How To Upcycle Old Jeans Into A Journal

Mary Brockway in conjunction with Gauche Alchemy, shows us how to upcycle old jeans into a journal in this easy to follow video tutorial.  The finished art journal looks super cute.

I’ve lost count of how many pairs of  jeans have ended up with holes in them or become all frayed at the bottom. I have reused some of them to patch up other pairs and I still have some of the material left…. I feel a new journal will be made soon!

I would take the upcycling a step further by using old envelopes for the paper inside as it gives it a really interesting look.

Upcycled Book Outer Cover

Outer Cover

Upcycled Book Inner Pages

Envelope Pages Inside

I recently made a book (pictured) from upcycled materials in a bookbinding course run by the lovely Cass at Remade in Edinburgh (the charity that I volunteer with).

The book has an open binding so you can see the different patterns on each of the envelope signatures. I am now an avid collector of envelopes!

If you don’t have a rotary trimmer and you find it difficult cutting the edges straight enough for your liking, there are lots of ways to disguise this.  Such as sewing round the edge and then fraying or adding a binding around the edges.

If you are not familiar with how to add eyelets (the little metal rings that the string goes through) or grommets as they are otherwise known you can watch this helpful video from Lucy’s Corsetry


The materials and equipment that you will need to make your upcycled note book are listed below.

  • Old jeans
  • Thread or glue
  • Button (to keep the journal closed)
  • Elastic hairband
  • 2 small eyelets
  • String or ribbon
  • Embellishments such as buttons, beads, sequence and ribbons to decorate your journal
  • Paint (you can use fabric paint or even acrylic paint)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Small paint brush
  • Awl
  • Eyelet pliers (or Eyelet setter and hammer)
  • Rotary trimmer (optional as you can cut by hand)
  • Sewing machine or a needle (optional as you could also hand sew or use glue)

Why not follow us on Facebook.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.