Super Easy DIY Denim Rag Quilt

Do you collect old worn out jeans? Do you wonder what to make with them? They are a great source of hard wearing versatile fabric. I always have a stash, gratefully receiving any donations!

Denim Rag Quilt, DIY, tutorial for transforming old jeans into a quilt

A denim rag quilt is perfect for anyone wishing to tackle a large denim stash. Its a great project for those considering making a quilt for the first time. You don’t need to be a precise sewer or spends hours cutting out (as you can tell these are the aspects which put me off making a standard quilt!!).

DIY Denim Rag Quilt, tutorial

We are fortunate to have a spare bedroom, with none of our family local the room is used by regular visiting parents doting on their grandkids.  The room is rather bland, ready to serve its function. It needs a touch of personality, preferably some upcycling.

I took inspiration from some beautiful denim quilts online. A denim rag quilt deals with my bulky denim stash, and is relatively quick and easy:)

DIY Denim Rag Quilt


  • lots of denim jeans
  • lining (I used old pillowcases)
  • scissors
  • sewing machine

denim materials

Trim your denim, removing all zips, waistbands. Make a decision re pockets, you may like to keep them as a feature or remove them. I removed them for ease of sewing.

You will be making panels of quilted denim, and then sewing the panels together. Decide on the size of quilt

Cut denim into rough sizes for your panels. My finished panels measure between 10-17″ and 104″ long. These were trimmed to size once sewn.

Layout your pieces in order to choose which denim you like next to each other. Pile up in the order you would like to sew them.

Next, think about your lining, you will be adding your lining as you sew. I used different pillowcases, using the width of the pillowcase as my size guide for the width of the panels.

To sew your first two pieces of denim trim your denim to provide a straight line down the grain (this is often easier to see on the back of the fabric).

Lay down the first piece of denim right side to the table, next lay your lining right side up, then your second piece of lining right side towards the table, and lastly your second piece of denim right side facing you. Stitch a seam 1 cm wide.

denim and lining layers

Trim the pillowcase lining to the width of the denim panel.

Lay your next piece of lining and denim on the second side of the denim (as previously) and stitch. Continue until your panel is as long as you require.

Denim Panel

Trim the panel into a long rectangle, I used the edge of the rug for the first side and a large book as a guide for trimming the width of the panel. Pin each seam to stop it coming apart. Stitch along the long sides to hold these seams together, 1cm in. Remove pins.

Trim denim panel

Create as many panels as you need.

To make the ragged frayed edges cut into the seam allowance every centimetre. Be very careful not to cut into the stitched line. If you accidentally do restitch. It is easier to do this now as there is less bulk.

snip into seam allowance

Once you have cut into each seam allowance layout your denim panels and choose the order you like them in.

denim panels

Stitch together along your 1cm stitched lines so the seam is on the right side of the quilt. Cut into the seam allowance to create fraying.

You are nearly there, sew around the edge of the quilt 1cm in, then cut into this 1cm seam allowance to create the fraying.

Wash denim rag quilt to fray edges

Lastly wash, then wash and wash again. Each time you wash the quilt the seams will fray a little more.

Pillowcase lining of denim rag quilt

Hang out to dry.

DIY denim rag quilt by vickymyerscreations, tutorial

I love the texture of denim. A surprise is the weight of the quilt, I love the lying under it (the weight is heavier than anticipated). What is your favourite upcycled denim project? There are plenty more ideas on my recycled denim pinterest board.

If you love working with old jeans sign up to my newsletter for access to my free resource library, which inclide PDF patterns for varous denim bags.





    • Vicky
      July 10, 2015 / 10:49 am

      Thanks so much:)

    • Vicky
      June 24, 2015 / 6:59 am

      Thanks Dana – relatively quick to do too:)

    • Vicky
      July 10, 2015 / 10:48 am

      The ragged edges are a great to way to hide slightly wonky sewing lines – accuracy and quilts are not my forte!!!

    • Vicky
      July 10, 2015 / 10:23 am

      Thanks Pam, always appreciate people pinning:)

  1. Kitty McDonald
    September 26, 2015 / 9:19 pm

    I was looking at you jeans rag quilt. Do you think it would be too heavy if a thin layer
    of polyester quilting material was incorporated into it?

    • Vicky
      September 26, 2015 / 9:26 pm

      Good question:) It is heavy, I guess it depends upon how you personally feel with different weights.

  2. November 30, 2015 / 7:09 am

    Hello Vicky,
    I found your blog through Knew I had found a great DIY blog when I saw your large tote bag tutorial (will give it a try!). And loving this denim quilt. Great ideas. Thank you for sharing them!
    All the best from Malawi,

  3. December 26, 2015 / 4:30 pm

    I had been looking for and wanting to figure out a bedspread that wasn’t one of those poofy kinds and one that I could wash a lot as my dog sleeps on my bed with me. This is it! I haven’t sewn much recently, but used to sew a lot, and I can get old jeans from my granddaughters and fill in with Goodwill purchases. Thanks so much for the idea and for the detailed “howto”. The photo is so beautiful!

    • Vicky
      December 26, 2015 / 6:20 pm

      You are welcome:) Enjoy your sewing:)

  4. March 8, 2016 / 2:38 am

    What a beautiful denim rag quilt! I need to make another one myself, unused jeans seem to be multiplying at my house.

  5. May 8, 2016 / 10:16 pm

    What a great idea! A perfect way to put those old jeans to good use!

  6. Nancy
    January 3, 2017 / 11:05 pm

    Love how you think and what you create, I am a firm belivier that nothing should be wasted, therefore a pac-rat and have to live to be very old to finish all my projects, denim oven mitts, picnic table cloths, quilts, bags and every idea I come across I try to make it. Keep up the gret work!

  7. August 24, 2017 / 1:42 am

    Love this rag quilt. They are so fun to make and turn out beautifully!

    • Vicky
      August 24, 2017 / 9:24 pm

      That’s kind:) I’m pleased with how it’s turned out, amazing how many jeans you need!!

  8. Andi Tointon Tointon
    October 1, 2017 / 9:25 pm

    Found your denim quilt tutorial and thought it might be ideal to make for my falling apart at the seams 3 seater and 2seater settees. At least if the cats do scratch it, the denim would be fairly tough to withstand alot of that sort of malarky. I have pinned you so I can find you easily. And I do have quite a few pairs that will never fit me again. Great Idea. Thanks for sharing your quilt and the fab headboard.

    • Vicky
      October 1, 2017 / 9:57 pm

      Enjoy your making;) would love to see a picture once you have made the covers.

  9. Aleah
    December 13, 2017 / 8:22 pm

    How do you think this would work as drapes? Leave off the liner?

    • Vicky
      December 17, 2017 / 6:51 am

      My only concern would be the weight – I remain surprised at just how heavy the finished quilt is.

  10. Mikki
    August 17, 2018 / 10:58 pm

    I’m working on a reversible jean (squares) throw for my grandson. One side jeans other spiderman character. Do I need a lining?

    • Vicky
      August 18, 2018 / 7:15 am

      I just used the denim and pillowcases as the reverse. If you add something between it will make it warmer but bear in mind the weight, it’s quite heavy without.

  11. Kelly
    December 3, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    I love this. I’ve been wanting to make my husband one but with jean pockets. Just not sure how go about doing it.
    Thank for sharing

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