How to Make a Custom Hand-Painted Denim Jacket That is Unique to You

Sarah Vanderkooy
by Sarah Vanderkooy
4 Materials
10 Minutes

Do you have a plain denim jacket in your wardrobe that you think could use a bit of a revamp? In this DIY, we’re going to update a basic denim jacket with a little paint. If you've always wanted your own hand-painted denim jacket, then that’s what we’re going to make right here.

So grab your paints, and let’s begin!

Tools and materials:

  • Denim jacket
  • Pencil 
  • Fabric paint
  • Brushes
Jacket before the painting

1. Wash the jacket

To get started, make sure your jacket is clean. Even if you’ve had it for years, make sure you throw it in the wash and clean it first.

Sketching a design to paint

2. Sketch a design

Now it’s time to design the jacket. Grab a pencil and freehand a design, or you could do this with a stencil. Down towards the bottom, I’m going to draw a cactus and a few mountains. 

How to paint a denim jacket

3. Paint the jacket

Once I have a basic idea of what I want, it’s time to add paint. I’m going to start by painting the cactus because this is the item that’s in the foreground. I’m just using green paint here.

Depending on the type of denim, it’s going to absorb your paint really easily, so add a light coat and let it dry. You can always go back and add more to deepen or make that color a little bit richer. 

Painted denim jacket ideas

Now I’m going to move on to these mountains. You can use a couple of different types of paintbrushes. I’m choosing a foam brush for the mountains so I can get a nice clean edge with the tip of the brush. 

What type of paint to use on denim jacket?

I’m using a pale blue and I’m going to mix it with a little bit of white for each mountain range. Then, for the sand down in the bottom, I’m going to mix a tan-colored paint with a little bit of gold to add some sparkle. 

Making custom painted denim jackets

For the sunbeams in the back, I want something that’s really going to pop, so I’m going to alternate with orange and white. I’m also going to mix each one with a little bit of white so that they get lighter as they go toward the outside.

You can get really creative and use colors that you love and speak to you.

Creating a hand-painted denim jacket

4. Add some detail

Once everything is painted, I like to go back with a really fine detailed brush and just add some detail.

So, I’m going to add some white to the caps of the mountains. I’m going to add a little bit of detail to the cactus. Just make sure that every bit of denim is filled in with paint.

5. Leave to dry

Now, because this is fabric paint, once it dries, after about 24 hours, this is set for good. You can wash this, you can wear it; this paint isn’t going anywhere.

Hand-painted denim jacket

Hand-painted denim jacket tutorial

That is how to create a unique hand-painted denim jacket! I love that I turned my favorite denim jacket into something unique that I will really enjoy wearing. I hope this inspired you to go and put your creative and artistic abilities to good use, and upstyle your jacket!

Suggested materials:
  • Denim jacket
  • Pencil
  • Fabric paint
See all materials

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Join the conversation
 1 comment
  • Jd Jd on Dec 04, 2021

    I began painting/drawing on my jeans long ago. All it took was an accidental coffee stain, and now I take orders!