How to Make a DIY Denim Banner from Upcycled Jeans

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After a long hiatus from publishing new tutorials, I’m back with a new sewing project that’s perfect for beginners, especially those who love repurposing! So take out all your ripped, worn out or stained jeans and make a DIY denim banner with them!

Learn how to make a DIY denim banner from your old, upcycled jeans! A super easy, zero cost sewing project perfect for a party or home decor!

I love refashioning and mending jeans to get more life out of them, but sometimes you just can’t repair them anymore. And that’s when it’s a great idea to make an upcycled banner from them because you can cut out the salvagable fabric from them!

(Here you can see that I used, among others, my jeans with creative circle patches and my very old DIY maternity pants.)

A pile of old jeans to be upcycled into a handmade denim party banner

When you use different pairs of jeans, your handmade denim banner makes a beautiful blue ombre effect that I just love! Isn’t that just so pretty?

Use old jeans to make an upcycled banner – such a great environmentally friendly way to upcycle fabric and decorate for parties or just every day!

(And it matches my circle skirt! Find out here how to sew your own circle skirt!)

I’ve sewn this upcycled banner a bit differently than my other DIY fabric banners so as to show off the white fringe that we all know and love in cut-off jeans! It’s such a unique look to fabric bunting, I love it!

This beginner sewing project shows how to make a DIY banner from jeans. So easy and fun! I want one for every room in my house!

So, are you ready to learn how to make a DIY denim banner from your old jeans? Let’s get started!

This beginner sewing project shows how to make a DIY banner from jeans. So easy and fun! I want one for every room in my house!

Materials to sew a DIY denim banner

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Materials needed to sew a DIY denim party banner from old jeans

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Make the banner flags from jeans

1. First prepare your pattern piece. I used the size M rectangular piece (with seam allowance) of my “Celebrate!” Banner pattern glued onto a piece of cereal box. (This makes it sturdier and easier to trace around.) You can use other shapes/sizes of that pattern, or just cut out a piece of cereal box 4¾ x 6¾” (12 x 16 cm). This includes the 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance used in this project.

Cut banner bunting shapes out of old jeans

2. Turn the pants leg inside out, right sides facing, and flatten it so that one seam is at the edge. Trace around the pattern piece so that the grainline arrow goes in the direction of the leg length, not the width. If you’re just using a regular rectangle piece without that arrow, the long sides should go down the leg length. (A above) I’ll explain why this is important later.

3. Pin the two layers of fabric together, then cut out along the lines. (B above)

4. Continue cutting like this until you have the number of banner flags desired.

Turn and topstitch denim rectangles for jean banner

5. With the fabric still pinned right sides facing, sew down the two long sides with a 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance. (C above)

6. Trim the seam allowances, turn the rectangle right sides out, and press flat. Then topstitch down one side, across the bottom and back up the other side. The seam allowance at the sides can be close to the side edges, but leave at least 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance at the bottom to allow a decent amount of fringe to come out. (D above)

Sew a bunch of jean rectangles to make denim banner bunting

7. Continue this way until you’ve prepared all your banner flags.

Sew the DIY denim banner

8. Cut the length of double fold bias tape that you’ll need. Calculate the number of flags by the top width of the flags and then add extra for hanging. I like long strips to hang for more versatility, so I usually add about 70 cm (28″) per side.

Sew the ends of bias tape for a perfect way to string up banner bunting

9. Fold one end of the bias tape right sides facing and sew 3/8″ (1 cm) from the short end. (F above)

10. Trim the seam allowance close to the stitching, then turn the bias tape right side out again, tucking the folds inside. (G above)

Repeat steps 9-10 with the other end of the bias tape.

Insert the denim fabric rectangle flags into bias tape to create banner bunting

11. Fold the length of bias tape in half and mark the center fold with a pin. Insert the unsewn top of the center flag inside the bias tape so that the center of the flag is at the pin. (H above)

12. Put a couple more pins in to keep the flag inside the bias tape. Insert another flag next to the center one and pin that in place, too. (I above)

All the denim flags inserted into the bias tape to make a DIY banner

13. Continue inserting the other flags, alternating different shades if possible, and pinning them in place. (J above, which shows after step 14, without pins)

Sew down the bias tape to hold the banner flags in place inside the fold

14. Sew down the length of bias tape, from one end to the other, close to the open edges. Use a thread color that matches your bias tape. (K above, which also shows my Cucicucicoo tag sewn into the end of the bias tape)

Wash and dry the denim banner so that the white fringe can come out at the bottom

15. Machine wash and dry the banner, then iron it flat. (L above) Now there’s a nice white fringe at the bottom edges!

Use old jeans to make an upcycled banner – such a great environmentally friendly way to upcycle fabric and decorate for parties or just every day!

