Blue Jean Hanging Travel Organizer

If you have ever used one of those over-the-door hanging shoe organizers, then you already know how handy they can be to keep your shoes organized.  Elena from ‘A Casarella suggested in her travel tips, that you bring one with when you travel. Isn’t that a clever idea? You hang it over the door in your hotel bathroom to hold the various accoutrements a family would use while on vacation. There’s never enough counter space in a hotel room, as it it!

I decided to make myself a similar hanging travel organizer out of blue jeans that I no longer wear. I could have left it plain, indeed, but when I made the copper and green bottles a few weeks back at the Michaels craft party, there also happened to be a diy subway art project from Sharon at Mrs. Hines Class that I fell in love with!

Upcycled blue jean hanging travel organizer-StowandtelluCombining these two awesome ideas, I ended up with a subway art, travel-inspired blue jean hanging organizer.  What do ya know?


  • Deco Art bon voyage stencil
  • Painter’s tape
  • Old pair of blue jeans
  • 2 door hanging hooks
  • washi tape (optional)
  • Sewing needle for denim (or use sewing machine)
  • Thread (thick enough for denim)
  • Craft paint (I used Spa Blue, Indian Turquoise, Raw Umber, White, Butter Cream, Metallic Copper, Christmas Red and True Red)
  • Fabric paint medium
  • Pouncing sponges (I used a large foam sponge cut into pieces)
  • Trays of for the paint(any kind will do)
  • Card board pieces to sample your colors (optional)


blue jean hanging travel organizer-StowandtellU Step 1:

Hand dart the legs of the blue jeans together in a few places, so it looks kind of like a skirt.

Step 2:

Decide where you want you storage pockets to be, mark with sewing chalk, and then stitch all the way across the pant legs.  You can do this by using a sewing machine, or hand stitching, just make sure you use thread thick enough for denim.

I cheated on this part as my very talented friend Joyce from ReJoyce Renew did the sewing part for me.  Thank you, Joyce!

re-purposed blue jean hanging travel organizer-StowandtellUStep 3:

Sample, practice, test, test test!!  You can go with any color scheme, I only suggest that you stick with 3-4 colors in various shades and that you sample these colors together on card board to make sure that you like the combination.  Sample the stencils on card board, also.  I had another pair of old jeans, as well, so I also practiced stenciling on that pair first, to make sure I had the hang of it.

Tip:  Once you have picked your colors, determine which color you want to use on which word/ wording and then stick with that color for that word/wording through the project.

use foam sponge as pouncing sponge-stowandtelluStep 4:

Use pouncing sponges, or you can cut up pieces from a foam sponge, since you will be need a lot due to the variety of colors.

Set up your paint trays and add fabric medium to each color at a ratio of 2:1, craft paint: fabric medium.

I don’t suggest skipping this step.  I tried without the fabric medium first, and it worked so much better with the medium mixed in (less blotching, for sure).

blue jean hanging travel organizer-StowandtellUStep 5:

Being conscious of where your stitched seams are at, lay your stencil down, near the center point of the jeans,either to one side or the other, and then tape it down.  Dip your sponge in a chosen color, dab some off on a piece of paper towel, and then apply the paint by pouncing straight down onto the lettering.  Keep the sponge on the drier side and keep going until the letters are filled in.

While the stencil is in that position, do all the lettering that will have that color on the stencil at once, and then move on to the next color.  Double check to make sure you have painted each word (unless you are purposely leaving off some words).

Step 6:

Move the stencil to the next position on the jeans and repeat the same steps as above.

Consider using only part of the stencil to fill in some areas.  Don’t lay the stencil straight on against the previous application, but rather, try to move the stencil around unevenly to avoid a boxy look.

Let paint dry over night.

blue jean hanging travel organizer-StowandtellUStep 7:

Cut slits in the front section ONLY of the blue jeans for the storage pockets.

blue jean hanging travel organizer-StowandtellUStep 8:

Cut seam out of pockets for more storage space in the blue jean pocket area.

hanging blue jean door organizerStep 9:

Poke hole through front and back of jeans just under the stitched section near the top of the blue jeans for the over-the-door hooks.

washi tape covered over-the-door-hooksStep 10:

Cover over-the-door hooks with washi tape.


upcyled blue jean travel hanging door organizer-stowandtelluAlternatively you could just wear them as “a pair” of  jeans by simply darting the legs together so you can do the stenciling and then remove the darts when done.


upcycled blue jean hanging travel organizer-StowandtellU

blue jean hanging travel organizer-StowandtellU

blue jean hanging over-the-door travel organizer-StowandTellU

upcycled-blue jean hanging travel organizer-ps10There you have it.  A hanging upcycled blue jean organizer, that you can take with you on your next vacation to stay organized and de-cluttered.

Not big on traveling?  Make one for a teenage bedroom, a craft room, or tool room.  I made one of these for my paint brushes (without the subway art) a few years back, and I still use it.

Thank you for stopping by ~ Amy


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15 Responses to Blue Jean Hanging Travel Organizer

  1. Anne March 12, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    What a cool idea! Love the stamping part!!!

  2. Feral Turtle March 12, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    That is so cool. My sister made me one, but not with the funky subway art and not out of jeans, and I love it. I actually have it in my closet and use it for holding hair stuff! It works great! I love the style of yours Amy!!

  3. Sharon March 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

    Oh how cool! I love the travel theme for this pocket organizer and Elena’s idea to use them in hotel rooms.

    Thanks so much for including my project.

  4. Sharleen March 13, 2014 at 2:55 am #

    Great Amy. I could use one of those. <3 May try this at my place. Thanks for the post.

  5. Danni@SiloHillFarm March 13, 2014 at 5:05 am #

    Amy this is genius!! I cannot believe how much stuff you have in there and how cute it is! Adding the subway art makes it extra cute too. Killer project!

  6. Mel March 13, 2014 at 5:43 am #

    Amy you are amazing, that is so cool!

  7. heather f March 16, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    I love this! I was just thinking about how I can make our campouts this summer more organized. Genius!

  8. Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door March 17, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    What a cute idea! I don’t know why,but I always have such a hard time getting rid of old jeans. I always think…What can I make out of these? LOL! Now I know!

  9. Sharon Frazee September 6, 2014 at 1:51 am #

    I am not familiar with the terms fabric medium and darting. Can you be more specific?

    • Amy September 7, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

      Hi Sharon.
      Thank you for asking this. I probably used the term dart in correctly. I should explain that I simply sewed the jean legs together in 3 places using a needle and thread and making each one a single stitch but looping the thread through the same stitch a bunch of times (like 10 times). I did one near the crotch, one near the knees, and one at the bottom of the jean legs. I hope that answers that, but let me know if you have any more questions. Secondly, you can buy fabric medium at most craft stores. Fabric medium can be mixed with craft paint and then painted on fabric. The purpose of it is that it makes the paint work better on fabric, last and not bleed onto or through the fabric, so you have a cleaner impression, that looks nice. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and once again, I hope this answers your questions. Have a wonderful start to your week ~ Amy

  10. Elena Sullivan December 30, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

    Amy, I have no idea how I didn’t see this when it was first published but I am just seeing it now and I love it!!

    Have a wonderful new year!!


  11. Marina Abbott July 2, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

    I made something similar to this about 30 years ago for my kids in the car. it hung over the back of the front seats and held all their toys when we went on long road trips.


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