You’re creative and you enjoy the process of making things. You have a thing for fashion, but you don’t want your fashion to be ruining the planet. You’re in love with the stories that your old jeans tell, but can’t get rid of them, even though you don’t wear them anymore.

It’s time to get ready to upcycle!

I have put together the following two techniques to help you deconstruct your jeans before you start your next upcycling project. The Scissor technique is best suited for the more impatient upcycler. The Seam Ripper technique is much more involved and perfect for fashionistas who prefer going the extra mile.


The Scissor technique is convenient for upcyclers who have not totally mastered the meditation that upcycling requires and are a little impatient about getting to the point. Some compelling aspects of the denim may be lost, but you will still be left with highly useful pieces for your projects.


The Seam Ripper technique is kismet for fashion nerds who have achieved their Zen bliss. If you feel a strong affinity to the natural beauty of denim and really want to maintain the high and low nuances of the indigo that has washed out over wears, I definitely recommend this approach.

Personally, I prefer having my jeans deconstructed into the following parts:

  • Two front panels
  • Two back panels
  • Waistband
  • Back pocket
  • Patch
  • Zipper

But hey! You’re the boss of your creation, so feel free keep the inseams if you want to implement them in your new pieces. Or keep the back pockets attached if they can be useful. Remember, there’s no one way to upcycle your jeans. It all depends on the pair in hand and the end product in mind. With upcycling, the choices are infinite!

Filled with great ideas and with your jeans now ready to upcycle, go ahead and download one of our patterns for your next fabulous DIY sewing project!

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