Recently, the fashion world seemed to remember that pins are a great accessory to throw on to your favorite denim or leather jacket. Out of nowhere, the types of buttons and patches that were usually kept to the confines of indie shops and alt circles were popping up in places like Zara and Urban Outfitters. That’s great and all, and I personally have more pins than I know what to do with, but that’s not the only cool way to give your favorite jacket some DIY flare. For example, have you ever given the back of your jacket a personalized makeover?
The above is a little DIY project I did a while ago. It’s not much, but it was fun to do. I wrote out a few of my favorite lyrics from a song by The Smiths onto canvas, cut them out into strips, and safety pinned them to the back of a denim jacket. Why use safety pins? Because safety pins are punk AF and so am I, okay? Actually, it’s just so they’d be easily removable, but it looks killer and I’m itching to approach some of my other jackets with the same flare. What about you? If you haven’t even thought of such a thing, try getting through these 13 cool DIY jacket ideas without getting inspired to rummage through your closet for an old jacket to paint all over. Sure, you could always buy a bomber jacket that already has a snappy phrase or cool design on the back, but trust…this is a lot more satisfying.
1. Incorporate music lyrics into your DIY jacket design; there are probably so many different lyrics that speak to you that you’ll have a hard time narrowing down your favorite.
2. If you want to do a DIY design on leather, it’s easy to do with some fabric paint that is especially meant for leather. You can find it at a craft or fabric store or online with ease.
3. Pay homage to a celeb/artist who inspires the hell out of you.
4. Make a political statement with your DIY jacket design.
This is one of the first things that comes to my mind when I think about the combination of style and politics. This iconic photo of artist David Wojnarowicz’s jacket at a AIDS protest against the FDA in the ’80s. DIY jackets can seem very frivolous, but you can also wield incredibly important messages with them, too. Don’t hesitate to use them as a way to speak out against injustice.
5. Get those artistic juices flowing and create an illustration on your jacket. If you have a denim jacket, sharpie will do. Opt for paint on a leather or army style jacket.
6. Instead of rocking one big back patch, rock a bunch of different ones to create a collage effect.
7. A needle and thread isn’t just for stitching patches. Incorporate embroidery into your DIY jacket for a little more texture and a retro vibe.
8. Make an accent design choice by only doing some DIY work on a very specific part of your jacket, like near the collar (as seen below) or toward the bottom hem. It’ll definitely draw eyes to a focus point more quickly than a massive design.
9. Go with a singular theme for your DIY jacket; the number of badass Sailor Moon ones that I’ve seen has me shooketh.
10. Try your hand at an ambitious project and go for a full on portrait on your DIY jacket.
11. Become a walking meme and make a DIY jacket project from a spare piece of outerwear and go at it. My friend made this one for me after Nicki Minaj’s infamous “Miley, what’s good?” comment at the VMAs back in 2015.
12. Use your denim jacket as a canvas and create and paint a landscape. The one below is killer.
13. Convert your favorite old band tee into your favorite denim jacket by cutting out the design on the shirt and pinning, sewing, or glueing it onto your jacket. It’s the lazy approach to DIY that still ends up looking badass.
Have you already done a DIY project with your jacket before? What was your inspo? Feel free to share it with us in the comments below!