

If you have multiple pairs of jeans that you're bored with, cut them apart and sew them back together for a contrasting color palette. This works especially well if the denims are different washes, making the contrast more obvious.

Wear Jeans Under an Open Dress

Take your favorite button-up or zip-up dress, and wear it over an old pair of jeans. The trick is to only fasten the dress at the top, which almost makes it like a cape over the jeans. The old denim will instantly feel cool and new.

Distress Old Jeans

Acid-wash jeans aren't necessarily a thing of the past! Take a tired pair of jeans, and bleach and distress them [5] to give them a whole new look. You can change them up more beyond that (like this sick green pair) or just stick with the bleached denim.

Dip-Dye Old Jeans

Just like you'd dip-dye your hair [6], try dip-dyeing old jeans. Bleach the bottoms of them, then dye part of the bleached area with a new color. This will give them a funky new look.

Sew On a Cuff

Find a fabric you love, and turn it into a cuff for the legs of your jeans. If you can't sew it on yourself, find a tailor who will do it for you. Not only will this give old jeans a new life, but if you choose a luxurious fabric, it will also dress them up.

Paint or Print Pictures on Them

Make a bold statement with your jeans by painting, drawing, or screen-printing pictures on them. You can make a political statement, a fan-driven statement, or just a statement for fun.

Dye Them a Whole New Color

This works especially well if you have a light-colored pair of jeans you're bored with. Drop the whole pair into a tub of dye to start anew with a different color. Maybe you're in the mood for pink jeans instead of white!

Slice the Backside

If you're really daring, cut slices in the backs of your jeans for a little peekaboo. Cut right around where short shorts would fall so you're not showing too much skin, and leave the front intact.

Dress Them High-Low

If your old jeans are casual, try dressing them up. If your old jeans are fancy, try dressing them down. If you want to do it all at once, put together a high-low outfit like this one. These jeans are paired with a hoodie for the casual touch but dressed up with heels and a stunning blazer to make it high fashion.

Cut Off the Bottoms

Rough up the bottoms of your jeans by simply cutting them off [7]. This will help them to pair well with ankle boots or high-top sneakers, because the shorter length will show off your shoes more.

Add a Cuff

Sometimes it really is as easy as cuffing your jeans to make you see them in a new way. Whether it's a wide cuff or a narrow cuff [8], try a few different options to see which one makes you happiest.

Cut Them Into Shorts

It's pretty simple to cut your jeans into shorts [9]. Play around with the length to see what you want, then get cutting!

Wear Lace-Up Shoes Over Your Jeans

If you have a heel or sandal with laces, try putting the laces outside a pair of jeans. This adds some drama to the bottom of basic jeans and also dresses them up.

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