DIY Polka Dotted Pants

August 28, 2012

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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  • Ladyofashion

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

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      Thanks so much; a jacket is a fun idea!

  • m&m

    That’s a great idea! Thanks for sharing :)

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      Thanks for checking it out!

  • PennyPincherFashion

    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! :)

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      Thought about it on a chambray shirt, love that idea!

  • Niki Cheapskate

    awesome! and so simple! i love this

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      Thanks so much!! Takes some time but the result is great.

  • Tara

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

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      Thank you!! Hoping to wear soon.

  • Erin @ ThanksIMadeIt

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

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      hahaha thanks!! :)

  • Samantha Tananbaum

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

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      Exactly! I can’t imagine spending $200 on this fad.

  • Grace Atwood

    Super cute - love them!

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      Thanks, Grace!! You’re inspiring me!

  • Kim

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

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      hahaha, would love to see it if you do!

  • caroline

    Thanks for linking, yours turned out fab! xo caroline

    • The Avg Girl Guide

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

  • creed

    fab idea. LOVE it

    • The Avg Girl Guide


  • Marissa

    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!

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      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.

  • 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. :-)

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      haha, thanks lady! Working on it. :)

  • Kimberlee VDW

    What an awesome idea!!

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      Thanks, Kimberlee!! Hope you’ll try it.

  • RealGirlGlam

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

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      Yeah, not a fast project but adoring the result.

  • Niki

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

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      Completely!! I kind of want to polka dot everything!

  • Kirstin Marie

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

    • The Avg Girl Guide

      thanks!! will try to soon!

  • Jordan - Queen of LA

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

  • Kelly

    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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    learn how to make 50 usd daily at your own home! quickly go here surveymoneymaker dot net

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