Ways to Repurpose Ripped Riding Jeans

It might be one of the biggest complaints of all equestrians…ripped riding jeans. In my many years of riding and working with horses I have had my fair share of ripped jeans. When I was younger, I had very crafty parents who would find ways to repurpose them. I didn’t fully appreciate this until I was older. In 2016 alone, I have said goodbye to 3 pairs of jeans and I am sure that number will grow exponentially. One of the biggest factors that will dictate how you can repurpose your jeans is the location of the rip. I have split pants right up the center seam, which would not make them candidates for turning them into cutoff shorts. Here are a few of the ways that my parents or myself have repurposed ripped jeans, along with a few other ways I have seen along the way.

  1. Cutoff Shorts or Capris- Likely one of the most popular ways to repurpose jeans. The ability to repurpose jeans in this manner largely depend on the location of the tear in relation to desired length of shorts. However, I have made capris out of a pair of riding pants that I caught my ankle on a nail and ripped them low down on the leg.
  2. Trendy Denim Headbands- Headbands where the “thing” growing up and I have seen a comeback in the trend. If you or a family member is crafty with a sewing machine, you can scrunch the material over an elastic band and design to liking!
  3. Saddle Bags- Often times jeans rip right in the seat region, which makes repurposing them difficult. However, my parents created saddlebags for the horn out of the pockets. This works especially great with jeans that have pockets that button. I have used these on many trail rides to hold my phone, keys, and even drinks!
  4. Quilts- One of my favorite ways that I have seen jeans being repurposed is to take the pockets and create a quilt. It created a lot of memories and has a lot of sentimental value. Lets face it; we spend a lot of time in those jeans. They are with us through every good and bad ride.
  5. Handbags- This still requires some talents with the sewing machine, but is still a great way to put them to use.
  6. Holiday Decorations- Wreath coverings and Christmas stockings.
  7. Pot Holders-You can either layer the denim together and sew, or use another material to absorb the heat.
  8. Rug- Whether it is for the house or for the barn you can always use a good rug. I have made a braided denim rug before through some trial and error. It was perfect for the tack room!


Sometimes, it’s just better to throw them away when our jeans have seen better days.


-Emily Bomgardner

March 1, 2016

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