Upgrade Your Jeans With a Genius Paint Trick

Jessica Shaw
by Jessica Shaw
6 Materials
2 Days

On a recent trip to the thrift store, I found a pair of jeans with potential! I came home and thought of the most genius paint trick to totally upgrade the jeans. A little bit of fabric paint and creativity can go a long way! Check out how I completely transformed a pair of thrift store jeans into a fun and floral piece to add to my wardrobe.

Tools and materials:

  • Pins
  • Marker
  • Fabric paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Tape
  • Fork
Pin the jeans

Fray the hemline

For this insanely fun jean upgrade, I first decided what length I wanted to make the jeans. I tried them on and marked their new length with a pin. 

How to paint jeans

I took off the jeans, drew a line where I had pinned, and cut off the ends. 

Use a fork

For this jean upgrade, I really wanted to get a cool frayed look for my new hemline. I used a fork to scrape down at the bottom of the legs, pulling the threads out as I went. 

Trim the fray

I then trimmed the threads to get a frayed look perfect for my refashioned pair of jeans. 

DIY painted jeans

Paint the jeans 

Next, it was time for a bit of art and crafts. I used a marker to draw cute little flowers along the fabric. In this step, you can really add as many or as little flowers as you like. If you’re feeling creative, go ahead and draw whatever you want on your jeans. 

Paint the flowers

Once I had drawn all the flowers onto my jeans, I started painting. I chose to use white and yellow fabric paint but feel free to get creative with your color choices. 

Easy painted jeans

Once the new and improved front of my jeans had dried, I flipped the pair over. I used tape to create a border around the two back pockets. 

Painted jeans ideas

To add a bold detail to my jeans, I painted the back pockets with black fabric paint. I removed the tape and waited for the paint to dry. 

Painted thrift jeans

It’s incredible to see how far a little bit of paint and creativity can go. This new and improved pair of jeans is going to be the first of many for me! I would love to hear what paint ideas you have that can transform a pair of jeans! 

Suggested materials:
  • Pins
  • Marker
  • Fabric paint
See all materials

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Join the conversation
2 of 8 comments
  • Ann Ann on Feb 07, 2022

    Are frayed hems back in style? Oh, I hope so! I am short and have a very difficult time hemming jeans!

    • Leslie Leslie on Feb 12, 2022

      Hi Ann, If you can measure, cut and fold, even with a friend to help, there are a few ways I can suggest to hem your jeans without sewing. There are glues made for hemming And there are fusible fabric strips for hemming you can apply with an iron. Go to your local fabric or even craft shop and ask and even ask for a short tutorial on how to use the items I mentioned. OH, not sure if this will work but try E 6000 or even Gorilla Glue on a scrap of jean fabric. Make a hem press the fold over into the glue, let it cure completely and then throw it into the wash. Make sure you have something heavy to put on the new hem to make sure the contact is secure. Jean fabric is heavy and thick enough for these glues I would think. Both glues are waterproof so they just may work. Good Luck. :)

  • Ann Ann on Feb 12, 2022

    thank you so much, Leslie! I will give glue a shot next time I buy pants that are too long. I have a sewing machine but it’s just a cheapie and past experience tells me that it’s not up to the task of sewing layers of denim.