How to Make Metallic Foil T-Shirt & Jeans

The DIY Designer
by The DIY Designer
6 Materials
45 Minutes

In this DIY tutorial, I’m going to be applying some silver and gold foil transfer onto a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. The metallic effect looks amazing and you’ll be able to machine wash both - do you know what a game-changer that is?!

Tools and materials:

  • Jeans
  • Graphic tee
  • Metallic foil transfer
  • Transfer gel
  • Paint brushes
  • Iron
Foil print jeans

For the jeans, I was inspired by this piece of art. I like that it starts off completely solid on the top. Then it sort of fades where you can see those brushstrokes, so that’s what I’m going to do. It’s going to be solid on the hem, and then you’re going to see all of those brushstrokes, but it’s going to look like it was painted on with this super highly reflective metallic sheen. 

Make foil denim jeans

Apply the gel

Take a liberal amount of the transfer gel because the more transfer gel you have, the more solid it is, the more solid your transfer will be. Start applying the gel at the hem and brushing it upwards. You want to be able to see those brushstrokes because that’s actually how it’s going to transfer.

DIY foil denim jeans

Place the foil sheet on

Next, take your foil sheet and put it face up over the gel. (I know this might seem wrong, but it’s not.) 

How to make foil denim jeans


Now iron directly on the foil sheet. If you’re using a delicate material like a cotton t-shirt or silk, you’ll want to make sure that you’re protecting it with a cloth in between. This is denim, so it’s fine. Keep the iron pressed onto the sheet on full heat for something like 45 seconds.

Foil denim jeans tutorial

Do the second leg

Move onto the second leg while the first one dries. The only thing that’s important here is to make sure that your left and right leg are perfectly even so that the metallic will be the same height.


Once the foil is cool to touch, you can start to peel. When I peeled the second leg, I got a little bit of resistance. If you get resistance, that means it didn’t fully transfer, so you want to go in there with your iron and just add a little bit of extra love on those places that didn’t peel, and you’ll be good to go.

Move onto the back

Moving onto the back side. Use a pin on the back side so that you know how high you want your brushstrokes to go so that it looks perfectly symmetrical to the front side. When I ironed the back, I wasn’t sure how it would affect the foil transfer that I’d already done on the front, so I not only put a little bit of cloth behind, but I also put a cloth on the inside to protect from the heat. When I peeled off here, I realized that I had some bald spots, but that’s no problem. You just need to add a little bit of extra transfer and go over the foil again. It’s not going to affect the foil that’s already there.

T-shirt mistakes!!

This is a graphic shirt that I found at a thrift store. I love it, and I thought it would be really fun to let this ‘Milano’ part pop. I used a paintbrush (a small one to stay in the lines) and applied the transfer gel to the letters where I wanted the foil to go. I then used a cloth to protect the material because this is cotton, not denim.

I totally made a mistake, I didn’t realize it, but the actual ink from the graphic on the t-shirt acts as a transfer gel for the foil. So what ended up happening is that you can see all this foil transfer on the graphic, not where I put the transfer gel. 

Instead, I grabbed a graphic tee from my closet and ironed directly onto the graphic that was already there to transform it into a metallic graphic t-shirt.

Check out the finished look! The jeans are popping! I styled them with a pair of see-through heels to give them all of the attention they deserve.

For the top, I applied the foil to the words, and it looks great. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes when you’re doing a DIY; I make mistakes all the time! Mistakes are just how you learn, so don’t let them get you down.

Suggested materials:
  • Jeans
  • Graphic tee
  • Metallic foil transfer
See all materials

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Join the conversation
3 of 17 comments
  • Rodrigo Rodrigo on Jan 06, 2022

    Where can I order the transfer gel? Is it a glue??

  • Barbara Barbara on Aug 15, 2023

    I think that's an AWESOME IDEA!!! I'm going to be doing this REALLY SOON! I'm going to use a light silver glitter iron on that I already have. I put it on a craft armoire my late husband made for me, he just passed away June 30th. We were together since he was 16 & I was 17, 37 years/married 35. I'm going to make my 4yo granddaughter a pair, she LOVES being a little NaNa 😉! Glad I found you on here!

    Your New Friend & Follower,

    Barbie Illinois, USA

    (yes, I still go by Barbie, been called that since I was born)

    • Gale Gale on Feb 18, 2024

      I am very sorry for your loss.