The whole idea behind tie-dye is that you add color to something to create a new design. It's inexpensive and gives you an excuse to dye your hands purple. (What's not to love?) Denim can be tricky because the colors are already really saturated, so unless you are using white jeans, the designs you put in are going to be rather dim. With that in mind, I decided to go at it backwards.
-pile of old jeans
1. Dye the jeans different colors.
2. Cut open the jeans so that the legs lay flat. I cut the jeans in half and then opened them along the inseam.
3. In a well ventilated area, use the diluted bleach and a paintbrush to pull the color out of the jeans. Use different designs to create interest. My favorite was made when I traced around my gloved hand with the brush.
4. Rinse the legs in the washer to remove excess bleach.
5. Cut the legs to create your quilt pattern. I chose to have them be the same width, but varied the length. Get as fancy or basic as you want. (I cut out the back pockets to save for another project later.)
6. Sew the pieces together to make the top of your quilt and then use your preferred method of backing. I used a never used flannel top sheet, which happened to be the exact size of my denim top, sewed around three sides and left the bottom open. In the spirit of a duvet cover, I used an old sleeping bag as my filler. The whole thing weighs a ton, but is not too hot, so if you go this route the autistics in your family may be stealing it. Summer and weighted blankets don't normally mix.