After the past few heartfelt posts I thought it was about time that I brought a bit of fun and frivolity back to my little corner of the Internet and to me, jeans covered in patches literally bellow fun and frivolity. This is also a DIY project that I started a little *ahem* while ago and were inspired by the patch-covered jeans that Cara Delevingne wore in a DKNY campaign. Last weekend seemed as good as a time as any to finally complete and wear them!
This is how you can make your own and for any craft-phobics it’s a seriously easy DIY. Literally all you need to prep/buy in advance are jeans and patches and – if you’re as lazy as me – a glue gun. Oh and some chalk. More on that later.
Firstly you’ll need to start amassing a collection of patches; I say collection because as it turns out, buying patches becomes quite addictive. My justification for the 30+ I ended up buying (!) was that I was aiming for an effect a bit like this however you could go for a more minimalist approach and just have a few. I bought mine from ebay for around £2 each including P&P and when deciding which patches to purchase (try saying that quickly!) nostalgic kicked in and I went for some of my favourite childhood TV characters – Fred Flinstone, Garfield, Mickey Mouse, Thundercats, Elmo, Kermit and Gizmo from Gremlins. The Americana patches are from Beyond Retro, they usually have a great selection so if you’re London-based I’d definitely recommend hitting up their stores.
After you’ve acquired your patches you’ll need a pair of jeans. Mine are a pair of New Look boyfriend jeans I’d had in the back of my wardrobe. Personally I don’t think skinnies work for this look and flares could look a bit clichéd but you know, whatever floats your oats!
Next up you’ll need to mark where your knees are on your jeans. The easiest way to do this is to wear them, then using your chalk mark a circle around your kneecap. The reason you’re doing this is so that when you’re placing your patches onto your jeans you have a marker. Also, I found out that having one patch sitting directly on your kneecap makes it quite tricky to bend said knee – lesson learnt here people, don’t make the same mistake as me.
Now comes the decision of deciding where exactly you’re going to have your patches and the rule here is that there are no rules! I chose to pop a pair of cherries on my derrière along with a smiley face and the Rolling Stones lips because … well, just because. Basically, get creative and go as crazy as you want. As with most things in life I took a more is more approach and covered my jeans with patches in a fairly haphazard way, placing some at angles and a couple overlapping. My main tip would be to try a few different combos photographing each layout on your phone so you have a visual to refer back to.
Once you’ve decided where your patches are going to be you then need to iron to affix them. Either pin your patches in place and then reloacte your jeans to the ironing board. Or. Do what I did and very slowly walk them there and pray they don’t fall off.
Turn your iron to max and whilst it’s heating up dampen a tea towel and place it over your jeans. When the iron is to temperature you can then start ironing them on. You’ll need to press down HARD with your iron to get your patches to stick – I’d say roughly 30 seconds to a minute per patch. The glue will dry quickly but it can be quite weak so the more welly you put into pressing down the better in the long run. No-one wants flappy patches after they’ve got cocky and not ironed for long enough. Trust me here.
After you’ve ironed your jeans and they’ve cooled down sufficiently the best thing would be to then sew around them to avoid a flappy patch situation where the edges curl up. However if you’re lazy like me then you’ll just use a glue gun. No glue gun? Afraid you’ll need to get out a needle and thread.
Finally, that’s it – you’re done! Wear your patch-worked jeans with sass and (cherries on your) ass.