How to Make the Best Baby Bibs from Old Jeans and Tee Shirts

In addition to our awesome repurposed denim craft aprons, these homemade bibs are one of my favourite ways to use old jeans.

Making baby bibs from old jeans and tee shirts is fun and easy, and the quality is such that these are  thee only bibs that I use in my daycare anymore.

Just look at them!  The bibs in the photo below are almost 10 years old!  They’ve been used daily by dozens of kids over the years,  and they just get better and better with age.

Make bibs from your old jeans and tee shirts


They’re more durable and stain-resistant than any store-bought bib I’ve ever had, and they’re as comfortable as… well… a favourite old tee and a pair of jeans.

If you don’t have an old tee shirt to use for the back of the bib, a flannel shirt or the pant leg from pair of worn out pyjamas will do. Anything goes, really.  You just want the back to be made of something soft and supple so the bib won’t be too stiff.

Easy to make!

These bibs are super-duper-simple to make too, so they’re a great beginner sewing project.

If you can sew a straight line, you’ve got the skillz, baby.

Great gift for baby!

These bibs also make great baby shower gifts!  For my daycare, I keep things plain and simple.  To give as a gift, I jazz the bibs up by using darker denim and adding strip across the front.

Whether you have one or two children, or a whole houseful of them, you’re going to love these bibs for so many reasons!

repurposed denim bibs

Why I love our repurposed denim bibs:

  • easy to make
  • give a new life to an old pair of jeans
  • stain-resistant
  • durable
  • can be custom-sized to fit any age
  • easy to clean
  • comfortable
  • reversible
  • makes a great homemade baby gift

Durable and stain-resistant

Think about how durable denim is.  It’s the work-horse of the fabric industry.  And it’s actually very stain-resistant too.

Spaghetti sauce, ketchup, blueberries, raspberries… Believe me… these bibs have seen their share of spills over the years.  All stains and spills wash right out, and I do not pre-soak or scrub.  If the mess is really bad – like spaghetti, I’ll just run the bibs under the taps right after lunch, and then they get tossed in the hamper.

repurposed denim bibs for toddlers

To make your denim bibs you’ll need:

  • a pair of old jeans (one pant leg per bib)
  • fabric for reverse (old tee shirt/flannel shirt/flannel pj pant leg)
  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • velcro
  • store-bought bib to make template from

Make a simple template or pattern:

To make a template, use a bib that you already own and love (the bigger the better, in my opinion).

Trace that bib on a piece of newspaper (or waxed paper, wrapping paper etc), adding 1/4 inch seam allowance, and cut it out.  Voila… instant pattern.

Making your bib:

  • Cut off the bottom-half of a pant leg (from the knee down)
  • Cut open the pant leg along the thickest inseam

cutting pant leg open for denim bib

  • Cut your tee-shirt open as well (or your pjs or flannel shirt – whatever you’re using for the back of the bib)

pinning and cutting out bib

  • Lay your tee shirt over your denim (right sides together).
  • Place your pattern on top, and pin in place.
  • Cut around your pattern.
  • Remove your paper pattern, but leave your bib pieces pinned together.

*Don’t worry if your denim piece has a seam running across it.  That’s ok.  Look at my finished pics.  My every day bibs have a seam running across the front.  It’s all part of the re-purposed look.

  • Sew your front and back pieces together, leaving a 1.5 inch hole along one side of the bib for turning right-side-out.
  • Turn your bib right side out and iron it flat.
  • Pin the hole shut, and stitch it closed.

sewing a bib from old jeans

  • Top stitch all around the edge of the bib so that over time, the front and back layers don’t shift.

top-stitching around edge of bib

  • Last step: sew a couple of squares of velcro to the ends of the bib for fastening, and you’re done.

How to dress your bib up with a strip of fabric if you’re giving it as a gift:

If you’d like to fancy up your bibs a bit to give them as a gift, simply top stitch a piece of cotton or flannel across the good side of the denim piece before you sew the front and back together. You’ll want to fold the top and bottom edge under and iron in place before top-stitching it on so your strip has finished edges.

bib made from old jeans and a tee shirt

Do you love it?  Do you?  Do you?  Isn’t it awesome?  Wasn’t it easy?

Aren’t they just the best?  They’re so cute.  They’re totally easy to clean.  I love that denim is somewhat water resistant, so these bibs don’t get all soppy if there are spills while eating.

Bibs made from old jeans

These babies can take a TON Of wear and tear too.

Like I said, I’ve had mine for almost 10 years now.  They’re used almost every day, and they’ve gone through dozens of kids.  They’re still in great shape!

repurposed denim bibs
More re-purposing projects for you to love:

Repurposed Denim Aprons

50+ Ways to Re-Use Baby Food Jars

25 Ways to Re-Use Your Keurig K-Cups

22 Things to Make with Cardboard Rolls


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  1. says

    Love these! Made some for a baby shower and sewed a strip across with cute fabric. Everyone loved them! Someone even offered me their old jeans if I needed more! Definitely making the aprons too.

    • happyhooligans says

      Good for you, Kristie! I’m so glad you made them! Aren’t they fun and cute? That’s great that you were offered some old jeans too! I love that! Let me know how the aprons turn out! :)

  2. says

    This is a great idea! I have tons of old jeans that I just can’t get rid of, but they are definitely not wearable anymore. I’ll have to try this!
    I have a love-hate relationship with velcro….well, it’s probably 90% hate (and it only gets any love because I don’t have to tie my son’s shoes all the time!)….so I may have to do snaps, or get over the intimidation factor and learn to use the button-hole foot on my sewing machine.

  3. Susan says

    Thank you so much for sharing the bibs and aprons. I am going to mske them. I might ask for a room in the daycare to do my sewing in.

  4. Rita says

    I just tried it – it was supposed to be a present for a baby-party…. but I wanted to keep it aaaall myself for later when having own children :)

  5. says

    Oh, I love denim bibs so much and I could say that you really did a great job in making these awesome bibs of yours. I have tons of old jeans in my cabinet so I will try making these bibs too. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  6. Judi McElmury says

    I would like to know how to make the aprons if you could please send back the steps on how to make them.

    hanks Judi

    • happyhooligans says

      The link is right there at the bottom of the post, Judi. Just click on it, and it will take you to the step-by-step instructions for the aprons. :)

  7. Rebekh says

    I have been a nurse for 40 odd years, I work with pedi & geri patients. I took you apron & bib projects, put them together to make larger bibs for my elderly “kids”. works Great, Thank you so much. Bekah

    • happyhooligans says

      Fantastic, Rebekh! It always makes me so happy when I hear that my ideas have been used with the elderly. Thank you for letting me know. Blessings to you and your patients. x

  8. Kelly says

    I am new to sewing. You don’t explain how to sew the flannel across the front of the bib. How do you do that and not have the edges shown? I would really like to try this for my grandson, but I have no idea how you do it, since you did not provide those instructions

    • happyhooligans says

      Before you sew the back to the front, Kelly, take a strip of flannel. Press a hem on top and bottom edges (just fold a little bit of your flannel edges over to the back, and press in place with an iron. Lay your flannel right side facing on the good side of the front of the bib. Topstitch in place. Then sew the back and front of the bib together. :) Hope this helps.

  9. says

    What a clever idea! I’m definitely going to try and make these although I’m not sure about my sewing abilities. I have tried every brand of bibs but my son doesn’t like the feel of them. I bet he will like these. Thanks for the genius idea!


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