TUTORIAL: Get creative, up-cycle your old denim!

Hi guys. As festival season looms, I am going to show you how to up-cycle and breathe some new life into an old pair of jeans – just in time for your summer wardrobe!

For this tutorial you will need:

– An old pair of jeans
– Scissors
– Chalk / Pen
– A stamp
– Fabric Paint
– A sponge
– Iron
– Sandpaper
– A tea towel
– A flat surface to work on

Amy 1

Step One:

Lay your jeans out on a hard, flat surface. Mark with chalk or a pen where you want to cut the jeans – you can always use a pair of your favourite shorts as a reference to determine the length and angle of the cut.

Amy 2

Step Two:

Cut along the line once you have decided on a length. Remember if you are unsure only cut off a little as it is always best to have to cut again rather than cutting off too much in the first place!

Amy 3
Step Three:

Now we have a pair of basic shorts! Next, take your scissors or sandpaper to distress and fray the bottom of the shorts. This step is optional, however, this will definitely add to the festival look we are going for.

Amy 5

To make our shorts more of a statement piece I am going to use a stamp to add pattern and texture. I found this stamp / printing block on etsy.com.  There are so many designs as far as stamps go so you can make your shorts as original and unique as you want. I decided to use a floral stamp that can be repeated, this kind of print is really popular at the moment.

Amy 4

Step Four:

To block print on fabric you will first need to prep your garment. Place your shorts on a flat surface. You will need to cushion the surface by either placing a tea towel or piece of corrugated cardboard in the leg of the short. This will give you more of an even print.

Now the shorts are prepped, we can get printing! Pour your fabric paint into a bowl or pot, (I chose white but there are lots of colours to choose from) then use your sponge to dab the paint onto the stamp as this will give you an even distribution.

Place the stamp down onto your shorts and press down hard and evenly across the top. Peel off the stamp and you should have your print! I find its best to practice first, so do a few trial stamps on your off-cuts.

Amy 6

Step Five:

Now it’s up to you how much you repeat the design and where you want to place it. Don’t worry about being too accurate or if the print is a bit inconsistent as this only adds to the distressed look.

When your design is done and dry you will need to fix the paint. Cover the painted area with a clean cloth and iron on a hot setting for 1-2 minutes. This may vary depending on the brand of paint you use so always check the instructions on the label.

Amy 7

And there you have it! A plain pair of old jeans transformed into a cute, unique and on- trend pair of shorts. Now go forth and create!

Amy 8



We hope you’ve enjoyed this post and feel inspired to create your own shorts by  upcycling an old pair of jeans.

Would you like to guest-blog for The-Thrift? Comment below and we’ll get in touch!

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