Fashion trends come and go with the seasons, various accessories come in and out of vogue, but there’s one piece of clothing that has stood the test of time in modern fashion in particular, and that’s denim jeans.

A wardrobe staple, most people have an ever-growing collection of jeans.

What if you could get a new jeans look without having to actually buy a new pair? Well, we have just the idea for you!

Aisling O’Mara is in her third year studying marine science at NUI Galway (NUIG) and embraces all things to do with the sea. She has another love, though: art. She enjoys painting and is currently the auditor of NUIG’s art society.

“I do art every week, because I just really love it,” she says. Aisling talks to Irish Country Living about an artsy DIY project she did last year.

Identifying worthy clothing items

Instead of throwing out clothes that you don’t like, it is worth looking at them from another perspective. Can you give your clothing item a make-over that will jazz it up and actually want to make you wear it?

Last year, Aisling decided to use fabric paint to give a pair of denims a make-over.

She says: “There was not a lot going on. I had stuff to do in college, but it was all online and I was in the house more often, so I focused on art a lot. I did a lot of paintings and then for my birthday, my friends all put some money together and they bought me fabric paints.

“I think that was why I decided to paint jeans because the jeans didn't fit me that well. They weren't my favourite pair, so when I got the fabric paints the first thing I thought was ‘oh I have this one pair of jeans in my wardrobe that I never wear, this will make me want to wear them'.

"It was just a nice little project to do for ages. I could just add more and more things to them until I finally felt like they were finished.”

What to use

When it comes to painting on your clothes, the safest option is fabric paint.

Aisling says: “I used fabric paint and for some of the little paintings I did, I mixed some acrylic paint with [the fabric paint], because there were certain colours that I wanted to get.

"With acrylic paint, when you paint them on denim, they can crack and paint can chip off, because it’s not supposed to be for fabric. But there is certain oil you can get to mix with the acrylic paint so you can put it on jeans.”

Another alternative is using a fabric sealer over any areas you have used fabric or acrylic paint on. This will ensure that your paints won’t chip off when washing the clothes.

Ironing over the painted sections when the paint has dried also seals the colours. Another important tip to make the fabric paint last is only cold-washing your clothes.

Inspiration is everywhere

The best part about giving your clothes a make-over is that you can reflect your personality, life and interests in the clothes. When we go out shopping, we constantly search for items that are ‘you’. But what can be more you than a personalised clothing item?

Aisling’s denims are a good example of drawing inspirations from our own life. She explains: “I painted different things on my jeans. My housemates brought in their Wii from home and my other friend got a Nintendo Switch, so I think that's why I put the video game controls on the jeans.

“I've always liked Alice in Wonderland, so I remember I painted that on the jeans. I think the women on the pockets - that was just something nice to do at the time.

"I was thinking about Florence Gibbons and her illustrations. I've always liked lizards because we see them in Portugal when we go on holidays there, so I painted them on the jeans.”

A closer look into some of the artwork.

Inspiration is everywhere! Giving your denims (or any other clothing piece) a make-over is a fun DIY project that will turn your regular clothes into statement pieces. You will fall back in love with clothing items, get a chance to express your artistic self and not to forget, do something kind for the planet in the process.

Fabric paint can be purchased at different stores such as Art and Hobby, The Art Materials Company, Vibes and Scribes and many more. Prices range between €5 and €15 per paint pot.

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