DIY Polka Dotted Pants

I’ve been a bit obsessed with the polka dot craze. I mean who’s not right now? However, I’ve been making my purchases at affordable shops like Old Navy, Target and Gap, avoiding $260 J. Crew (incredible) cashmere sweaters and $150 jeans. Unlimited budget, sure, but otherwise it’s not going to happen.

Instead I had it in my head to DIY polka dotted jeans. I had a pair of Forever 21 oldies that I was ready to get rid of or cut-off so this was an ultra affordable, no-harm-done, DIY if it flopped. I intended to take fabric paint and dot it on the with the back of an eraser until I saw c.w. frosting use a Clorox bleach pen to achieve the same result. I was off…

Denim skinnies (just $10) or anything else.
Clorox bleach pen (2); I used about one and a half.

Lay denim flat, apply bleach dots with the thin side of the pen to one side. You can first use a pencil if you want to perfect the location of each dot.

Dry overnight, flip and do other side, paying careful attention to cover the hems, crotch, everywhere.
Wash and tumble dry on low.

TAGG tip: keep a sheet of paper handy to tab the pen incase of leaks or if you’re noticing bubbles. I minimized bubbles (which if one happens, do the best you can to make it look like a dot, don’t stress and move on), by keeping the pen down and moving. The more I lifted the pen up the more air would filter into the pen.
My inspiration post appears to have done a better job than moi but I’m VERY proud of the effort.


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    July 1, 2015 at 11:08 PM

    I tried this, and it actually didn’t look so good. I used the same brand of clorox and everything, but when the bleach dried it ending up turning orange instead of staying white. So now I’ve ruined a pair of nice jeans.


    • Reply
      July 9, 2015 at 11:55 AM

      Hi Kristen: really? ๐Ÿ™ I am so sorry to hear. I never had any orange at all; was your denim color similar? I’m wondering if you have to hold the bleach on longer depending on the color intensity of the denim. This is the first I’ve heard of it; I appreciate you letting me know, though so sorry this happened.

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    September 14, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Can’t wait to try this out!!! I mentioned you on my blog this morning – and will definitely post before and after pics when I tackle this fun little project! Thanks for the awesome inspiration!

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    Jordan - Queen of LA
    August 29, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    um this is fabulous. i want to do it on a million things!!!

  • Reply
    Kirstin Marie
    August 29, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    You seriously did an amazing job. I can’t wait to see you modeling these awesome pants!

  • Reply
    August 28, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    This could be so cool to do to a chambray/denim shirt as well!!!

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    August 28, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    So much work, but they look soooo good! Love that you chose to do tiny dots.

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    Kimberlee VDW
    August 28, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    What an awesome idea!!

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    [email protected]..
    August 28, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    So cute, super smart and have to say….nice pictures! Are you becoming a DSLR pro or what? Will be waiting with bated breath for the outfit post. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    August 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Such a cool idea and a great alternative to spending all that moola! I wonder if it will work on colored denim!! I have a pair of rust colored skinnies that would look great with polkdots!

    • Reply
      The Avg Girl Guide
      August 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      Think it would be great on colored denim, after all this is technically blue that went white. Just let it sit a day before washing.

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    August 28, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    fab idea. LOVE it

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    August 28, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Thanks for linking, yours turned out fab! xo caroline

    • Reply
      The Avg Girl Guide
      August 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      Thank YOU for the genius bleach pen idea! I want to go crazy with that thing. haha

  • Reply
    August 28, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Ah! I’m so doing this! What an awesome idea!

  • Reply
    Grace Atwood
    August 28, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Super cute – love them!

  • Reply
    Samantha Tananbaum
    August 28, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    These are awesome! Definitely a lot more affordable than the “designer” jeans, and cute too!

  • Reply
    Erin @ ThanksIMadeIt
    August 28, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    Great job Alyson! I knew you had a DIY streak in you : )

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    August 28, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    Very cool! Can’t wait to see you wear them!

  • Reply
    Niki Cheapskate
    August 28, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    awesome! and so simple! i love this

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    August 28, 2012 at 6:31 AM

    So impressed – I love this idea! I was thinking about doing something similar to a chambray shirt, but was planning on fabric paint…the bleach pen is genius! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    August 28, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    That’s a great idea! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    August 28, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Excellent DIY! I’ve only used these pens on a jacket! It really turned out great! xx

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