101 Things You Can Do With Old Jeans, No.4: Upholster a Chair!

Welcome to the 233rd Metamorphosis Monday!

I love blogging! I’ve met so many wonderful dearhearts while blogging and each one has been a blessing in my life. Recently after posting about some crafty things I made from old jeans here, here and here, I received a delightful e-mail from Carol.  Carol wrote:

Susan, I follow all of your blogs and we have talked before, you make my inbox a joy to open everyday! I do not blog and do not know how to make a post or even attach one, but when I saw the post of what to do with old denim I wanted to share with you what I did with my 3 sons and husbands old jeans I have been saving up for years. Some of them–the knees are worn out of, the bottoms frayed, that makes them all the better. Remember when the JNCO jeans were in with the little characters on them, we had those too.  Lots of great memories here.
I covered a chair with them all. I had to piece it like a crazy quilt and then cut out the pattern. My mother and my husband helped me and then we all signed the back of the chair before we reattached the backing. We covered the back and seat with solid fabric so it would be more smooth and comfortable to set in.   The only problem is, I have one chair and 3 boys…guess they can fight over it when I am gone!  Ha, give them something to do! 

Just wanted to share, for the book I hear you are going to write! (Smile) no pressure or anything, you know we all know YOU CAN do it!

Carol enclosed a photo of the chair she covered along with the assistance of her hubby and mom and it is amazing! What a wonderful way to preserve so many wonderful memories, especially those of your children.

Repurpose Old Jeans to Upholster a Chair


I get so sentimental over stuff like this, I’d probably get misty-eyed every time my eyes settled on this chair.

Recycle Old Jeans to Upholster a Chair


At my request, Carol sent some fabulous detailed pictures, along with information/instructions about how she covered the chair.  (Carol’s comments are in quotation below.)

Denim Chair Upholstered with Old Jeans


Carol said, “To reupholster the chair we had to remove and label all the fabric on the chair. It was a green fabric originally. You have to go into the seams and remove all the staples and tacks if you have decorative tacks on it holding the chair together. The pieces will just start coming off and as you take the pieces off, you label them left arm, front bottom, back, etc.  because the right and the left will not necessarily be the same exact pattern.”

“Next I got out all of my old jeans and laid them out. I would take a pattern piece and see how big the finished piece  needed to be and, this is the hard part, start cutting all your precious memory jeans.   I knew I wanted to use the unusual pieces of the jeans like pockets, labels even holes and stains.”

Old Discarded Jeans Become a Denim Chair

“I would lay my pieces right sides together and just sew them randomly. Somewhat like a crazy quilt, but my own version, I wanted it to look piecey but also I placed a piece where I wanted to see it. I would press it open after sewing, lay it on the chair, arm, side, front, etc  and then make sure I cut the pattern out so what I REALLY wanted to see would be front and center.”

Denim Jeans Used to Upholster a Chair

“Chair is stripped down and we have started covering. You do not have to do anything but take the fabric off to reupholster, it is really not that hard once you start. This was my first upholstery project and my mother taught me how to do it. My husband helped with the pulling of the staples and putting them back, because he could really push and get them into the wood. If you want to add more batting to make it fluffier now would be the time.”

Chair Upholstered with Old Jeans

“Here I am taking a picture of my mother and husband putting some of the staples in. My mother lives in Texas and only comes a couple times a year, I am in South Carolina.  When she comes I always have some project to do so I can pick her brain and learn how to do it myself, there is nothing that she can’t do or won’t tackle. That is my goal one day! When I ask her, do you think we could cover that old green chair with the guys old jeans, it wouldn’t cost much if we did it ourselves, she said, “Sure we can!!!” I forgot to tell her we would only have 2 days to do it in, we also had an out-of-town trip planned for her.”

Recycle Old Jeans to Upholster a Chair


“A lot of pieces come with a liner-like fabric attached to them to use as a stuffer. To help you get your outside fabric pulled and tucked into place, you need to remove that off the original pieces and sew to your new fabric, when you stuff it. As you can see here in the seat of the chair, you pull it taunt and staple it to the underside. Very easy how it all comes together.”

Upholster a Chair with Old Jeans


“Turned on its side we have added an arm and the back of the seat. We piped around the arms with the solid denim. We used the solid denim for the cushions seat and back and the back inside that would be covered up anyway by the cushions. We thought that would make it more comfortable to sit in.”

Repurpose Old Jeans to Upholster a Chair


I asked Carol to include lots of close-up pics and I loved all the information she included explaining why she used certain pieces in the upholstering process.

