Restyle: Diy Denim with Graffiti

I've had fun restyling denim shorts for my daughters all summer long. The Aztec-print shorts and the lace on denim have gotten lots of views and shares, which is awesome. Thank you!

I have another pair of restyled denim to share with you, and this time it includes something near and dear to my heart--graffiti!

Graffiti? You may be wondering.

Yes! My husband is a graffiti artist and yes, while graffiti has origins in illegal activity, it has now been elevated to an art form. I love the rebel spirit graffiti possesses. The bright colors, the abstract designs--it's amazing. It goes way beyond "tagging" that you see on the freeway.

First, let's get down to business with the denim.

I dipped it in bleach first, using this technique.

Fresh out of their bleach dips. Depending on how the manufacturers added their own dye, the white from the bleach will vary from pair to pair.
One you rinse your bleached denim in vinegar, you're ready to add some color. I wanted a purple ombré effect so I used Tulip's One-Step dye in Violet.

All you have to do is add water and shake--so easy!
If the shorts are damp, the dye will spread easier. I squirted the dye from the bottle onto the shorts, then I used a paintbrush to blend it upwards.

To give it some extra violet oomph, I left the shorts sitting in the dye overnight. I did this by adding some of the dye into a small rubbermaid bin and resting the shorts in it.

I love this color! If I could've only been born with this hair color!
The next day, I rinsed out the dye. The shorts got a subtle violet ombré look. They looked so purdy!

I also did a little bit of distressing to the denim, using scissors and sandpaper.
I knew the shorts needed a little extra somethin' somethin' so that is when I decided to enlist the help of my husband. He sketched out the graffiti-style letters for me and then, using Tulip's Fabric markers, I colored the design in.

I'm such a marker fiend.

Here is a short peek of me working on the graffiti design:

I decided to stay with the violet color scheme and used these colors: dark violet, lavender, pink and a hot pink. The markers blend great on the denim--they have great tips and the color is lush. Perfect for this type of project.

Close up shots. I love the hearts!
My daughter loves these and she can't wait to wear them.

For more of my posts on graffiti, go here:
Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be taggers
Graffiti Superstars in your town
Graffiti L.A.
Second generation of graff heads

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