Ok so following on from my previous post, here’s how to polka dot the life out of your jeans! This is my favourite kind of DIY as it utilises stuff that you’ll likely already have in your cupboards (yay!) or can pick up for very little at your local shop…
You will need:
- Cotton buds
- Thick household bleach
- Greaseproof paper
To begin, line your jeans inside with greaseproof paper….
Dip your cotton bud in your bleach and start adding your polka dots. (Be careful to dab off any excess before you put your cotton bud anywhere near your jeans, or you end up with fine trails of bleach landing on your jeans) I had a couple of queries on facebook regarding how to get even spacing between the dots. So for those of you that asked…I eyeballed mine BUT there was a degree of method to it. Essentially I worked in rows. Lay down the 1st row of dots in a straight line along the hem. Then moving up about an inch, stagger the 2nd row so the dots are centred above the spaces inbetween the dots in the 1st row. Then move up another inch and place the dots in the 3rd row, directly in line with the dots in the 1st row. Make sense?
Repeat this process for the front and back…
Work as quickly (and carefully!) as you can. This process is quick and your first dots will be bleaching lighter and lighter while you are working on the next side. You can see what I mean in the picture below. I started at the bottom of the right side then by the time I got to the top of the left side, the dots on the right were really bright, whilst the dots on the left were still developing. Keep an eye on the last lot of dots and as soon as they all reach a similar intensity to the rest….
Plunge them into a bath of cold water to halt the “developing” process. Then launder and dry as normal and you’re done!
A Word on Colour:
My polka dots ended up pale pink because the original dye used on these jeans would have contained a pinkish pigment. If you bleach dot jeans of another colour, then the resulting polka dots will also be a different colour, depending on the pigments used in the original dye on your jeans.
TIP: Test a spot on the inside waistband with a teeny bit of bleach to gauge the final colour of your polka dots, if you want to be sure about going ahead. If you don’t mind a bit of unpredictability, just go ahead and see what happens!
IDEA: Cotton buds work really well for polka dots. But if cutesy polka dots aren’t your “thang” then consider using other “stamps” to get larger polka dots or different shapes all together. You can buy stamps from craft stores or experiment with making your own. Cutting shapes out of sponges, felt etc or just look around your home for something semi absorbent that would make an interesting shape/stamp.
I also had a couple of queries about how I resized these jeans down 2 sizes. Let me tell you, I wouldn’t normally recommend sizing jeans down by that much. It was only because this started out as an experiment on an old pair of jeans that I’d out grown. But it turned into something that I really wanted to wear. Yes I have sized these down 2 sizes but the inside of the waistband is a bit of a mess if I’m honest. However, clearly it IS possible to do. There are alot of variables when it comes to how easy a pair of jeans are to resize. There are a few different places to apply any resizing. It also depends on the level of finish that you can live with on the inside. I’ve been thinking for a while that I could probably explain my techniques for altering jeans a little more clearly than I have in the past. So maybe that’s an idea for a future post…