How to Make Blue Jean Chaps

by Neal Litherland

Chaps, as an article of clothing, have a long association with work. They were worn mostly by riders to keep their legs safe from thorns and other dangerous plants. More recently though, chaps have become a fashion statement for men, commonly in leather or denim. As such, they've become expensive to purchase. An alternative to high prices is making your own blue jeans chaps.

Items you will need

  • A pair of blue jeans
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine (optional)

How to Make Blue Jean Chaps

Step 1

Find a pair of blue jeans that you're willing to cannibalize for this project. These jeans should ideally be a little bit large in the waist and crotch areas, since you will be wearing them over other clothing once you've turned them into chaps. Choose your color carefully, and make sure that the fabric is thick and tough enough to hold up once you've finished.

Step 2

Decide and mark out on the jeans what pattern you want these chaps to have. Do you want a crotch and back section, or should they just be a cover for the outside of the leg? Do you want to leave the button and zipper, or will you cut those out and just wear your chaps with a belt through the pre-existing belt loops?

Step 3

Using your fabric scissors, cut away the sections that you marked out in step 2. For simplicity, these sections should be the inside seam of the jeans, as well as the crotch and back. That should leave the outside of the pant legs, hip pockets, as well as the waist, belt loops and button of the former jeans.

Step 4

Sew reinforcing seams along all the edges. To do this, the raw edges of the cut denim should be folded over and stitched. This will stop the fabric from unraveling, and it presents a smooth edge for your new chaps.

Step 5

Lastly, you should install some sort of strap to hold the chaps to your legs. Whether you use the fabric that was cut from the jeans previously, punch gromits and lace the leg together, or use some other method entirely makes no difference. This last step is where you should get creative and use whatever method most appeals to you and to your personal fashion sense.


  • It isn't required that you use a sewing machine for this project, as hand-stitching will work just as well. However, a sewing machine will be faster and will make completion of the project easier.

About the Author

Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter. His experience includes comics, role playing games and a variety of other projects as well. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and resides in Northwest Indiana.