Denim Jean Potholder Tutorial

Wow, views have been quite outstanding on the previous posting on my jean potholders. I thought a little tutorial would help you make a few of these for fun giveaways at retreats, party's or when you suddenly have an unexpected guest. Or make a bunch and donate to a great thrift shop that is non-profit. They are so fast, you'll forget the time of day and keep sewing!

Now that is my kind of sewing project! Fun and Fast!

This was not my idea. I know, you can't believe it, but its true, I didn't even attend the workshop were these lovely's were taught! Sadly, I was away at the time, but the person who  brought and shared it with the Bulkley Tweedsmuir Women's Institute was Faye Van Horn, of Smithers, BC who was at the time our district President, so thanks Faye! Awesome job! Faye is the one standing in the photo below of our 2009 Spring Conference held in New Hazelton, BC.

This is the Quick WI banner made in 1936.

The following is my way of making these potholders.

So first you take any pair of jeans and you can cut exact 6-8 inch squares or as I do, make them with the most frugal approach on using as much denim as possible. I always reserve the zippered part of the jeans for a summer skirt. That is another skirt tutorial to come.

 I like to cut right at the intersection just above the crotch area of the jeans, then its all ready for a jean skirt! Flirty and all, these are fun and you feel very young in them.

Cut the rough edge off with a ruler and rotary cutter.

 Then I just kind of square it off, I don't measure and get all fussy, you don't need to! Just use as much of the denim as you can! You cut right through the two layers of the legs on the jeans.

 I like to use something reused in the center of my potholder, to reuse even more. I add another two layers of upholstery or reused wool between the two denim layers on the outside of the potholder.

Cut with scissors, its simpler, along the edge of your denim chunks.

Then I like to use a fancy, schmancy stitch with something really bright for the thread color. On this photo, you'll see the area of denim between the zig zag stitching. This area of denim is where you'll cut through one layer.  You can cut through two layers if using two layers of denim on each side. This is a little heavy and doesn't seem to improve the use on a hot pot. 

 Bind as usual, except I make the binding strips 2.5 inches instead of my usual 2.25 inches for binding a regular weight quilt. I add on the binding before washing this potholder so that it reduces the lint strings that go into your septic tank. I don't want things like that going into my washing machine.

The frilly aspect of denim chenille is seen right away, but is  more pronounced once you actually wash the potholder. I like to wash it with other jeans then it roughs up the potholder in the wash.

So this my tutorial, I'm hoping that you find it useful enough to share a link with others. I'd love to see some photo's of your own version, I can only imagine!! Please come back  here and leave a comment, I'll pop over to your blog and check it out for sure.

In addition, below is a link of an alternate version of denim potholders. Enjoy!


  1. Ok, this is just too cool! I'm in desperate need of potholders and I have stacks of old jeans. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial!
    And happy holiday stitching!
    best, nadia


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