Denim can be recycled to make a variety of creative crafts.

iStockphoto.com/David Hernandez

Thinking of junking your worn-out or ill-fitting jeans? While some of your denim duds may be in decent enough shape to donate to your local thrift shop, others may be destined for the dump. But wait -- before tossing those trousers into the trash, think again. You can transform your faded fashions into denim designs of all shapes, sizes and uses. Recycling and reusing denim for crafts large and small will save you money and free up space in both your closet and your local landfill.

Turning your old jeans into something new and useful might seem like an impossible feat. But the number of different ways you can reuse your old jeans is surprising. From household items to fashion accessories, the possibilities are seemingly endless.

In this article, you will learn how to transform pairs of old jeans into several different fashionable and household items. You'll see how to make one of two different denim handbag styles. Both are simple to make and don't require much more than needle and thread. Then you will learn how to make potholders for your kitchen. You'll need to pay attention to the fabric content label of your jeans for the potholder project, since certain fabric blends are not heat-resistant. And while we're on the topic of safety, as with any craft project, be sure to supervise children closely while they're working with scissors and any other crafting tools these denim projects require.

You will also learn how to make another household denim craft: one of two denim rugs. You can choose to make either a braided denim rug or a fringed denim rug, or both if you're feeling extra-crafty. And finally, you will learn how to make a variety of fashion and home accessories, such as flower pins and placemats, from your old jeans.

Get carried away on the next page, where you'll learn how to change your old jeans into a chic handbag or tote.