Sunday, April 28, 2013

DIY Galaxy Jeans

By Noemie from www.thesunwashigh.com
I don't want to enter in a "I liked galaxies before it was cool to like them" monologue, but I've always been obsessed with outer space! My brother and I used to visit the local library and borrow tons of books about galaxies, spaceships and planets. The obsession stuck and now, even my design portfolio is filled with space-inspired pieces. There is something so fascinating and mysterious about coloured clouds, planets and stars... Galaxy print clothes have gained phenomenal popularity over the last three years, but oddly enough, they never made it to the racks of affordable chain stores. This afternoon, I found a pair of old washed out black jeans I wore in high school and I decided to make my own non-pricey galaxy-inspired jeans! Want to know how to make your own pair of galaxy jeans? You're at the right place!

You'll need:
- A pair of black jeans. Scour thrift stores for some cheap ones you won't be afraid to destroy.
- A spray bottle filled with two parts bleach (javel) and one part cold water
- Some acrylic paints. I used Liquitex Heavy Body in Titanium White, Brilliant Blue, Medium Magenta and Pyrrole Red, but any brand will work.
- An old toothbrush
- A sponge
- Little containers/plates to mix the paint

WARNING: As you can see, the pictures show both sides of the jeans. However, I suggest you do only one side at the time (I did). There's no need to rush ;)

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR DIY JEANS: As long as you are careful while washing them, the paint should not come off. I turn mine inside out and hand-wash them in cold water with a detergent made especially for delicate items, then I hang them up to dry. No problems so far ;) However, if you wear the jeans very often,you might have to paint some more stars after a few washes. 
1. Start with a pair of clean black jeans. Protect your workspace with newspapers or plastic bags, then kiss your old jeans goodbye! Mwahaha

2. Spray bleach on the jeans. Be careful not to spray to much right away! Wait until orange spots start appearing (it takes a few seconds) and spray some more bleach if you want the spots to be more intense.

3. Mix your first colour and use to sponge to apply it around the orange spots. I first applied a shade of blueish purple, then I put some red, applying it around the orange spots to add more dimension. I also painted lighter areas with a light periwinkle shade. Blending the colours together will give your design a softer look, but don't forget to rinse the sponge once in a while.

4. Brighten certain areas by applying white paint.
5. Now it's time to make some stars! Pour a tiny bit of water in a small container and add a blob of white paint. Dip the toothbrush in it and pull the bristles back with your fingers to create some white speckles. Try putting more speckles on the lighter areas. If the speckles disappear, add more paint to the mix.

6. Make some last adjustments: lighten some areas by sponging more white paint or spraying more bleach. Add some more stars... This is what my final front design looked like:
7. Once you're happy with the results, let it dry and repeat all the steps on the other side of the pants. Be especially careful around the butt area, since it does not lay flat. When you're done with both sides, take look at the seams. They might look pretty odd! A quick remedy? Spraying bleach along the seam and adding stars usually do the trick. Don't spray too much or you'll get odd-looking spots!

8. Enjoy wearing your new galactic pants! My new jeans got me a ton of compliments today. I always roll the hems of my jeans, so I did the same with those and the plain black hems looked very chic! I think I'll use some black fabric paint to hide the bleach spots, though... But that's an optional step!

Did you enjoy this tutorial? I hope so! If you give it a try, please send me some pictures of what you made :) Have a great weekend! xo

EDIT: This is for those who were wondering if my instructions would work on dark blue jeans! A reader tried my tutorial on dark blue jeans and she told me the bleach trick didn't work, but she used orange fabric paint as a replacement and it gave amazing results. Here's a picture of her DIY Galaxy Jeans. They look great, no? Thanks, Giulia!

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