And there’s your finished DIY denim banner made from your offcast jeans! What a wonderful way to reuse fabric that would’ve been otherwise thrown away!

Use old jeans to make an upcycled banner – such a great environmentally friendly way to upcycle fabric and decorate for parties or just every day!

Now you have a great excuse to throw a party, so you can hang up your new upcycled banner! 😁 Or you can be like me and keep it hanging on a wall all year round!

Denim fringe along vs. against the grain

I mentioned in step 2 that the position of the pattern piece on the jeans leg is important. Now I’ll show you why.

testing how denim fringe forms when cut along or against the fabric grain

In the photo above, you can see two sewn denim flags. The one on the left was cut properly from the jeans, with the grain running down the length of the rectangle. On the other hand, I cut the one on the right sideways, with the grain running across the width of the rectangle.

You can already see here that the rectangle bottoms are fraying differently. On the left, some white threads are sticking out, while on the right, some blue threads are sticking out. This is due to the way denim fabric is woven.

testing how denim fringe forms when cut along or against the fabric grain

I sewed the correct rectangle into my banner. Look how the fringe compares to the incorrectly cut rectangle before and after washing. The correct banner has a nice white fringe (red arrow), while the incorrect banner has grown a sort of stringy blue tail coming out of the bottom edge (blue arrow).

I much prefer the white fringe, but if you prefer the blue “tail”, by all means cut your pieces that way!

Looking for the fabric banner sewing pattern with the most options? The Celebrate! Banner pattern includes 5 shapes in 4 sizes each, plus 4 sizes of appliqué letters, numbers, shapes and symbols! Customize your bunting to your heart’s desire at a moment’s notice! #cucicucicoopatterns #diybanner #handmadebanners

Have you gotten infected with fabric banner fever? Then go check out my “Celebrate!” Banner pattern, which has loads of options to create the perfect customized party banner for any occasion!

Learn to Machine Sew FREE sewing course for beginners, only on! #sew #learntosew

If you liked this tutorial on how to sew a DIY denim banner, check out the lessons that are part of the FREE Cucicucicoo Learn to Machine Sew beginner’s sewing course, which includes a whole section on sewing with bias tape! And don’t forget to share pictures of your work in the Cucicucicoo Creations Facebook group, or on Instagram or other social media with the hashtags #cucicucicoo or #cucicucicoopatterns!

Sign up here for the Cucicucicoo Newsletter for access to dozens of free downloads, templates and patterns! The Newsletter is sent out every week with lots of great ideas and links to a different free sewing pattern every week!

Click to save this project on Pinterest!

If you loved this DIY banner from jeans, click here to save the idea on Pinterest!

Use old jeans to make an upcycled banner – such a great environmentally friendly way to upcycle fabric and decorate for parties or just every day!

3 thoughts on “How to Make a DIY Denim Banner from Upcycled Jeans”

  1. I appreciate the detail and effort put into this article to explain how to make a DIY denim banner.

    Not only does it provide step-by-step instructions, but it also gives helpful advice on how to achieve the best results.

    It is clear that Lisa has experience making banners out of old jeans and uses this knowledge by providing valuable tips, such as cutting pieces from jeans with the grain running down the length of the rectangle for better fraying.

    What I like most about this post is that it demonstrates how upcycling can create something beautiful and unique instead of throwing away fabric that would have otherwise gone to waste.

    This story inspired me to try my hand at making a denim banner myself.

    Furthermore, the ability to customize banners for special occasions with the “Celebrate!” Banner pattern makes it easy to make a unique, one-of-a-kind banner that stands out and can be cherished for years.

    Overall, this article has given me the confidence to upcycle old fabric into something new and beautiful.

    I’m pretty excited about it!


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