Carol said, “My older son wore JNCO jeans and here is the little Wolfgang character on a pair of his.”

Upholster a Chair with Old Denim Jeans


“Every time my boys got a new pair of jeans they had to get a running start and fall down on there knees and slide all the way down the isle, hallway, hill, or wherever, so they always had holes in their  knees. I wanted to make sure I used that on the chair.  The lizard is from a bug jean jacket I bought for my baby son when he was just two.”

Upholster a Chair and Preserve Memories with Old, Denim Jeans


“I wanted to use some part of it so I just cut out the lizard and sewed it on top and made a trail like he was climbing out of the hole.”

Upholster Chair with Old Jeans


I especially love all the worn spots, proof of a life well-lived!

Upholster a Chair and Preserve Memories with Old, Denim Jeans


Carol said, “My husbands Wranglers (picture below) where he wore a hole in the seat, guess that’s why they were in the discard pile.  The stripes are from middle son’s baby overalls and baby son’s gap jeans are at the back. I figured the remote could be stored in the pocket so you won’t loose it when it is not in someone’s hand.  As you can see it is not in the pocket now, or hardly ever.”

Upholster Chair with Old Denim Jeans


“I could have pieced this more but I wanted the whole leg of that jean.”

Upholster a Chair with Denim Jeans


“I liked it and also the stains on it. They were my husband’s and he was a Cowboy Bull Rider, so I wanted the stains and all for the memories.”

Upholster a Chair and Preserve Memories with Old, Denim Jeans


“I liked that you could see where my husband’s billfold fit in his pocket.”

Upholster Chair with Old Denim Jeans


Denim Chair Made from Old Jeans


Carol’s sons are 28, 24 and 16 now. The time passes way too quickly, doesn’t it?

Upholster a Chair and Preserve Memories with Old, Denim Jeans


Carol said, “There was a piece of cardboard on the back of the chair and I had everyone that had a hand in doing the chair sign it, and we wrote who all the jeans belonged to.”

Written on the cardboard: Made from Hunter, Houston, Hudson, Daddy (Duane’s) jeans, made with the hands of  Me (Carol Johnson), husband (Duane Johnson ), and my mother (Patsy Svane)

Upholster Chair with Old Jeans and Make a Wonderful Memory


Carol, thanks so much for sharing this very special chair. It’s a wonderful time capsule, capturing so many great memories from the life of your beautiful family. I know this chair will inspire some young Moms to start holding onto those old denim jeans. I wish I still had all the jeans my son wore over the years.

Recycle Old Jeans to Upholster a Chair


Love crafting and sewing with repurposed denim? You’ll find more denim projects at my other blog, Denim Do Over and many are No-Sew projects! You’ll find Denim Do Over here: Denim Do Over

Additional posts for DIY projects on and for furniture can be found HERE.

Looking forward to the Before and Afters posted for this Metamorphosis Monday!

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  1. You so are clever!! Love the chair!

  2. Thanks for hosting! Your chair looks great!

  3. What great ideas that chair sparks. Thanks for sharing that with us. I love a sentimental idea too. Thanks too for hosting once again!

  4. This is such a creative idea. I love Carol’s chair. It holds so many special memories for her family.

  5. This looks wonderful, Susan – This is just like a quilt made from family member’s clothes – very creative,
    I hope you have a blessed week,

  6. What a fun idea! Thanks for sharing it, Susan!…hugs…Debbie

  7. Wow Susan, this is an amazing project!! I wouldn’t know how to begin on something like this; Carol really is quite a DIY-er. Thanks for sharing this with us and thanks for hosting Met Mondays! Have a great day.


  8. Thanks for hosting such a fun party! Have a great week!

  9. That is a wonderful piece of work. It is so nice that the whole family were involved. My best friend made huge pillows like the ones in the first picture for my children for Christmas gifts when they were little. They called them their tv pillows because they would use them on the floor when watching tv. She sewed lace around the edge for my girl and a rope type binding for my boy. When they left home they took them along.

    Thanks for letting me join in.

  10. Loving the wonderful uses for old jeans!! Thanks for hosting! ~Christy

  11. Susan, this is soooo- cute! I agree with you; what a sentimental piece! Thank you for sharing another great idea that uses our old jeans. I have enjoyed seeing each idea- lots on inspiration! Thanks you for hosting another fun party!

