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15 Best DIY Denim Jacket Projects to Try

When it comes to putting our DIY skills to good use, we’re lucky enough to have all kinds of different tricks up our sleeve, meaning we have many different kinds of crafts to choose from. More often than not, however, we choose to get creative with clothes because homemade and upcycled fashion is some of our very favourite. Lately, we’ve been looking for cool DIY denim jacket ideas because we found a collection of awesome denim jackets in a thrift store and we can’t wait to make them our own.

Do you have a jacket you wouldn’t mind adding a little creative personality to as well but you need a little info and inspiration? Check out these awesome ideas that we’ve come across so far in our search!

1. Hand embroidered jacket edge


Have all those years of altering your own clothes given you some wicked hand stitching skills and you’re always prepared to put them to good use? Then why not use them to add that jacket personality we were just talking about? We’re completely in love with the way Society 19 used colourful embroidery to add delicate little flowers all around the bottom edge.

2. Rose patch jacket


Perhaps your stitching skills are quite fine but you were hoping for something a little less delicate and a little more attention grabbing? Then we’d definitely suggest picking up some fantastic patches just about anywhere you can find them and sewing or heat pressing them onto the denim, depending on what kind you get. We love the way Led Fit gave theirs some colour using roses.

3. Cropped length and collar jacket


Rather than just adding colour and detail to the jacket, would you rather reach for your scissors and change the actual style of your jacket instead? That’s precisely what Levi did here in order to create something cropped, purposely distressed and frayed, and very stylish indeed.

4. Custom fabric applique jacket


Were you feeling pretty intrigued by the idea of adding colour and style to your jacket in the form of a patch but you just haven’t found enough you like to cover as much of the blank denim as you please? Then perhaps you’d get along a little better using fabric! We love the way Tales of Nails turned pieces of fabric featuring patterns they liked into appliques to transform sections of their jacket.

5. Solar system embroidered jacket back


Maybe you’re still thinking about the idea of putting your embroidery skills to good use but you can’t help thinking you’d rather make a bigger pattern than just the edged flowers we showed you before? Well, if space and planets have ever interested you, then we think you might get along a little better with this stunning solar system themed embroidery tutorial outlined step by step on Malina Rush!

6. Mexican blanket jacket


Did we actually really pique your curiosity when we started talking about using fabric as a custom cut applique but you haven’t really found a fabric that appeals to you in stores? Then maybe it’s time to get creative! This tutorial from Cut Out and Keep is the perfect example of what we mean. They show you how they did the same thing with a piece cut from a colourful Mexican blanket.

7. Denim jacket with faux leather sleeves


Perhaps you’re actually really into the idea of making a denim jacket that features different kinds of material in one place but you don’t have access to fabric scraps or other material after all? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Knocked Up Fabulous dyed parts of their jacket instead to make it look like they’d added leather sleeves instead.

8. Sliced and distressed denim jacket


Has the idea we’ve presented that appealed to you the most so far actually been the one that detailed altering your jacket by cutting pieces from and distressing it? Well, just in case you’d actually like to take that idea a little further and make something more distressed and less cropped, here’s a tutorial from Tiana Woah that gives you a few tips and tricks for doing just that.

9. Sandpaper distressed denim jacket


Are you still thinking about how much you love the idea of distressing a jacket but you’re a little bit new to this whole altering clothes thing so you’re looking for a little more help with the basics before you take on a project like the one we just showed you? Then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at the way The Gentlemanual did some distressed detailing with sandpaper to wear spots out.

10. Bleach distressed denim jacket.jpg


What if you’re feeling quite interested in the idea of both distressing and weathering your jacket and changing the colour, rather than adding or embellishing it with things? Then we’re pretty sure this tutorial from Instructables will be a little more up your alley! They show you how to add some visual texturing by bleaching the colour out in certain spots.

11. Bleach tie dyed denim jacket


If you’ve never done cloth tie dying before then we’re sorry to tell you that you’ve been missing out on something really fun! This tutorial from Your Style High will show you how to do it now, but using a denim jacket instead of cloth and bleach instead of brightly coloured dye. This will create a difference in light and dark shades rather than a swirl of rainbow colours.

12. Plaid cut out denim vest


When we started talking about working with patches, were you actually thinking about the kind your mom used to put in the knees of your jeans using fabric when they ripped, rather than the embroidered and decorative kind we showed you? Then maybe you’d prefer to work with a tutorial like this one from Wild Amor that shows you how to fill the cut-out back of a denim vest with plaid fabric.

13. DIY pearl embellished denim jacket


Perhaps embellishing your jacket with something that contrasts a little in style sounds preferential to you because you’re really into that whole upcycled glam concept? In that case, we have a feeling you’ll appreciate the way Carnations & Lace chose to leave their jacket whole but cover it in shiny little flat backed pearl beads for a sense of decorum.

14. Bleach writing jackets


Have we actually got you still thinking about the idea of removing colour from the denim of your jacket using bleach, but you can’t help wondering whether you might have more fun creating actual designs on yours? In that case, we’d be willing to bet you’ll get a kick out of the way Hallmark Channel used bleach to not just create patterns but actually write full quotes.

15. DIY hand painted jacket


Have you actually been scrolling through our list thinking about how you love the idea of upcycling an old denim jacket but your best practiced DIY skills have always been your hand painting talents? Then we think you’ll be very pleased indeed to see how Jordan Clark added a stunning custom pattern across the back of their jacket by decorating it with fabric paint and a brush!

Have you made other kinds of customized leather jackets or jacket elements before that you were very happy with and still wear but that you don’t see here on our list? Tell us all about it or link us to pictures of your finished work in the comments section!