Think Again is a new series that provides fun ideas for how to reuse items in your home that you would normally throw out or recycle. Reusing is higher on the “green” food chain than recycling, because getting another use out of an object is always more effective than spending the energy to recycle it. Plus, trying to reuse can force us to be creative!
The three R‘s – reduce, reuse, and recycle – are listed in that order for a reason. Reducing the amount of products, or materials, or energy that you use is the most environmentally conscious. After that comes reuse – which means giving the materials that you did use a second life without going through any type of intensive recycling process. And the third is recycling, which does require energy but is still more effective than using completely new materials.
But the three R‘s don’t have to be so boring! Reusing can be a lot of fun since it forces us to think of ways to use an item that differ from its original purpose. It’s a way to bring a little bit of whimsy into your life, to surprise yourself with creativity, and to enjoy a product in a new way.
For our first installment in the Think Again series, we will be working with an old pair of jeans – an item that almost everyone has lying around. Jeans are the staple of many wardrobes… which means that at some point or another, they wear out. And even if you try to repair them, after one or two repairs or patches it is time to give up wearing them.
But that doesn’t meant that you have to throw them out! What else can be done with an old pair of jeans?
The back of a pair of jeans make a mean apron. And a functional one, too, because the back pockets can be used to keep recipes or important utensils handy. Plus, most of the sewing is already done for you so the whole thing could take under an hour.
Here are the instructions (for a set of instructions with pictures at each step, check out the Kleas blog which inspired this project):
Cut your pair of jeans into shorts at whatever length you want. For this apron I cut the jeans pretty short, but you may prefer it to be a little longer.
Then cut along the side seam. You may or may not want to keep the original front pockets from the jeans as part of your apron. I kept them for this one because they gave more coverage and more pockets, but in the Kleas blog they were cut away. If you do want to keep the front pockets, cut around the pockets in any shape – square, circular, or other.
Cut along the waistline of the jeans, making sure to leave the belt loops intact – these will be used to string a ribbon or cloth through later.
Pick a ribbon or cloth and string it through the belt loops. You can leave this unattached to the jeans or sew it on. (And if you’re not handy with a needle and thread, you could also use iron-on adhesive which makes things very easy.)
And that’s it! That gives you a fully functional apron!
But if functional is not enough for you – then this is the time to play with your apron. Since my apron was a gift, I personalized it by monogramming the apron with leftover fabric scraps. I didn’t have a sewing machine handy, so iron-on adhesive made this step easier for me. I also used the iron-on adhesive to make a hem for the bottom of the cut off jeans so that it wouldn’t fray too much, but the fraying aesthetic might add a charming touch to your apron.
If you end up making this apron yourself, please share your photos and experiences with us! And if you have any other creative ideas for what to do with an old pair of jeans, please share those too!
Now that we’ve got our aprons on, lets read some delicious Middle Eastern recipes::