Tips & Tricks Week: Our Favorite Denim DIY’s
Never say goodbye to a beloved denim piece again! Give your favorites a fresh start with easy DIY tips and tricks. To kickstart your creativity I’ve rounded up simple steps from some of my favorite crafty bloggers. Be sure to share a pic of your creations with the #TLC so we can see what you came up with!
Denim Lace Shorts (InspiredSoulBlog.com)
Give your favorite cut offs a fun boost of fashion and femininity.
Denim cut offs
Lace or crochet strip
Sewing machine with a 90/14 universal needle (100/16 for thicker denim)
Heavy duty thread
- Measure the circumference of the leg opening and add ½ inch. Cut 2 strips of lace/crochet (one for each leg) to that length.
- For each crochet/lace strip, create a loop by folding the strip in half (be sure the side you want to show is facing in). Sew the ends together and trim off any excess lace/crochet.
- Turn your jean shorts inside out and pin the lace evenly around the leg opening.
- Use your sewing machine to carefully attach lace. Go slow, denim tends to be a tough fabric for many machines and you want to get your stitch as straight as possible.
- Success! Show off your DIY creation all season long.
DIY Shredded Jeans (ParkandCube.com)
Freshen up that neglected pair of jeans in the back of your closet.
Jeans (semi-thick denim works best, avoid super thin or thick fabrics)
Straight edge ruler
X-ACTO® Self Healing Mat (or similar cutting surface)
White chalk or a pencil (optional)
- Try your jeans on and with your piece of chalk or pencil, make light marks where you’d ideally like to shred your jeans. Don’t worry, the marks will wash out, but if you’d rather just eye-ball it that’s fine too.
- Place jeans on a hard, flat surface and slide the cutting mat up the leg (to prevent cutting through to the back of your pants).
- Using your X-Acto® Knife, start slashing the jeans horizontally. For a more natural, destroyed effect cut in sections instead of the whole width of the pant leg.
- At each slash, scrape off the denim with your knife to reveal the threads. Pull out and discard the denim fluff. This process will create plenty of dust, hence the vacuum cleaner. Note: If you have dust allergies consider wearing a dustmask or bandana—or try doing the dirty work outside.
- If you’re feeling really daring, don’t hold back! Slash the entire length of your leg for a truly fresh look.
Ripped jeans need extra TLC. Washing could introduce more fraying, so to protect the delicate rips try hand washing or turn inside out and place a pillow case, then run on the delicate cycle. Hang dry.
Frayed Ankle denim (SilverJeansCo.com)
A fast and easy way to give an old pair of skinnies a fresh cropped and frayed look. Check out this 5-minute step-by-step right here!
Heart Painted Jeans (PrettyLifeGirls.com)
A quick, cheap, and easy way to put a little love in your jeans.
Jeans (use a dark wash so the print stands out)
Fabric paint (white)
Cardboard or sturdy card stock (for stencil)
Heart punch (or perfect hand-drawn heart skills)
A damp cloth with dish soap (for emergency wipe ups)
- Start by creating your stencil. Take the piece of cardboard and either punch out or draw and cut out two evenly spaced heart shapes.
- To start painting, lay jeans on a hard, flat surface and smooth leg so fabric is even (you might want to try ironing your jeans before you paint to get the smoothest possible surface). Place your stencil where you want to start your pattern.
- Dip the sponge brush into the paint and wipe off excess. Dab your brush over your stencil to create your heart pattern. Note: Less is more. Too much paint and your hearts will smear, so make sure you really have just a small amount of paint on your brush. If you get a weird looking heart, use your damp cloth to wipe off the paint and start again.
- Paint the front of both legs, then wait for paint to dry before flipping and repeating on the back. If excess paint happens to drip in between your heart pattern, leave it! You’ll get extra style points the more hand-made your print looks.
- When dry, make your friends jealous and take your personalized denim for a test run!
Either wash in cold by hand, or flip your jeans inside out, wash in cold water with a gentle detergent. Always hang dry.
Polka Dot Patterned Jeans (AMerryMishapBlog.com)
Want the painted denim look without the hearts? Try polka dots instead.
Jeans or cut offs
Light grey acrylic paint
A wood skewer for small dots, pencil eraser for large dots
A damp cloth with dish soap (for emergency wipe ups)
- Fold your jeans or shorts in half vertically and lay on a hard, flat surface to work on one leg at a time.
- Place your ruler at the bottom hem. You’ll be painting your dots one inch apart, then staggering as you go up the leg.
- Dip the end of your skewer or pencil eraser into the paint and place dots along the ruler to create a nice, even row. For an added DIY effect, try varying the opacity of the dots, some with less, some with more paint.
- The inner leg, outer leg, and over pockets areas are a little tricky so you might need to free hand your dots. Remember, you can always use your damp cloth to wipe up any mistakes, but perfection isn’t really essential for this project.
- Keep going until you’ve reached the top band. Then repeat until you’ve covered your jeans or shorts with cute little dots. Style Note: If you’re nervous about painting an entire pair of jeans, try using this same technique on just one pocket!
Acrylic paint is pretty durable, but just to be safe, either wash in cold by hand, or flip your jeans inside out, and wash in cold water with a gentle detergent. Always hang dry.