Colorful Recycled Denim Beads

Colorful Recycled Denim Beads

You’ve probably noticed a trend on this blog… I like to recycle. I use recycled materials in many of my projects, and I always have several old pairs of jeans lying around. Kids grow like weeds, and boys are especially hard on their clothes, so there’s always some worn out denim not worthy of the donation pile. I’ve seen denim beads before, nothing new, but I wanted them to be colorful.

Colorful Recycled Denim BeadsI’m all about color. Color makes for great crafts, especially for kids.

Colorful Recycled Denim BeadsTween girls will love this project, so if you have one you may just want to give this a whirl. This could be really fun for a girl scout troop too!

Colorful Recycled Denim BeadsI made these beads for Michael’s Craft Stores via DecoArt. Michael’s carries a line of paint called Craft Smart. You’ve probably seen it in the paint aisle. Plenty of colors available and they cost less than most. If you are crafting with kids, this is an ideal paint for creating with them.

Colorful Recycled Denim BeadsAfter cutting your denim rectangle, iron it out. Then you’ll cut it into strips.

Colorful Recycled Denim BeadsMix your paint with fabric medium according to the bottle directions. Paint each strip a different color. Paint the back sides too.

Colorful Recycled Denim BeadsCut the strips into thirds. Wrap the strips around a toothpick, gluing as you go.

Colorful Recycled Denim BeadsYou can make bracelets, necklaces, keychains, earrings, and even artwork. Instead of stringing the beads, Glue them onto canvas to create fun designs. Use your imagination and have fun!

Colorful Recycled Denim Beads

Colorful Recycled Denim Beads
Author: Amanda Formaro
  • Craft Smart paint colors:
  • Apple Tart
  • Light Orange
  • Yellow
  • Pale Blue
  • Lavender
  • Rosy Posy
  • Other Supplies:
  • Craft Smart fabric medium
  • Denim (6″x8″)
  • Paintbrush
  • Hot glue gun
  • Toothpick
  1. Trim denim into a 6″ x 8″ rectangle, iron if needed, then cut into six 1″x8″ strips.
  2. Mix the fabric medium with the paint according to the directions on the bottle.
  3. Use paintbrush to coat one strip with Apple Tart. Do the next strip with Light Orange and continue until you have one strip of each color.
  4. Turn the strips over and paint the other side.
  5. When dry, cut each strip into thirds. You should end up with 18 thin strips all together. Now cut each of those strips in half. You will have 36 strips measuring approximately 1/3″x4″ each.
  6. Wrap the denim around a toothpick, hot gluing in segments as you go. Glue the end well. Slide off the toothpick and repeat for all the strips.



33 Responses to Colorful Recycled Denim Beads

  1. 1
    Kelly says:

    These are amazing, Amanda! What an awesome idea! I’ve seen plenty of paper bead tutorials, but none for denim beads! If you’re interested, I’d love to link to this tutorial on our site AllFreeBeadedJewelry.com, directing readers back to your blog. I think they would love it. Let me know! Thanks for sharing!

    Kelly Spence
    Editor, AllFreeBeadedJewelry.com
    [email protected]

  2. 2
    Jennifer says:

    That’s pretty cute! I never would have thought of using denim like that. Thanks for sharing your tutorial. :)

  3. 3
    Taryn says:

    I love this soo much. I just had to add to it a round up I did a few days ago on taking outworn, outdated clothes you find during spring cleaning and give them new life! Shared it here.

  4. 4
    Amanda Socci says:

    I am a total recycled crafts junkie. I love, love, love this terrific idea about using recycled denim to create beads for jewelry. Great usage of fiber arts. The quality of your photography is outstanding. Really makes the tutorial come alive!

    Amanda socci

  5. 5
    dacraftylady says:

    Oh can I be a tween again??? Love this project. :)

  6. 6
    smitha says:


  7. 7
  8. 8

    [...] Even the best pair of jeans will eventually wear out.  It's a sad-but-true fact of life, and especially sad when your favorite, comfiest pair finally reaches the point of being unwearable.  On the bright side, that means you can cut them up and recycle them into fun, colorful jewelry!  Amanda from Crafts by Amanda made these colorful fabric beads using craft paint mixed with fabric medium, which turns it into fabric paint.  This way you can keep wearing that favorite pair of jeans for many, many years to come!  [how to make colorful recycled beads] [...]

  9. 9
    Michelle L. says:

    So adorable! I love the painted effect. Great upcycle!

  10. 10

    [...] recycled denim beads tutorial from Amanda at Crafts by Amanda is such a fun way to upcycle jeans that have seen better days! [...]

  11. 11

    Awesome idea! This is what I call “creativity”. Good work! ;)

  12. 12

    [...] evening making 2-3 Pinterest crafts… something to do with your merchandise, natch, like these denim beads (minus the paint…plus other fabric strips you have ready to go) or any button craft (gather [...]

  13. 13

    [...] If you need another wearable idea for recycling denim, how about these colorful recycled denim beads? [...]

  14. 14
    Vicki says:

    These are really cute. Just stumbled them. :)

  15. 15
    Mary says:

    Love these! Another spin would be to divide 4 or 5 inch squares into 8 triangles, cut apart then rolled big end to small end like paper beads just to give a little variation.

  16. 16

    [...] de colores para lograr este efecto de textura y color para accesorios de bisutería artesanal. En el tutorial de craftsbyamanda puedes ver el paso a paso para aprenderlos a [...]

  17. 17
    Buffy says:

    These are so totally COOL! Thank You Amanda for sharing such a unique idea for denim! We save all kinds of denim for crafting and love making small things like these…easier to have finished or put away before the Papa gets home. He too loves that we use items that are recycled, such a $ saver AND we are saving the planet in our own ways!! :) Love You Girl!

  18. 18

    […] Click here for the Full Tutorial  […]

  19. 19
    Karen Dion says:

    These would be great for colorful placemats. Weave them into rectangles, bind them to a backing material with enough extra around the edges to fold over as edging.

  20. 20
  21. 21

    […] Crafts By Amanda walks you through the steps of creating an eye catching set of ‘beads’ that you or your kids can wear as a necklace or a bracelet. […]

  22. 22

    […] Crafts By Amanda walks you through the steps of creating an eye catching set of ‘beads’ that you or your kids can wear as a necklace or a bracelet. […]

  23. 23

    […] the cover photo you can see a beautiful piece created by craftsbyamanda, check the link to see the […]

  24. 24

    […] DIY Recycled Colorful Denim Bead Necklace. Easy enough for kids to make with supervision and something I would like to receive as a gift. Tutorial from Crafts by Amanda here. […]

  25. 25

    […] di diversi colori per ottenere questo effetto particolare di bigiotteria artigianale. Nel  tutorial di craftsbyamanda potrete consultare la spiegazione passo per passo per imparare a […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>