Patches are in! Whether the jeans actually need to be repaired (or are still rocking holes like the ones we worked on) is irrelevant, just slap a patch or pin on them for instant trendsetter status.
Our resident millennials made this trend their own by upgrading a pair of thrifted jeans with patches, decorative trim, and different textured fabrics. Because if you’re going to upcycle a pair of jeans, why not go the extra mile?
Decorative trim or ribbon
Thread (in color or colors of your choice)
Iron and ironing board
- If the jeans are new, wash them first! When you’re ready to get decorating, plug in the iron and set it to the setting indicated by the instructions for any patches you have.
- Lay your jeans out flat and collect all the potential decorations. Start playing around with placing different pieces. I recommend starting with the largest accessories — we knew we wanted a large section of magenta crushed velvet so we set that down first as a foundation to build on.
- Once you decide where you’d like things to be, pin them in in place. When you’ve got the layered design you’d like, snap a picture of it on your phone for future reference when you sew and iron everything into place. I recommend trying the jeans on before attaching anything or making any final decisions, since they’ll definitely look different on than laying down!
- Now undo all your work and start again with the jeans and largest piece. If it is a patch, iron into place, or if it is a piece of fabric or some lace trim, cut to size and sew into place. We liked the look of contrasting threads, like the yellow used to sew the magenta velvet onto the denim.
- Apply all of your pieces and try your jeans on to make sure no edges are loose. Once you’ve made sure everything is there to stay, you’re ready to go style these newly upcycled pants!