DIY- Americana- Upcycled old jeans


Okay, here it is…finally. Once again I got caught up in things with life and forgot to post this re-post from last year. I just glanced over this post and it took me back to that time and I realized that the summer cold I was writing about down below turned out to be a Hurthle cell thyroid tumor. Way down deep pressing on my voice box, no one knew. It wasn’t a summer cold after all.

Thank you God, it turned out non-cancerous but I did loose my voice for awhile and that was no fun. Now I just have a scar across my neck but I am okay. So please, get your thyroids checked. I am terrible at that stuff because I have a deathly fear of anything medical. Okay, I am done writing about that, so I will add a little extra about this old post from the past. I had a giant pile of my kid’s old jeans they out grew. I wanted to post something for 4th of July celebrations and thought it would be fun to do something with the jeans and our flag.

I think my favorite project was the little block houses. Which reminds me, I have a whole box of blocks I still need to up-cycle. Oh how I wish there were more hours in the day. Anyway, hope you guys get a chance to do some of these projects.


Happy fourth of July everyone. This post would have been better a few days ago to give you all time to decorate for this holiday but I was out for a while with a summer cold. Better late than never. At least Americana can be displayed throughout the year.


I got this idea after watching a morning show one day when they had an old pair of jeans on display and were talking about how much the jeans went for at an auction…lets just say it was a crazy amount, I think it was in the six digits.


So before you recycle those old jeans please make sure you didn’t accidentally pick up some old cowboy jeans second hand that Doc Holiday wore or whatever gunslinger out there owned. Here in Arizona who knows what you will come across when out junk shopping.

Supplies needed:


Old jeans


Fabric scraps in red and white colors.


Assorted embellishments.

Cotton stuffing (you can use an old pillow you buy second hand for stuffing)

Yarns and threads in red, white and blue colors

Coffee and vanilla extract (optional)

Old wooden blocks

Mod podge or water down glue for decoupage.

Wooden skewers or dowels

Small terra cotta pots

Acrylic paints in red white and blue

Green felt or fabric for flower leaves



Star templates


Red dye

Okay I think that just about covers it in supplies. This is one of those projects that is a lot funner when you work in a group. I love seeing what others come up with when designing their own art. Folk art has always been one of my favorite subjects and I have several pieces of folk art in my collection of crazy things I  collect.


Americana decorating is anything patriotic, country farmhouse or primitive. Old board games like checkerboards, baskets and old quilts are also great Americana items. Even old advertising can be used in Americana decorating.


Pioneers back in the day had to hand make a lot of their items like rag dolls and table runners with dried flower arrangements in tin cans. They had to put that homey feeling in their houses. I can’t imagine what it was like back then to not have a giant home store to buy linens from or the Internet to shop. You really did have to be creative back in Great Grannies day.


First project- pincushions. You can use your jeans to make pincushions, like these chubby little denim pincushion dolls below.


Because our family has so many different nationalities in us I thought it would be fun to include little flags with the dolls. Adding buttons, little charms and miniatures to your pin cushions adds character. I even made a whimsical rodeo clown with one of the dolls.


I always joke with my family that we are American mutts. I was inspired by the Swedish side of my family and my kid’s Italian Nonna for this doll. kind of a combination of both.


I love all the traditions passed down from my ancestors. Americana is all about those folk art traditions that grandma and grandpa taught us.


Click here for detailed instructions on how to make pincushion dolls and here for a free coloring page of the flags.


I also made some tomatoes pincushions by dying some of the jeans a scarlet red. Then I added a tree branch as a stem. Tomato pin cushions were very popular back in the Victorian times. They were given as gifts to new brides for their homes to help ward off evil. A real tomato was originally used but sometimes they were hard to come by and they weren’t in season. That is when they started making little fabric tomatoes to add to their mantles.


Next project- up-cycled wooden houses. There was nothing wrong with these houses, but me being me, thought these homes needed a little update. You can do just about any design when you come across these little wooden wonders. I have a bunch of these tiny homes up in the window at Our Little Red House up north.




I repainted them first, then added fabric scraps to cover them with. For a rustic and folk art look just paint coffee over them. Add some vanilla to your coffee to cut down on the coffee smell. You can also use watered down brown acrylic paint.


Bookmarks- this is fairly simple. Use a sewing machine to add stitches to your scraps or sew little designs by hand. Cut out scraps of fabric to add to your bookmarks (example-the flag). Add pom poms or tassels to the ends.


Fabric flowers- These are fun to make and have been around for ages. Fabric flowers are a great way to introduce sewing to kids. Glue your flowers to a skewer and paint it green, then add green felt leaves. Buy different sizes of Terra cota pots and have the little ones paint and decorate the pots in the Americana colors of red, white and blue. Add embellishments like buttons and beads to the center of your flowers. For instructions on how to make fabric flowers click here

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Fabric star banners- another fun project and easy sewing project for beginners. I thought this star banner would look pretty hung across the big picture window up north. Just draw out a star or use templates to trace all different sizes of fabric stars. Sew, Stuff, then string together using ribbon or twine.



Hope all these projects keep you busy. You can use your jeans for other flag colors too. I loved the Canadian project that  dandelionbouquet worked on. Happy crafting everyone and please remember to include all ages and skill levels when crafting.


May you all have a safe and wonderful 4th of July celebration wherever you may be. Special thanks to all our military and their families’…thank you for your services and please stay safe and healthy out there in the world.

patriotic toilet.jpg

The toilet paper embroidery photo is from my cousin out in Arkansas. My cousin opened a little shop out there called Heavenly Stitches where they do the most beautiful embroidery projects on baby things, blankets, hats, and just about anything you can think of. I am so proud of them following their dreams and going for it. I am not getting anything for promoting their business, just wanted to let them know I am proud of them MarDean that is so cool what you did, love it. Happy 4th to all of you out there in Oklahoma and Arkansas.


3 Comments Add yours

    1. Thank you, so fun turning old clothes into other things.


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