cut blue jeans

DIY triple-decker plant hanger from recycled blue jeans

Recycling old jeans into a
DIY plant hanger.


 I had a pair of old blue jeans with a tear in an awkward place. They were too holey to donate, and I didn’t want to just throw them away.

Blue jean is a durable fabric – instead of tossing the old, ripped jeans in the trash, I decided to take the DIY recycling approach and attempted to sew a homemade triple-decker hanging planter.

Enjoy a special glimpse into my spectacular engineering abilities [insert sarcasm]. This is the master blue print. Looks easy enough…

DIY blue jean planter design

In order to pull off a triple hanger, the top hanger would need to support the weight of the bottom two.

Waistbands are designed to be extra-sturdy, so I decided this would be the strongest part of the jeans. I started by cutting the waistband from the rest of the jeans, keeping the button and button slot intact.

cutting old jeans

jeans with cut waistband

Once I had the waistband completely cut off, I needed strong strips of fabric for the other plant hanger straps.

Since seams are already doubled-up on fabric and sewn to be strong, I cut out all seams to use them for my hanger straps. I cut out the ankle seams, inseams and outer seams.

jeans with seams cut off

Next, I cut rectangles of jean fabric for the actual plant hanger pouches and laid everything on the ground.

I wanted to get a visual of how long my straps would need to be to reach the loop of the planter above, but for the planter below to still get enough sunlight and have adequate vertical grow space.

I had concerns that if my straps were too short, the planters would be stacked too close and not give enough vertical growth room or sunlight exposure.

plant hanger fabric pattern

After I laid everything out flat, I started by sewing together the planter pouches that would hold the soil & plant base.

When you’re sewing together pouches with 3 sides, like these planter pouches or pillow cases, if you don’t want all of your ugly seams to show, just sew it together with the fabric facing completely inside out. Once you’re done, flip it right-side-out and you can’t even see the seams.

sew pouches inside out

Once you have your blue jean pouches complete, sew on the straps.

I chose to make a 3-layer hanging planters, but you can really choose any number. If you get sick of sewing after 1, then just be done :) You can always come back and make more later, if you’re up for it.

sewing the hanging strap on a denim planter

After all of the straps are sewn on your pouches, loop the pouches together, using the waistband pouch at the top, because having the waistband button at the top allows it to open up so you can easily move it. No knots involved to tie it to a tree branch – this planter is adjustable.

The waist buttons on blue jeans are pretty strong, plus I think it’ll be more functional once you’re outside trying to choose the best spot for it. It’s a convenient, movable planter.

It’s done, and I can’t decide if I like how it looks or not…I don’t think this is a Feng Shui-approved interior planter design. But once it’s outside & filled with happy, green little herbs, I think it’ll add a ton of character to the yard.

Afterthought – There are a lot of slugs in the area. Slugs eat plant leaves & can destroy gardens. Cheap, hanging planters might be a perfect solution for keeping unwanted ground pests away from your crops.

(I stuffed scarves in each pouch for the pictures, just so it didn’t hang flat.)

blue jean waistband planter hanger

    blue jeans planter from top angle       DIY recycled blue jeans plant hanger

Things I Would Do Differently Next Time:

  • Invest in a sewing machine. It took a lot of time to sew everything by hand. Netflix marathoning definitely makes the time go faster, but if you’re sewing by hand, too, expect this to be a full afternoon project.
  • Measure strap lengths better. As you can see on the very bottom jean pouch, the right strap has a big knot in it (on purpose). As I sewed the straps together, I didn’t realize the left strap was so much longer than the right one. Instead of cutting and resewing, I just tied a few knots in the right strap to shorten the length and make them even.
  • Play around with designs. Since the legs of blue jeans are already sewn together on 2 sides, there’s gotta be an easier way. I considered cutting a section of the whole leg, then just sew the bottom – viola – you’d have a square pouch with only one line of sewing. BUT you’d miss out on using the seams for straps. I don’t know which is better.
If you have any advice that might make this a better project design for the next person who tries it, please share in the comments below!

Thanks for reading.  =)

– Ashley