In-Jean-ious 3-Ring Binder

Cut the best parts from an old pair of blue jeans and put them to new use on this hard-working 3-ring binder.

What You'll Need:

Embroidered appliqués add style while also covering any holes or worn spots.
  • Seam ripper
  • A worn pair of denim jeans
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Sewing needle and thread (optional)
  • 3-Ring binder
  • White crafts glue
  • Spring-style clothespins
  • Appliques: butterflies and flowers (by Wrights and Patch It Up)
  • 1 yard of 1/8-inch-wide green satin ribbon
  • Artificial leaves

1. Download the free pattern for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Download Adobe Acrobat

In-Jean-ious Binder Pattern

2. Use a seam ripper to remove the pockets and waistband (with loops) from the denim jeans. (Ask an adult for help cutting the denim jeans.) Cut the waistband strip 2 inches longer than the side of the binder. If necessary, use a needle and thread to secure the loops to the waistband. Cut the inseam on both legs to create a piece of flat fabric. From this fabric, cut two shapes that measure 3 inches wider and 3 inches longer than the front of the binder.

3. Starting at one edge, spread glue evenly over one-third of the binder front. Center one fabric shape over the binder and smooth it over the glue. Continue spreading glue and smoothing the fabric until the front is covered.

4. Apply glue to the side of the binder. Smooth the fabric over the edges.

5. Apply a line of glue to the wrong side of the fabric that extends beyond the binder front. Fold the fabric under 1/2-inch along all three edges for a hem. Spread glue along the inside edge of the binder. Turn under the 1-inch hemmed margins and smooth in place. Use the points of scissors to push the hemmed margin under the metal strip that holds the paper. Secure the fabric to the binder with clothespins; leave in place until the glue dries.

6. Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 for the binder back.

7. Spread glue on the spine of the binder. Smooth the waistband strip in place, allowing a 1-inch overlap at the top and bottom. Fold the excess fabric inside the binder and secure with glue.

8. On the wrong side of each pocket, apply a line of glue along the sides and bottom. Place the pockets side-by-side on the binder front.

9. Glue butterfly appliqués to the binder front so green ribbon. Adhere the ribbons to the front so they "grow" out of the other pocket. Add flower appliqués and leaves to the ribbon stems.


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