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Storage bin from recycled denim jeans and an old amazon box

A few pairs of old jeans and a cardboard box is all you need to make your own stylish upcycled denim storage bin

It seems like I can never have too many baskets and bins and boxes to organize and store all the Fabric and toys and clothes etc in my home.  Since the coronavirus stay at home order went into place, it seems like the clutter around here has multiplied.  
Bored and burdened with too much recycling to fit into my bin, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. 
I would make some storage bins to help corral my multiple craft projects in progress  and find some new homes for all the new toys my son received for his birthday.  This would also do the favor of lessening the load that was packing my recycling bin, allowing me to get through the rest of the week without running out of space.
 I wanted to choose a fabric that I had a plentiful supply of to cover these boxes.  Obviously, there would be no fabric shopping.  Our thrift stores were closed indefinately and I refused to order expensive fabric by the yard online for this project.   Luckily, I have quite a stash of clothes waiting to be cut up.  A lot of those are made of Denim.   In my opinion, denim is a neutral color.  It goes with everything and does not make a spectacle of itself.  Denim would be perfect for my repurposed amazon box storage bins.


  • NEEDLE and THREAD (optional) to attach fabric strips
One thing that I have in abundance since sheltering in place are cardboard amazon boxes of all different sizes.   I'm guessing you do too, but if you don't, any sort of box will work.  Just make sure that it is sturdy enough to withstand the pressure of the crocheted slipcover squeezing it.

to cover an 8 x 8 x 9 box I used about 800 grams of recycled denim fabric yarn.  This is the same as 1.75 pounds or 28 ounces. 

One adult pair of jeans (whole, with all the hardware weighs approximately one pound.     
I estimate it takes about three adult pairs of jeans to cover the 8 x 8 x 9 box.

​I cut my strips to about an inch thick

I hand stitched all my strips together for this project.  You may use any joining mathod you like.   

I share a lot of tips for working with denim here.    And tips for working with every other kind of fabric here

How I made it:

This is not exactly a pattern.  You will adapt your crochet to fit the shape and size of your box.  I will share how I made my slipcover.  I was working with a box that was 8 x 8 x 9.  This would have been easier if I had used a square bottomed box instead of a rectangle, but I adapted my plan to make the idea work.

I half double crocheted for the entirety of the project.  I wanted to finish quickly and this stitch gives a little more height than a single crochet.  Half double crochet makes a pretty tight fabric.  There are not a lot of holes, which is what I wanted.  You can use any stitch that you like, but remember that you are working with denim fabric strips instead of yarn.  Simple is better.  Even if you managed to work the stiff denim into complex stitches, it would be for naught.  The bulk and fraying of the denim is not conducive to good stitch definition.  It is a waste of effort to struggle with complex stitches when the intricacies wil not even be noticeable in the end.

I use a very tight tension throughout.  Tight enough that I actually snapped one hook clean in half during this project.   My yarn tore a few times as well.  I had to stop and get the needle and thread out to reattach my fabric yarn.  As I write this I realize that I may have been a little excessive in my efforts to keep everything so tight.  It is difficult to crochet like this, A lot of breaks were  needed to rest my hands and rub out the cramps.

I did succeed in completely covering the box underneath and my slipcover fits so snuggly, there is no chance of it becoming droopy.

I started in the center. 

I  went around a few times to make a square until it was nearly the same length as the short side of my box

I then went back and forth on one side, in rows.  This made one side longer. I continued until the length was nearly a  match to the long side of my rectangle 

I  then went  around again a couple of  times until the rectangle was the same size or a tiny bit bigger than the bottom of  my box.

 At  that point I began to work up the sides working around and around in a spiral.

When working up the side, I do a couple things differently than I would if I were making a flat square. There is no more increasing at the corners.  there will be some decreasing as necessary

If you would rather start with a simpler recycled denim basket, try this simple crocheted bowl. It is easier because there is no box to fit your work around
Vertical Divider

When I reach the corner, I do NOT do a chain and work my stitch  back into the same space.Instead I usually just keep crocheting around.  one stitch into each space like there is nothing special about the corners.

I try to manually manipulate the fabric, pushing the sides up on top of the flat square as I work.   coaxing it along

I checked my work frequently, putting the box in the slipcover every couple rows, to see how it is fitting.

As the denim sides grow taller, this should become increasingly difficult.  It should be really snug.

if it is a little loose, I will reduce a stitch or two during the next round.  

I yarn over and then put my hook into my work, just like I would for a normal stitch.  I yarn over and pull my hook to the front of the work, just like for a regular stitch.  This is where the stitch changes.   Instead of yarning over and finishing the stitch, I yarn over and  I put my hook back into the next space in my work, as if I were going to do the next stitch, yarn over and bring the hook to the front of my work.  I  yarn over and pull my yarn through all of  the loops that are on my hook.   

That completes two stitches as if they were one. That is a decrease. 

I keep crocheting around and around , decreasing as necessary until my slipcover is a few inches higher than the sides of my box.

I tuck the extra fabric at the top over the edge and into the box.


Ready to make a larger recycled denim project. I share everything I learned about crocheting a large rectangular rug from old jeans in this post
I lined the inside of my box with some fabric before I tucked the slipcover over the edge.  That way, every part of the cardboard was disguised.

I just cut pieces of denim and glue gunned the pieces inside.  If you know how to sew a lining, that is probably better, but the glue gun way works well enough for my purposes.

if you do not mind the cardboard showing inside of the box, don't worry about adding lining.
Want more recycled denim ideas? Check out this basket that is made with sisal twine

This post first appeared on Reragg: No Scrap Wasted, please read the originial post: here

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Storage bin from recycled denim jeans and an old amazon box


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