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

Make a durable, spill-resistant homemade bib from the pant leg of an old pair of jeans. They’re durable and spill-resistant and great for a baby, toddler or preschooler. These are the only bibs I use in my home daycare!

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 there’s not a stain on them. It’s not like they’ve been scrubbed or bleached either. I only ever wash them with my homemade laundry detergent. These bibs just get better and better with age.

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!

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.

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
  • Cut your tee-shirt open as well (or your pjs or flannel shirt – whatever you’re using for the back of the 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.
  • Top stitch all around the edge of the bib so that over time, the front and back layers don’t shift.
  • 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.

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.

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!