18 Creative DIY Ways To Update Your Denim Jacket For Spring

A denim jacket has always been a spring style staple, something that is especially true this year. The ’80s are back (for now), which means that a lot of the jean jackets out there are a little oversized and distressed. They’re decorated with various patches, pins, and embroidery, and they have a slightly more unique feel to them than something you would buy at, say, American Eagle or Forever 21. Chances are good that you already own a basic denim jacket, but maybe it’s a little bit too plain for you right now. If that’s the case, don’t get rid of it so that you can purchase a different one – just learn some basic DIY tips and update it yourself. 

If you need ideas, we’ve got you covered. There is so much you can do with a denim jacket, from more complicated tutorials that involve a little sewing action, to easier options that only require a little glue and cutting. Why not get creative with your jean jacket, right? It’s basically a blank canvas to do whatever you want, and something with a little oomph to it is way more interesting to look at than something that’s just… well, plain denim. Check out these super creative DIY ways to update your denim jacket for fresh spring style.

1. Sew (or glue) on thread to form a statement.



Clothes that make a statement are a huge trend for this season. Pick your statement or word of choice, then use your fabric of choice to stitch it onto your denim jacket. I love “bye,” which is simple and easy but definitely packs a punch.


2. Keep things simple by just adding lots of patches.



Patches were basically made for denim jackets, and they don’t even require a lot of work – you just iron them on. The more you add, the more creative your jacket will look. Opt for a theme, or just use lots of random ones you like.


3. Use an old scarf to create fun sleeves.



Denim jackets with sweater-like sleeves are a little bit more boho and relaxed. Upcycle an old scarf into sleeves, and sew them onto a denim vest – or just snip the arms off of your jacket and replace them with these.


4. Add one fabric pocket for an easy and unique look.



Glue or sew fabric onto one of the pockets (or both of them) to spice up your jacket. It’s easy and will look so cool, especially fi you pick a fun pattern or a bright color.


5. Add an embroidered phrase to the back.



Denim jackets with a cool phrase on the back are so awesome. Add whatever phrase or word you want, or even just do your name.


6. Replace a portion of the back with a different fabric.



Another way to make your jacket stand out from the back is to cover it in a bright fabric, like a colorful Mexican blanket.


7. Acid wash a light denim jacket.



If you want to go full ’80s this year, give your denim jacket an acid washed look. It will definitely have a throwback vibe.


8. Add sweater sleeves. 



Repurpose an old sweater by snipping off the sleeves and sewing them onto a denim jacket or vest. Something bright or patterned is the most fun look to go for.


9. Turn your denim jacket into a trendy denim vest.



Denim vests are just as cool as denim jackets. If you own a jacket that doesn’t fit anymore, or you just don’t want to wear it, cut off the sleeves to make an easy distressed vest. You can bleach it if you want it to have that look, or leave it alone.


10. Snip off the sleeves, making a cap sleeved vest.



This look is a little different, but couldn’t be easier – just snip off the sleeves! Leave the thread to shred for a more distressed look.


11. Take a jacket that doesn’t fit, and crop it to make it work.



This is relatively simple and will make an old jacket look new in no time.


12. Mix an old sweatshirt and a denim jacket into one. 



Layering a denim jacket over a sweatshirt looks really cool, but it can also be bulky. Make it work by sewing on sweatshirt arms and a hoodie instead of totally layering everything.


13. Create a frayed look around the edges.




A pair of scissors and some cutting will leave you with a frayed and distressed look that totally changes up your boring jacket.


14. Use embroidery to create a really cool design.



Embroidery isn’t just for words. You can also create really pretty flowers, something funky like a snake, or really any design you like!


15. Add a gold chain to the collar.



A little bit of gold chain metal makes your jacket look a little more glam and chic.


16. Stitch on letters in a bold fabric.



Make a statement with a bold and colorful fabric.


17. Change up the color. 



Go for a tie dyed colorful look with pretty pastels.

Which one of these denim jacket DIYs is your favorite? Are you going to try any? How do you decorate your jacket? Let us know in the comments.

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.

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