08 May 2011

Weekend DIY: The Pants Bowl

It's finally time for the long-awaited DIY I promised you, which is also eco! So, let the upcycling begin! 

We normally knit and crochet using a thread of yarn but what if we add some reducing to our creativity? Sounds strange? We can then make our own thread without any sheep but with the help of our old clothes!

In this fun tutorial I will show you in just 6 steps how to upcycle your ragged pants by turning them into a bowl! Just a hint: you may actually use your husband's pants if you are reluctant to part with yours!

You can use any type of pants, as long as the fabric is not too soft because we want to achieve a sturdy bowl. What you see is a kind of denim fabric, which  produced a really firm and sturdy bowl.

  • a pair of pants/jeans (make sure that they have paid a visit to the washing machine beforehand)
  • a pair of scissors
  • a crochet hook (H/5mm, J/6mm)

1. Cut up the pants along the seams, get rid of the pockets and any other thicker parts so that it's easier for you to cut long strips.

2. Cut the pants in 0,4 inch/1 cm-wide strips.

3. Tie the strips together by making knots to form a long thread. If you want to achieve a cleaner look you can sew the strips together. Another great idea, suggested by Kanelstrand reader Emily is to use fabric glue to connect the ends of the strips. As Emily says, it is fast, works very well and makes an invisible join. Thank you for the input, Emily!

Make a neat ball, so that it is easier for you to work.

4. Now onto the fun part - crocheting! For the base of the bowl make a simple crochet circle. Gauge is unimportant for this project.

Here is a quick tip on crocheting a bowl:
  • Make a slip knot, chain 4 and join with slip stitch to the first chain.
  • 3 single crochet stitches in the same chain and in the next 3 chains. Work through both loops of the stitches. You will not join rounds with slip stitch, instead just keep on working in spiral. You may want to mark the first stitch of the round with a stitch marker (or a safety pin). 
  • 2 single crochets in all stitches. 
  • 1 single crochet in each of the next two stitches, 2 single crochets in the next stitch.
  • 1 single crochet in each of the next 3 stitches, 2 single crochets in the next stitch.
Keep on working in the same progression, depending on the diameter you want for the base of your bowl. 
  • To start with the sides, make 1 single crochet in the back loops of all stitches.
  • 1 single crochet through both loops in each stitch around.
  • Keep on crocheting until your bowl reaches the desired depth.
  • Crochet a last row of slightly tighter single crochet stitches. Cut the thread 3 - 4 inches long and pull it through several stitches.
  • Weave in the ends. 

5. If you have decided to tie the strips together, you will get a wonderful fuzzy look produced by the knots on the inside of the bowl. You can turn it inside out to get this corky hippie urchin.

6. Or you can trim the strips ends sticking out of the knots a safe distance away from the knots themselves to prevent untying, turn the bowl inside out again and get this neat lovely bowl!


  1. Wow, I LOVE it! Who knew all the cool things you could do with crochet? I love the photo of the apples in the bowl, so crisp and clean! :)

  2. BEAUTIFUL DYI! The bowl looks absolutely amazing with the apples in it. Thank you for sharing this!

    And thanks for the comment on my Mother's Day blog post today. I responded. :)


  3. (P.S. That would be "DIY," not "DYI." :) )

  4. Wow! This is an AMAZING tutorial!
    I love it and can't wait to try it.
    I really enjoy crocheting, but have never tried it with pants! :)

    Good to meet you through the Etsy Blog Team!
    I am a new follower. :)

    Mary C. Nasser

  5. I am so psyched to make this! I saved my pants just for this project!

  6. you've made a great bowl! I'm used to seeing this kind of fabric strands woven together, I also had a project knitting them, but I haven't seen them used for crochetting before! awesome!

  7. Very cool! I love upcycled projects and this one uses supplies everyone has lying around!

  8. Those were cute pants but I love the bowl you made with them! I'd love to try making one.

  9. Great tutorial - thanks for sharing!

  10. One more reason for me to learn how to crochet. I love the texture on that bowl. Very cute!

  11. This is super cool. I've pinned it to Pinterest to share with others!

  12. ha ha ha ha, when it said pants i thought you ment knickers!!! couldn't work out how you could make a bowl from them! (what you call pants i call trousers!)

  13. Haha, The undomesticated scientist, you made my day!

  14. This is a very interesting idea. I have some worn wool shirts I think I will try it with. I'll let you know how it goes.

  15. cute idea and GREAT photos!

  16. thanks for sharing, definitely going to give this one a go.
    much love

  17. Thank you, Terisa!

    Can't wait to see the results, Deanna and Martine!

  18. I wonder if you could cut it like the t shirt in this tutorial and it would save you from knotting/sewing {;0) Thanks!

  19. whoops, here's the link for the tute on the t shirt.....


  20. Sarah, thanks for the input. Yes, it is a great idea to cut the pants the same way but it will work for pants with less seams than the ones I used! :)

    By the way, great tutorial! I remember seeing a similar one but at the time, I couldn't make anything of the photos, so just gave up.

  21. Hi from sola w.!
    It's cool. I love your blog!!

  22. Love this!
    I featured this DIY on my blog here: http://punkprojects.blogspot.com/2011/11/make-it-monday_14.html

  23. I think I need to learn to crochet!