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inked denim shorts

Pair of shorts I bought last week from Forever21 ($13.50) Pics taken on layover in Denver, CO while 100 degrees outside….seriously!!

I would consider getting a tattoo only if there was a special ink that would fade after about a year. I’m too fickle for anything permanent on my body, and I guarantee after 2 months (or less) I’d have major regret. However, that’s not my point. I thought it would be cool to take the tattoo concept onto a pair or denim jeans or shorts. You can easily create something unique and stylish. However when you grow tired of this ink, you simply take them off or donate them. I like this option much better.

What you’ll need:

Tape (I used painter’s tape)
Cardboard or newspaper (to place underneath the denim surface you’re painting on)
Multi-surface acrylic paint
Golden GAC900 (turns regular acrylic paint into washable fabric paint)
Paint brushes
Old pillowcase or muslin fabric

an Iron

Optional items:

X-acto knife (I used this to make the tape narrower in some places for my design to avoid buying varied widths of painter’s tape)


1. Create your design. Use painter’s tape cover the areas that will NOT be in your chosen color.
2. Place your piece of cardboard or newspapers under the area you will be painting.
3. Mix 1 part acrylic paint to 1 part GAC 900. Paint within the taped lines (or free hand)
4. Let dry for 1 hour before adding a second coat (optional)
5. When finished, let dry for 24 hours then heat set your fabric for 3-5 minutes in a well ventilated area (using iron + old pillowcase). Do NOT use steam!
6. Wear them. It’s recommended that you wait 4 days before you wash them, and turn them inside-out before you dry them.

**Side notes: I started to use a spray fabric paint (hence the newspaper and plastic in the photo) but the can I bought didn’t spray correctly. Luckily I tried it on newspaper first and it splattered everywhere!  I opted for the paint brushes and acrylic paint instead. But it may work out for you. I’ve only used black so far, but if you are choosing to use a bright color I suggest painting your first coat white as a primer first to help your color show its best.

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