  12. Susan,
    This truly is an amazing way to preserve memories of family members!!!
    I can see this chair in a Family Room, ‘teen room, dorm room. . .
    the possibilities are endless!
    Thank you for hosting Metamorphosis Monday, dear friend!!!

  13. That chair is fantastic. I’m going to have to come back to this post, and read it more slowly and carefully to see how it is done, step by step . . . and then say, Nope, too hard for me! But I SO ADMIRE this!!!
    What an inspired way to save those memories.

  14. Just awesome! Thanks Susan!

  15. How creative! I love how Carol used those little details like stains, worn spots, and characters to give the chair such sentimental value. Beautiful Job!

  16. Oh my goodness!!! Thank you so much for sharing!! I’ve been saving my Daddy’s jeans (he passed away 2 years ago) and have been looking for just the right project for them. We have also been looking at recovering some chairs in denim as we move back into the house my Father built years ago. This is the PERFECT project for the jeans, the chairs, and the house. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you sharing!!

  17. Susan,
    This is so precious! Carol…you had a wonderful idea and you and your “team” did a wonderful job. I enjoyed reading this post so much.
    Blessing to you both, Vikki in VA

  18. Susan – Thank you for sharing Carol’s wonderful and creative idea of using her family’s jeans to reupholster a couch. This is so precious.
    Thanks also for another great party. I hope you’re spending a lot of time napping on that beautiful porch of yours.
    Blessings to you,

  19. Hi Susan! Oh, I’m so glad your reader sent you the snaps of this memory chair! How clever and a conversation piece to say the least! Hope you’re doing well and thank you for popping in to see me as I know you are the busiest one!
    Thanks for hosting your party.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia πŸ˜‰

  20. Pam ~ Crumpety Cottage says

    Wow! What an undertaking. That’s such a cool and sentimental memory idea, Carol. I bet you all fuss over who gets to sit in it. πŸ˜€ Thanks for sharing that with all of us. πŸ™‚

  21. What a fantastic idea and wonderful job! Thanks so much for sharing this and for hosting, Susan!

  22. Wow! She did an amazing job on the chair. Very creative. Thank you for hosting! Have a grand week. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  23. This is a precious project! Such a good job in covering the chair and preserving all those memories! Moms everywhere are jealous.
    Thanks for sharing.

  24. Oh what a fun idea for an upholstery makeover! loved it . Thanks for hosting the lovely party happily linking in .Do drop a while at mine.
    Auro@Add that Xtra in the ordinary

  25. What a cute idea! She is so lucky to have her Mom helping out with great projects.

    • Clearissa says

      I’m not blogging yet! But I so look forward to your blog daily and this one was a real treat!! That chair is amazing and so very creative. It never ceases to amaze me how creative you ladies are!

  26. Sandi Lee says

    About the neatest idea I have ever seen-what wonderful memories! My stepmother would not paint the trim on the kitchen door because everyone got measured there on their birthday and their name penciled in next to the mark. Lots of marks with 8 kids!

  27. That’s just awesome! What a wonderful way to remember the boys growing up and her husband’s work.Thanks.

  28. Wow!! That chair is unbelievable! I consider myself a fairly patient person when it comes to projects, but I don’t think I would ever tackle something this huge! Kudos to Carol for giving this a try. It came out great!

  29. That chair is INCREDIBLE!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!!!

  30. Sharon McMurray says

    AWESOME!!! I love this!

  31. Love the denim chair. Thanks for sharing.

  32. Susan, this is so clever! I’ve shared it with a friend who did something similar with her boys jeans. My friend saved every pair of jeans from toddler on that her two boys wore as children. Then she took them and made a crazy quit as a bed cover. It is adorable, with the pockets, zippers, and other special details worked in here and there.

  33. Fabulous! I have a stack of the husband’s old jeans I have been saving for several years, trying to get up the nerve to make a slipcover with them. I am re-inspired.

  34. What an amazing chair full of memories. Thanks so much for hosting!

  35. Susan thank you so much for featuring my memory’s chair on your blog post. It is wonderful how you put it all together, especially amazing, for the technically challenged like myself. I feel we are now kindred spirits! I love all the wonderful and nice comments! You have made my year!!! You are such a special and amazing person, I feel honored to say I know you!

    • Aww, thanks Carol! I feel the same way about you! I so appreciate you letting me share this special chair. I just love that your husband and mom were involved in the process of creating such a wonderful family treasure. I know this post touched many hearts today. πŸ™‚

  36. Donnamae says

    What a great idea for preserving memories…and so practical! How’s the yard/garden coming? Anxious for an update! πŸ˜‰

  37. what a totally awesome chair! I love that you got your parents involved, a fun and special project for sure! It looks wonderful with the sunflower pillow! Thanks for the party!

