How to Upcycle American Flag Jean Shorts

Beth @CreativelyBeth
by Beth @CreativelyBeth
2 Materials
1 Hour

Stars and stripes forever, and always! I love showing patriotism all year round! On a recent visit, my niece asked me how to DIY American Flag Jean Shorts and since we are crafty partners in crime, I immediately said YES, bring it on! We both often jump into DIY projects and figure it out as we go, so this was a fun collaboration. She looked through my paint stash and selected the new DecoArt Extreme Sheen and Galaxy Glitter paints!

How to DIY American Flag Jean Shorts

Here’s what you will need:

Here’s how to make it:


Fold scrap paper and insert into jean short pockets to prevent paint from seeping through.

Basecoat the left pocket with Deep Sapphire and the right pocket with Ruby using the 3/4 flat paintbrush. Set aside to dry and apply a second coat, if necessary. One of the reasons I love DecoArt paints is the excellent one-coat coverage on most surfaces!


Using a chalk pencil, draw stars onto the Deep Sapphire pocket. Vary the size and placement of the stars to create interest. TIP: Use a stencil or template if you do not want to draw the stars freehand. Apply Silver Moon to the inside of the stars with a number 6 round paintbrush, using a dabbing motion to spread the glitter evenly. Allow the paint to dry completely.


Cut sections of painter's tape in half lengthwise and then apply to Ruby pocket diagonally. Vary the width of the stripes to create interest. Burnish the edges of painter's tape with your thumbnail to get good adhesion. Apply Silver Moon to the inside of the stripes with a number 6 round paintbrush, using a dabbing motion to spread the glitter evenly. Allow the paint to dry completely.

TIP: As the Galaxy Glitter paint drys on the uneven denim surface the glitter will collect in the low areas. Apply a second coat in the high areas for consistency. Once dry, remove the painter's tape.

NOTE: Hand-wash these embellished jean shorts for best results.

Here is a close-up shot of those gorgeous, glittery pockets. I am IN LOVE! The STARS pocket…

And the STRIPES pocket…

I hope you have enjoyed this DIY project!

I have had this idea rolling around in the back of my head for a while and was super excited that my niece asked me to help her create these cute American Flag Jean Shorts.

And although it is not a 100% original idea, our use of metallic and glitter paints combined with the random variety of stars and stripes gives our project a unique twist.

Here’s a bit of BTS (behind the scenes) for this project. I created a sample board to see what paints work the best on denim. Loved the Extreme Sheen in Ruby and Deep Sapphire in combination with the Galaxy Glitter Silver Moon. I also tried Extreme Sheen in Pearl which was too matchy and the Americana Titanium White which was too plain. If you take the time to create a sample, then you will always be pleased with the finished result!

American Flag Jean Shorts are perfect to wear year-round and show your patriotism!

Thanks for stopping by!

Creatively, Beth

Suggested materials:
  • Jean Shorts   (Upcycled from your closet)
  • Galaxy Glitter Paint from DecoArt   (DecoArt)

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Beth @CreativelyBeth
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3 of 8 comments
  • Maggie Maggie on Jun 22, 2022

    Sorry, don't think remnants of the American flag belong on someone's posterior.

  • Daa30567030 Daa30567030 on Jun 22, 2022

    Might not make you a popular guest. You will probably leave glitter wherever you sit.