Customize Your Thrifted Denim

Hi everyone, Abby here! It’s officially music festival season! If your social media channels look anything like mine, you’ll probably have noticed an increase in Coachella posts and fun summer clothes. One of my favorite festival staples (and warm weather pieces) is customized denim. Whether it is cut-off shorts, or embellished jeans, customized denim is the easiest and most fun way to showcase your unique style for the season! Another fun event coming up this summer is Goodwill Week! To help celebrate this year, I will be leading a workshop on May 9th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. where we will be working on customizing denim! To get all of your creative wheels turning, I went ahead and did two DIYs for this week’s post: some embellished cut-off shorts and some distressed jeans! Check out the easy steps below!


Supplies Needed:

  1. Thrifted or hand-me-down denim (jeans, shorts, jackets, etc)
  2. Beads, studs, tulle, patches, whatever else you have lying around that would look great on some denim
  3. Seam ripper
  4. Needle and thread
  5. Pins
  6. Scissors
  7. Pliers



For my first project, I started with what I thought would be the more difficult of the two projects: studded pocket jean shorts! Spoiler alert: this was so simple! To get started, I used my seam ripper to take off one of the back pockets of my pair of shorts.




Once the pocket was removed, I pulled some studs off of an old belt that I’ve had forever.




Then I used my pliers to straighten out the prongs on the studs (they were a bit folded in and wonky from being on the belt). I laid out where I wanted the studs to go on my shorts, and then I just poked the prongs through the shorts and folded them in on the other side.




Finally, to make sure the studs don’t poke whoever wears these shorts when they sit down, I took the pocket I had removed and sewed it onto the inside of the shorts.




Since these shorts are too small for me to wear, I styled them on my dress form with a hand-me-down tank top, one of my husband’s button-downs and a belt I just got at the Goodwill! You’ll be festival-ready in no time!





For my second project, I embellished a pair of jeans with some tulle, beads, and sequins. I used this photo  and this photo as inspiration. First, I tried on my jeans (purchased from Goodwill Akron) and marked where I wanted my holes to be. Then I used some scissors to etch out my two holes.




After I made my holes in my jeans, I pinned two pieces of tulle to the top of each hole. I used a running stitch to attach the tulle to my jeans (This link has a great visual for how to complete a running stitch:




After I sewed on the tulle, I cuffed my jeans and sewed on some pearls from an old bracelet along with sequins secured with a seed bead.




Then I styled my fancy new jeans with a white button-down and pleather jacket (hand-me-downs) and iridescent belt (Goodwill Akron) and matching shoes (Zara).






Hope to see you for Goodwill Week and our workshop (details below)!



Workshop Details

Date: Saturday, May 9, 2015

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Waterloo Road Goodwill 570 E Waterloo Rd, Akron, OH 44319

Don’t forget to register for the workshop here: