DIY tips to embellish denim

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) –   Update your old denim into fun wearable clothing for the kids, no sewing required!
Malena Chipps, Creative Craft Consultant and Co-Owner of Fancy That Antiques in Wilbraham will show you how to make your own creation at home.

This week I have been working on three different jackets to find you the best materials that really are MACHINE WASHABLE. After all, the most important part of embellishing clothing is finding the right FIXATIVE! If you don’t have the right glue, your washing machine and all your hard work will look like a bad Jackson Pollack painting.

Here’s a list of the best glues to use:

#1 E6000 Fabric Fuse

For gluing fabric to fabric, rhinestones to fabric, ribbon to fabric, etc., I found E-6000 Fabric Fuse to be the best. It’s super sticky and it dries clear. It also holds decorations like lace firm on the denim so you don’t need pins.

#2 GemTac Permanent Glue

For gluing small rhinestones, bows, buttons, etc., this glue works great. It won’t work on huge projects like the back panel of the SUPERHERO jacket I’ll be showing you.

#3 Aleene’s Jewel It Glue & Ok to Wash it Glue

Both of these glues work well and don’t wash out. They are not as tacky as the E-6000 Fabric Fuse however. These glues work wonders on stretchable fabric like dance costumes. I also use this glue when I’m out of paint and need to sprinkle glitter over the glue line to fake a decoration. (All these techniques will be shown on the show.)

One product I have found that works great for mending is Ultrahold Iron-On adhesive. It is a paper backed sheet of solid heat activated adhesive. It uses a low temperature & short pressing time so it allows for a wider range of materials that can be bonded. Use with fabric, foil, lame, denim, felt, suede, leather, wood and cardboard. Machine washable. There is no steam or pressing cloth needed. It will not lift or pucker after washing. It’s no-sew bond is three times stronger than Stitch Witchery fusible web. Be careful not to get your iron too hot as it will melt the adhesive and it won’t stick to your t-shirt or denim item.

WASHING TIPS:

Wash your one of a kind creation carefully! Turn the jacket inside out and wash on delicate in cold water. Do not dry in the dryer as the paint and glue will melt!!! I’ve found DRYEL Home Dry Cleaning Kit to be a life saver for items like this but you must dry on NO HEAT. Please be aware these fabric paints and glues WILL ruin your clothes if they get on you. I’ve had a few bits of paint on my shirt and NOTHING would get it off. The glitter came off but the paint did not so please cover up any nice clothes while crafting.

Ok, now for the fun part!

You will need the following items:

A small size denim jacket (I got mine from Goodwill) $3-5

1/2 to 1 yard of novelty fabric $3

Metallic, Glitter or Puffy Fabric Paint $1-3

Rhinestones $2.50 and up

E-6000 Fabric Fuse Glue $5-7

Modge Podge 4 Fabric $5 and up

Total cost $25 + or – depending on your choices

You can go all out with this project and buy fabric permanent markers, Jacquard fabric paint, Iron On ink jet fabric sheets, Iron On Printable sheets, etc., but you CAN make something cute with very little money. Often times you can find ribbon, coloring books, rhinestones, etc at the dollar store. The first thing we want to do is to map out the lines on the jacket. Denim jackets usually have a center back panel that is perfect for art work or a focus panel. Take a piece of gift tissue paper and trace around the raised hems for a pattern. Once the pattern is perfect, lay the tissue pattern over the novelty fabric and cut around the pattern.

Paint a layer of Modge Podge 4 Fabric adhesive on the back side of the fabric, then take a small amount and brush it over the front side so there are no air bubble or raised edges. You can also use this same technique with fabric glue. Once the fabric applique is dry, you will want to paint over it again with the glue. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, I suggest using the Ultrahold Iron-On adhesive. I don’t think Ultrahold works as well, but I’m putting a LOT of layers on to show how creative you can be.

After you have your fabric panels glued or ironed in, you can start embellishing. I started with the two front pockets and traced around the stitching with a black metallic fabric glue. If you are careful you don’t even need a brush, you can squeeze it out in a line and it will dry nicely. Be aware the fabric paints in the squeeze tubes dry HARD! If you want a soft touch you will need to buy Jacquard fabric paints and use a brush.

This jacket was very simple because it is for a boy. The next project has far more instructions because it’s a girls jacket, and we all know how us girls love sparkly things!

Disney Princess or Wonder Woman Jackets

Start by measuring your panels as shown above. If you want to make appliques, it’s the same method but faster. Once the appliques are dry and you have two layers of either Modge Podge Fabric or E-6000 Fabric Fuse painted over the top, you can start painting over them. (PLEASE allow the fabric to dry over night before painting or adding rhinestones, etc.)

When gluing on rhinestones or buttons, be sure to put enough glue down that it covers the outside rim of the stone. Once all the stones are glued, I chose to add MORE glue in between the stones. Then I sprinkled some dollar store glitter around the area. This way, if the glue dries in lumps, it will look better. TIP: Kids love GLOW IN THE DARK glue and paint. For girl’s clothes I usually squeeze out the paint in lines and then add glitter for a more girly look.

Next we are going to glue some ribbon down the seams. Again, the more glue the better. Measure the ribbon so you have half an inch extra at the end. Glue a line down the seam and push the ribbon down into the glue. Pinning works but you will have to pry the pin out of the glue. I prefer using more glue and pushing it down with the end of a pen. Less injuries that way!

Now we are going to cut the sleeves. You can measure the sleeves on your child or take a similar jacket of theirs and see how long the sleeves are. Cut off the extra length from the adult jacket. We can use the cut sleeve for a headband later. Now you are going to want to add either ribbon or lace. For adhering heavy lace onto an edge, you will want to use the E-6000 Fabric Fuse, not the Jewel It glue. Glue the lace on the under side of the sleeve, then glue ribbon or squeeze a line of paint on top so it hides the raw edge.

For the Disney Princess jacket, I had my daughter draw some princesses on the back. If you aren’t a free hand artist, you can get a fabric tracing pencil and trace a coloring book page and then iron it on the back if your little one wants to paint it. This craft is far more fun when you and your kids do it together. They ALWAYS have their own style. I always consult my daughter before making her something, as her style is often not what I assumed. 🙂

You can get really good at this craft very fast. I’ve seen these jackets being sold on etsy for high dollar. Of course, the $300 ones are probably sewn not glued. My point is, up-cycled denim is very in style right now. Once the jackets were nearly done, I asked my 22 year old daughter if she would wear any of them. She loved the Wonder Woman jacket and she is not a girly girl! She was excited to make her own and wear it so that tells you this craft will be well received by kids of all ages! I always give away one my demos so watch Mass Appeal to see what we are giving away. Then just come into the shop and pick it up! No purchase necessary.

 

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