The end of May marks the unofficial start of summer with Memorial Day, and I’m getting in the patriotic spirit with this DIY painted denim bunting!
To start, I drew a bunting design onto card stock to use as a template. I made mine 5″ wide and 6″ high – the perfect size for 3″ letter stencils. Click on the link below for a printable of the bunting template I used (print on 8.5 x 11″ paper and cut out).
Next, I turned my old pair of jeans inside out, traced the bunting template onto the denim using a fine tip marker (a pen also works), and cut them out. Now it was time for the fun part – paint!
To paint on the denim I used acrylic craft paint (the kind you find by the hundreds for about $1 at the craft store) and a flat-bottomed, foam stencil brush. Dab your stencil brush into a little bit of paint, and blot onto your fabric, over the stencil.
I secured my stencil to the denim with a few pieces of double-stick tape on the back and then held the stencil down with my fingers as I painted to further secure it. I found that as long as I blotted in straight up and down motions (and didn’t use too much paint on my brush) I didn’t get any paint bleeding through underneath the stencil.
I did two coats of white paint for each letter of my denim bunting. The paint soaks in pretty quickly so I didn’t have too wait long before coats. I also noticed the paint continues to soak into the denim as it dries, giving it a little bit of a worn and weathered look which I really liked. The picture below shows how the dried letters look on denim after one coat (lighter and more faded) and after two coats (more pronounced, slightly faded).
To hang my bunting, I folded over the denim at the very top and cut a small vertical slit on each side with scissors. Then I strung the letters on red rickrack. I used rickrack because it does a great job of holding the letters in place without them sliding around. You could also easily use ribbon, twine, or string knotted at the corners as well.
Lastly, I added little tassels made out of strips of cut denim, ribbon, and baker’s twine:
Hang and enjoy!
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