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Blue Jean Baskets

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Transform a pair of worn denim jeans into fashionable and functional baskets with just a bit of time and a few supplies! Not only does a blue jean basket offer a cute and cozy way to corral your belongings, but bright print canvas and embroidery add style to the colorful catch-all.


  • Jeans for outer shell
  • 1/2 yard print canvas for inner lining
  • Medium-weight (2.5 ounce) cutaway stabilizer
  • Air-erase pen for marking
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight edge

Designs Used

Jeans sizes vary, but a leg that measures 24" long is enough to make one large basket and one small basket. Cut off the leg. Use the top 13" for a large basket, and the bottom 11" for a small basket.

A template is a printout of a design, and it's an excellent tool for planning where to stitch. Print the design from embroidery software to make a template. If you do not have software, you can also cut out a piece of paper the size of your design to use. Place the template on the pant leg. Center the template side to side. Allow about 3 1/2" between the top edge of the design and the top edge of the fabric. Use an air-erase pen to mark the center point of the design on the jeans, as well as the vertical and horizontal axis lines.

Use a seam ripper to remove the simple seam. Hoop the denim with a piece of cutaway stabilizer. Align the marks on the fabric with the marks on the hoop. Attach the hoop to the machine and load the design. Move the hoop so that the needle is right over the center point. Embroider the design.

After embroidering, trim the excess stabilizer away from the back. 

Using a straight edge, level off the top and bottom edges of the fabric, if necessary. Make them nice and even. To prepare the inner lining fabric, place the embroidered denim on top of the print canvas, right sides together. Pin in place. Cut around the shape of the denim. Remove the pins and set the print canvas aside for now.

Now it is time to assemble the basket. Realign the side seams of the embroidered outer shell fabric and pin in place. Sew a 1/2" seam along the raw side edge and bottom edge only. Leave the top edge open for turning.

Lay the fabric flat and using an iron, press the fabric along the side edges. Then, to square off the bottom of the basket, align the bottom seams with the side seam and side fold. Pin in place. For the large basket draw a 4 1/2" line across the "point" of the fabric perpendicular to the side seam one side and the side fold on the other. For the small basket, draw a 3 1/2" line across the point of the fabric.

Sew a seam across the lines you just drew. Trim the fabric under the seam you just sewed, leaving about 1/4" excess behind.

Next, assemble the inner lining just as you did for the outer denim shell including squaring off the bottom. Then, insert the denim shell inside the inner lining, right sides together. Align the side seams, side folds, and the top edges of the denim. Pin in place and sew a 1/4" seam around the top edge of the denim leaving a few inches open for turning.

Turn the opening in 1/4" and press the seams and the opening. Top stitch a 1/8" seam around the entire top edge of the basket. For the large basket, turn the top edge down about 2". For the small basket, turn the top edge down about 1 1/2".

Not only are these blue jean baskets a functional way to keep your home organized, but they're creative and colorful, too! Insert a vase of flowers and use as a dining room centerpiece, or put one in front of your door to hold keys and other things you drop when you arrive at home.

Or, pair the two sizes of the baskets together to use as a catch-all in the sewing room, car, or kitchen, or as an interesting display piece. When making the smaller basket, I used the smallest size of the Butterfly in Autumn Wreath 2 design.