  38. Thank you for hosting!

  39. Peggy Thal says

    Very cute memory chair. Great for a teens room or a casual den. Amazing what you can all do with good old American jeans. I am sure others will have some great ideas.

  40. Susan….Carol has made not only a fabulous chair, but a chair that when you sit in it, it surrounds you with warmth and memories….So wonderfully sentimental!!!….Love it!

  41. Thanks for hosting! The denim chair is awesome, thanks for sharing!

  42. Susan, this is one of the most amazing projects that I’ve seen in a while! What a fun way to capture memories. I hope a lot of young mothers see this post so that they can save their children’s jeans for a future project! Please thank Carol for sharing!

  43. Susan your chair is amazing!! What a wonderful idea. My boys would love a chair like that for their play room. Thanx for hosting!

  44. This is such a WONDERFUL idea, wish I had known about it when my kids were little. Thanks so much for sharing this and for hosting MM. XO, Pinky

  45. Carol,
    Your memory chair was the greatest.

  46. I LOVE Carol’s chair! What a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing that with us, Susan, and thank you for the party!

    Jeanette @ Creating a Life

  47. What a unique project. Well done Carol.

  48. OMGosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had been thinking about something similar and decided it was too much for my so-called skills πŸ™‚ But with these pictures, I think I’ll have to think about it again!! Carol, thank you so much for sharing and Susan, thank you for such a wonderful blog!!

  49. What an awesome idea, Susan! Soooo cool!!! And it’s certainly going to wear like iron, too! πŸ™‚ I’d love to see a chair like this done with vintage quilts or something, too. πŸ™‚

    xoxo laurie

  50. That Chair is Totally Awesome!!
    Thanks For Hosting The Party!
    I’m a new Follower!!
    Thanks, Faye

  51. This is great, now I know what to tell my wife to do with all her old jeans!

  52. Carol, you have definitely created something beyond and with your heart. What a nice gesture to share with strangers.

    Have been saving Jeans for 20 years to make a quilt, but they are just mine. I’ve also upholstered for years and never considered doing a chair with them. Or thought of saving all the kids and my husband’s, now it feels like a bit of a loss. What wonderful memories using all of them.

    My oldest son brought his Navy flight suits to his brother to wear for working on cars. But they didn’t fit. For some reason I grabbed them out of the give away bags and decided to make a memory quilt for him. The suits must have 3 dozen different and odd size pockets. Am using old memories saved from his childhood and finding old old toys that fit each pocket (marbles,a rock, seashell, slinky,etc.) along with a written memory from mom in each one. Your sharing has prompted me to do the same now with the other kids jeans. Even though they are all grown.

    What a great idea for all young moms to start a memory box as you did. Or even us old moms, we never forget the special times.

  53. Hi.
    Thats one hot chair now. very nice.
    Not undertaken a chair but did cover a mattress a few years back using old levis as the dog ripped a hole in it when he was puppie . it was only 4 mths old so used levis to cover. what a great nights sleep on it . cuddled up with your old worn out well loved levis.

  54. This is such a lovely chair. Great memories.

  55. You did a great job! They look wonderful, and I love the look and colors of the whole area – thank you so much for sharing. You have inspired me to do the same to my dining room chairs, they are sadly in need!

  56. I am a longtime building superintendent, and textile, ‘flotsam’ recycler. The organization I have been involved with for fifteen years now – Wearable Collections, processed THREE AND A HALF MILLION POUNDS of textiles, clothing, bed linens, towels, shoes, belts, (whew!) last year alone. I also go out frequently on community walks, and never fail to find appliances, glassware, lamps (always make sure my electrician checks them for safety, before passing along to the needy) kitchen utensils, on and on. I was considering, now I’m 68..this could be a great business opportunity. However that works out, my passion for over a decade has been to give fresh life to textiles, etc. Your denim story warmed my heart. The pictures are most impressive, and should show others this kind of DIY is really a can-do. And here’s a thought: my husband was married previously before divorcing his first wife, then.. meeting me later, here in New York. So, we like to joke that many things in our home are recycled – including Ric!!

  57. Wow I love how you have covered the chair,I’ve got 100s pairs of old jeans that I’ve collected over the past few years cos denim is the only fabric that will never go out of fashion. I’ve been stuck for ideas to make use of it all and I think this has got to be the best so far x.

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