Tired of looking at that heap of lifeless jeans plotting a coup on your closet floor? Then transform those comatose denims into super fabulous house slips and regain control of your closet.

Join the recyclution!

These instructions offer three women’s sizes: S (5-6), M (7-8), and L (9-10). Yardage caters to size L, so making a size S will leave you with scraps. Follow instructions closely and read directions completely before diving into them. It isn’t as important to follow the grain of the fabric as it is to make sure you cut out your pieces accurately. The slightest differences in finished dimensions may cause your slippers to be either too small or too big.

Project Steps

Adjust the pattern and deconstruct the jeans.

The pattern simply needs to be enlarged on a copy machine to the dimensions provided. Templates are downloadable in the files.

To deconstruct jeans, simply begin at the inside of the ankle opening and cut to the crotch. There you cut across to the outer seam and cut down to the outer ankle. Do this on all 4 sides of the jeans. When finished, you will have flat pieces of fabric that will be much easier to deal with.

Cut out soles, lining, and batting.

Lay out and pin the sole pattern on your jeans, and cut out 2 pieces for the left foot. Flip the sole pattern over and lay out and pin again on your jeans, cutting out 2 pieces for the right foot.

Using the sole pattern, lay out and pin on your scrap fabric for sole lining. Cut out 1 piece for the left foot. Flip sole pattern over, lay out, and pin again. Cut out 1 piece for the right foot. Remember to save remnants for button covers.

Using the sole pattern, lay out, pin high-loft batting, and cut 2 pieces. One is for the right foot and the other for left. You do not have to flip the pattern because the batting itself can be flipped over to use for either foot.

Cut out the sole interfacing.

Using the sole pattern, lay out and pin lightweight interfacing. As with the batting, you do not have to flip the pattern over; simply cut 4 pieces.

Cut out the uppers.

With the remaining jean material, fold a piece in half that will accommodate the upper pattern. Lay out, pin upper pattern, and cut. Repeat 3 more times. You will have 4 pieces when finished.

Cut out the straps.

Using 2 pieces of jean material, lay out, pin strap pattern, and cut out 2 pieces.

Make the soles.

Now it is time to make sandwiches. This is a nice little trick for clean, quick soles, inside and out. Take 2 of your lightweight interfacing pieces and place one for the left foot and one for the right (as seen in the figure to the left).

Then take your high-loft batting pieces, placing one on top of the left foot (where you have already placed your lightweight interfacing) and the other on top of your right foot. You will continue building on top of each, creating a sandwich effect.

Take the remaining 2 pieces of lightweight interfacing and place on top of left and right sandwiches.

Place your scrap fabric soles right side face up on each left and right sandwich.

Place 2 jean soles right side face down, one on each left and right sandwich. Repeat with remaining 2 jean soles.

Make sure you have replaced your normal sewing machine needle with your heavy-duty needle. Begin at the outer toe corner (about 1″ from top center of the sole) of your sandwich by placing it gently under the foot (standard foot is fine) and sew 1″ seam along the edge until you reach the outer corner of the toe on the other side. Make sure to go slow when sewing, so you don’t end up with any squared corners.

Repeat with other foot.

When both are finished, separate the upper sole (scrap material) and outer sole (jeans) by flipping it outside in. When finished flipping, use the chopstick to shape the heel of the sole and the edges to obtain a smooth, finished edge. Repeat with the other sole (as seen in the figure to the left).

You do not have to finish off the toe edge.

Sew the straps. With contrasting thread, lengthen your stitch to the desired length and sew ¼” along the edges of each strap. Set aside.

Sew the uppers.

Place 2 uppers on top of each other. Do the same with the other 2 uppers. With both stacks next to one another, determine the left and right foot by placing the straps in between the layers. See Figure C, which shows the right foot. The flap should rest on the outside of each foot.

Sew about ¼” from the raw edge using your contrasting thread. Remember to sew slowly so you can maintain a smooth, even line. Repeat with other foot.

Fold the upper, right sides touching. Line the heel edges together. Beginning on the bottom part of the heel about 1″ from the edge, sew a shallow curve toward the top of the heel. Repeat with other foot (as seen in the first figure).

Iron the seam flat and sew ½” from the seam on both sides with contrasting thread. This reinforces the heel and helps keep the shape of the overall slipper. Repeat with other foot (as seen in the second figure).

Put it all together.

Flip both uppers inside out and fold them in half. Place 2 needles, one toward the front of the upper and one toward the back. This is done to keep the opening of the upper closed (as seen in the image to the left). This is an incredibly easy way to connect the sole to the upper.

With both uppers now pinned closed, place the heel of the sole onto the heel of the upper. Pin the outer corners of the heel. Place a pin at the tip of the slipper (toe). The upper now should naturally fall into place on top of the sole. Repeat with other sole and upper (as seen in the image to the left).

Sew about 1″ from the finished edge of the sole. Repeat with other sole and upper.

Flip the slippers right-side out and marvel at your almost-completed house kicks!

Cover your buttons. Button covering is a simple and easy way to recycle unwanted or ugly buttons.

Determine the size of button you would like to use. Place it in the center of a piece of scrap fabric and hand-baste a circle about 1″ larger than the button (as seen in the image on the left).

Pull thread until taut, and until the fabric wraps around the button.

Sew along the wrong side of the button, first in a circular manner twice, and then making an X once. Knot thread and snip off. Repeat with other button.


Sew a button on the strap flap. Now place one end of the Velcro on a strap, put the slipper on your foot, determine the tension of the strap, then place the other end of Velcro where the strap fits best. Repeat with other foot.

You are now ready to show off your new Repurposed House Slippers. Enjoy!


This project first appeared in CRAFT Volume 02, page 108.