dotted heart jeans {how to stencil a design on clothes}

Have you seen all the adorable denim out these days covered in polka dots, stars, and hearts? I decided my daughter needed a pair of polka dot jeans, but it’s hard to justify spending money on new pants for her when I already have a stockpile of garage sale jeans in her size. So I figured out how to DIY a pair of dotted heart jeans using a 50 cent pair I had on hand.

I originally planned to make a tiny stamp to add the hearts, but I’ve found that when you’re stamping a light color (like white) onto a darker colored fabric (like denim), the stamped image often isn’t nearly bright enough. (Keep reading for more photos and the super simple solution)

polka dot heart jeans


To get bright white hearts, I made a quick stencil by cutting a tiny heart out of cardstock, then using paint applied with a foam brush, as shown below:

I found that I could dip the corner of my foam brush in my paint and pounce it once or twice over the tiny stencil and the heart would fill in perfectly. I did mix my paint with a fabric medium (designed to keep the paint soft, not crunchy), but since the heart is so tiny I don’t think you’d need to. It took about half an hour to do the pants, including a few minutes to let the front dry before I did the back. And I think I went through three different cardstock stencils – they start to wilt a bit from all the paint.

I thought these dotted heart pants would look adorable with Lily’s lace trimmed blouse, but she had other ideas:

That’s right, apparently the infamous pink dress from Grandma goes perfectly with her dotted heart jeans. Not exactly what I had in mind, but I did love hearing her walk up to all her brothers in turn and say “Hey guys! Look at my bootiful new pants!”

Like this post? Follow It’s Always Autumn for more:

LINKING Tip Junkie | Sugar Bee Crafts | Today’s Creative Blog | Naptime Creations | Lil Luna | SNAP | Someday Crafts | Somewhat Simple | House of Hepworths | The 36th Avenue | Whipperberry | Naptime Crafters | Tatertots and Jello | Little Inspiration | I Heart Naptime


  1. 1

    Tracy King says

    Thanks Autumn! This is such an easy way to update a pair of jeans and I am eager to try it. I love the pink dress myself, it goes perfectly with the heart jeans.

  2. 3

    KathieR says

    LOVE the clever way you used the actual stencil square to figure out placement!! And the dress makes the outfit even more adorable!! LOL
    AND I GOT MY BOX OF FREE GOODIES!!!!!!!!!!! They are awesome! You rock!! My favorite, ok, one of my favorites, is the package of sock monkey brads. 😉 Can’t wait to have the granddaughter over to scrap….and maybe stencil some jeans with her while we are at it! THANK YOU!!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *