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How to Use Old Jeans to Make a Cute Valentine Garland

Transform your old jeans into a charming Valentine's Day garland that will add a touch of rustic elegance to your home decor. Instead of tossing out those worn-out denim pants, give them a new lease on life by repurposing them into a delightful garland that will make your heart skip a beat. Cut the jeans into heart shapes of various sizes, ensuring that you have enough to create a visually appealing garland. You can use a heart-shaped template or simply freehand the shapes for a more organic look. Once you're satisfied with the decorations, attach the hearts to a length of twine or ribbon, spacing them out evenly to create a visually pleasing garland. Hang it up in your living room, bedroom, or even on your front door to spread the love and showcase your DIY skills.

For this project I used the following but the supplies are flexible. You could use any type of older clothing or fabric and still have a super cute finished garland!

  • 1 pair of old jeans. I used a pair of kids size 5 jeans that had holes in the knees. I chose to avoid the holes and cut around them, but you could certainly include them if you wanted to.
  • About 4 yards of yarn, cord or trim to sew and string the hearts onto. I used one long piece of a pink fluffy yarn and folded it in half to have a natural loop on one end to make it easier to hang.
  • Thread in your preferred color. I used a dark pink here.
  • Stuffing for the hearts. In a pinch, you could use a small package of wool stuffing. To keep with the reuse theme, ideas for recycled fillings include:
    * Stuffing from old or worn-out pillows
    * Fabric scraps (even scraps from the jeans you use!)
    * Ribbon or string scraps
    * Single-use plastic shopping bags
    * Dryer lint
  • Heart shaped cookie cutter
    This will help you get uniform shapes (this makes sewing them together much easier)!
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Large sewing needle
  • Optional: An additional 4 yards of a different trim. I used a thin bakers twine that had silver and gold wrapped in it to go along with the pink yarn, but this can easily be skipped. 

Pro tips to help you master this project!

Tip 1: Work in Batches

Once deciding on the size and overall look I was going for I cut, sewed, filled and closed the hearts all in batches vs fully completing one at a time to help speed the process up.

Tip 2: Clean up Extra Fabric

As you work, cut away the excess fabric from the back sides of the hearts, for example, around the waistband, seams, etc. This will keep your hearts from getting too heavy and make it less likely you will break your sewing machine needles.

Tip 3: Watch for Metal!

Be mindful of where the metal brads are on pants and be careful not to put that part in the sewing zone as it could break your needle and possibly hurt someone.

Tip 4: Decide if you want functional pockets

If the fabric you’re using has pockets, be sure to think about if they will be functioning or not. I plan to put little notes in these pockets so I planned my heart cut outs accordingly

Tip 5: Work neat

Trim your threads as you go and again once finished.


Recycled Jeans Heart Garland Step 1:

Trace the hearts onto the pants, I did this ONE heart at a time to ensure there was plenty of flexibility if needed.

The area around the pockets was my favorite, but also the more challenging zone so if you are working with a smaller pair or pants (like kids pants), you may want to start with the lower legs and work your way up there.

I also think it's fun to have the seams running different ways through the hearts but you do it how you like it!

Recycled Jeans Heart Garland Step 2:

Once the hearts are cut out, pair them all together thinking about what would be a front and back.

Recycled Jeans Heart Garland Step 3:

Set your sewing machine to a wide zig zag setting.

Carefully sew almost all the way around, leave about 1 inch to be able to fill the hearts. Repeat with all of the hearts.

Recycled Jeans Heart Garland Step 4:

Once you have sewn all the heart, stuff them with what you are using for filling.

Make sure to get the filling into all areas evenly.

Recycled Jeans Heart Garland Step 5:

Hand sew the openings closed and tie off in a knot at both ends.

Recycled Jeans Heart Garland Step 6:

Lay out the hearts and decide if you would like a pattern or not. Then use the zig zag stitch again to sew the hearts (at the top outer corners of the hearts) to the yarn.

I used the size of my four fingers across to help evenly space the hearts from one another along the length of the yarn.

Recycled Jeans Heart Garland Step 7:

Make a loop at both ends of the yarn to help be able to easily hang the garland.

Modification for hand sewing:

If you don't own or want to use your sewing machine, simply use a large, sharp needle and embroidery thread and do a single hand stitch almost all the way around the heart, pause to fill the heart, and then keep sewing it closed.

(do not cut the thread before filling, that will save you time and supplies)

Modification for no-sew version:

Hate sewing? Don't feel like using a needle and thread? You could also do this project with hot glue!

Cut out the pieces as instructed. Then run a thin line of hot glue around most of the border of one heart (leave about a 1-2 inch gap) before laying a second heart on top.

Allow the glue to completely set before stuffing each heart and then using glue to close.

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