A New Purpose for a Well-Worn Pair of Blue Jeans

My son is a collector, especially of rocks, pins, and coins. Most of his collections have been assembled by scouring creek beds (rocks and coins), looking through my old jewelry box from when I was a kid (pins), and sorting through the change jar (coins). To help rein in these collections, we have been going through each one to sort out duplicates or ones that no longer capture his attention. We have also been working on how to display each collection so that he – and others – can enjoy.

His collection of pins has been taking up precious real estate on his shelves and collecting MAJOR dust. The answer: Repurpose a pair of his old blues jeans with holes in the knees to make a wall hanging that can be expanded as the collection grows. (My theory is that a collection displayed vertically will gather a wee bit less dust – the dust will just magically blow off when we walk past or, if that fails, can be brushed off with a feather duster.)

For this project, I used just the lower leg portions of a pair of worn out jeans. The length of the pieces I cut off was determined by a big hole in one pant leg; I just measured up from the hem to that hole and then cut off the same amount from each leg. Then, I cut along the outside seam of each pant leg very close to the seam. Next, I turned under the raw edge created by that cut and topstitched in gold thread to match the original thread as much as possible. Last, I seamed the two legs together (using a 5/8-inch seam allowance) with the hem of one leg on the bottom of the wall hanging and the hem of the other leg on the top edge of the wall hanging.

Now for the fun part: Arranging the pins on the wall hanging! This took a bit of time, especially as the quilter in me took over and I wanted to dominate the process to make sure colors, sizes, and motifs were laid out in a way that was interesting and kept the eye moving. I have to admit arranging the pins took far longer than sewing the wall hanging.

For the first few days, the hanging was slung over an old steamer trunk in his bedroom and it looked pretty cool.  However, soon a pair of blue jeans and t-shirt were layered on top, so we decided to actually hang the wall hanging up sooner (this week), rather than later (in a year or two).  I handstitched a “sleeve” on the back (measuring about 1-1/2 inches x the width of the wall hanging less 3/4 inch on each side) and slid a 1/2 inch dowel through the sleeve.  The dowel had been cut to measure about 1/4 inch less than the width of the wall hanging. The ends of the dowel rest on two nails on the wall and are hidden by the wall hanging itself, so the wall hanging appears to float on the wall. The wall hanging is fairly heavy given its size, so the intention is to just make another one to hang alongside the original as the pin collection expands.

This project will not win any sewing awards – it is pretty rustic looking – but it fits great with the room decor of a 14-year old boy.

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