A Star-Spangled Blue Jean Recycle Placemat Project

Welcome to this month’s $10 on the 10th, dear friends! Our theme this time is Patriotic and because it is summertime, in the USofA our summers are flanked on both ends by Memorial Day at the end of May, and Labor Day in September, with the Fourth of July tucked in the middle. So, I thought I’d make a fun blue jean recycle project for us to celebrate…

Thank you to Tammy from Patina and Paint for hosting this month and we have a treat as everyone is here for this fun patriotic event, too! Woo Hoo!!

Let’s get this party started, shall we?

No photo description available.

How to make these Star-Spangled Placemats

My project begins with two pairs of old jeans, including a pair of my absolute faves!


(shot with my iPhone 4… Wow, phones have come a long way! Soooo blurry!)

But ever since I made this Welcome Banner out of old blue jean pockets, I knew I would be using these pockets again… (They were too cute and sparkly NOT to reuse them!)

Begin by cutting off the lower legs of the larger pants and slice them down the side. Cut off the front tops to use the rivet and front pocket detail as part of your design.

Lay out your pieces (four or more; I used just two to make two placemats today), and mark out two 12″ x 16″ pieces for the back of your Patriotic Placemats:

Since I was making these at night, you get a nice view of my dining room chandelier overhead!

Use quilters rulers, if you have them, to mark out your 12″ x 16″. I looked up the standard measurements for placemats and they can be anywhere from 12″- 16″ x 16″ – 22″. I picked 12″ x 16″ but wish I had made them 18″ wide, so really think about how you want your placemats to look before cutting them out.

I was also limited by the size of the blue jeans (especially using the front top sections) but could have cut the pieces longer. 😉

Using the American Flag

Okay, as a former Boy Scout and Girl Scout leader, I am always a bit hesitant to reuse the American flag because I was taught that you donate your old flags to the local Boy Scout troops to burn at a future ceremony.

It’s always a big deal for the kids to go through preparing the flag for burning and afterwards, the grommets are saved along with the cold ashes. Small bottles are given to each participant of the reminder of how sacred our freedom and country are.

HOWEVER, I do love the look of this flag. It never faded in the least and was still fairly new. It caught during a couple of storms on the bush outfront and began ripping upwards, so it was an easy fix to zigzag the rent…

Sew any tears in your flag. I actually want the frayed look as it kind of goes with the worn and tattered blue jean look! <3

For this flag, I could get two stars and stripes sections if I reorganized the stripes and cut out 6″ x 16″ sections.

Then it was simple to sew the 6″ x 16″ stripes to the bottom of each upper star/stripes section! Iron the seams flat and lay out this placemat “top” to the backside of the blue jean placemat “bottom,” wrong sides facing each other.

Sew about 1/4″ seam around the four edges… I found it best to sew down the two sides first, then sew across the top and bottom (the bottom fabric WILL pull towards the end of your sewing, so either pull taught…


Sew OUTWARDS from the middles, flip for the other half of the top and bottom, towards each edge (this is the actual way you are supposed to sew, which prevents this pulling; this is how I learned to sew from my instructor when sewing collars and necklines/hemlines). 😀

Lastly, sew on the blue jean sparkle pocket around the edges, leaving the top open to add silverware OR sew closed and use the actual pocket flaps opened!

Aren’t these Star-Spangled Recycled Jeans and Flag Placemats cute??

I knew this is what I wanted to create with these pockets for the past couple of years as this old favorite pair of capris were beginning to really fade and tear, so I am glad I get to share them here on $10 on the 10th with you today!

Oh! Total cost?

$0, less the cost of original materials.


Now let’s go check out what patriotic ideas our friends have come up with…

Ann ~ “Wine Gift Bag” ~ Apple Street Cottage

Allyson ~ “Free Printable 4th of July Fans” ~ Southern Sunflowers

Barb ~ “A Star-Spangled Blue Jean Recycle Placemat Project” ~ French Ethereal (here!)

Cindy ~ “How to Make a Grapevine Wreath” ~ Cloches and Lavender

Corine ~ “Garden Wreath” ~ Junks to Jems

Patti ~ “10 on the 10th Patriotic Ideas” ~ Pandora’s Box

Tammy ~ “Ribbon Wreath” ~ Patina and Paint

Terrie ~ “DIY Summer Wreath Inspiration” ~ Decorate and More with Tip

Enjoy the tour!

Barb 🙂

19 thoughts on “A Star-Spangled Blue Jean Recycle Placemat Project”

    1. Thank you, Michelle! They were fun to make and I only had to rip off one pocket and reset. 😉 I’ll be sharing more in a tablescape soon.

      Happy 10th,
      Barb 🙂

  1. I love the look of these. Even styling flags in our booth, I am always hesitant to do anything other than hang them. I trust your re-use of these as a troop leader.

    1. Last year I hung up an old faded flag as a backdrop to a patriotic living room post, and I couldn’t cut it. I’ve thought about making it into a large pillow cover but it’s hard to kill an American flag. This one, being just polyester, I didn’t feel so bad about it. 😉

      From former troop leader of Venture Crew Troop 604 Murrieta, California,
      Barb 🙂

      p.s. Did you know this is the first year that young women have earned their Eagle Scout awards?!! It’s really exciting! When our daughter was in Venture Crew (high adventure program ~ including rock climbing, repelling, caving, diving, white water rafting), she was just 10 years too early… Our son Peter earned his Eagle Scout award, though. Amy earned a Bronze award for Art, I think it was. She could have earned a Silver award, and that would have been the highest at that time for young women.

  2. I love these Barb. I have many old pairs of jeans and after making my flags last week I’m going to more with them. When I have some time.

    1. I’ll have to check out your post, Cindy! I love making things with jeans and now if I can just find the lost bandanas I can set my table for real… ;)’ Thank you for your sweet comments! <3

      Barb 🙂

    1. Thank you, Allyson! These were fun to make and I’ll be making at least two more. No more sparkly pockets, though… 😉 Glad you like them!

      Happy crafting,
      Barb 🙂

  3. Barb I love those sparkly pockets. Pretty sure I wore a few that looked like them years ago! As a former Boy Scout leader and a Girl Scout I know just how you feel about using the flag, but what a great way to Upcycle! Great job. These are so pretty.

    1. Three cheers for Scouting! Glad you enjoyed this Sparkly Placemat project, Tammy!! I do miss those Scouting days and I bet you do, too. <3 (I'm always on the lookout for sparkly jeans. 🙂 )

      Happy summer to you,
      Barb 🙂

  4. Barb, these placements are so adorable! I love the pocket for holding the flatware! How fun. I just bought a new American flag for our front porch because the one hanging there is getting kind of ratty. I wasn’t sure what to do with it when I change it out, but now you have given some wonderful ideas to upcycle it in some way. Fun fun fun!


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