DIY heart printed denim


From leopard print to polka dots, we’ve seen it all. Printed denim has become a recent fashion staple. What about hearts for this upcoming Valentine’s Day? Whether you want to surprise someone special or create a pair of your own, this heart print denim look is perfect for any occasion and best of all, it takes less than half an hour to make!


  • A pair of denim pants/jeans
  • White fabric paint
  • Styrofoam plate or a tray for the paint
  • Makeup sponge/wedge
  • A fabric marking pencil (removable during wash)
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • A colored piece of thin cardboard or card stock



Draw heart

Draw a heart shape approximately 1-1/2 centimeters in width and height onto the back of the card stock.

Draw heart shape


Make stencil

Fold the card in half and cut the heart shape symmetrically with a pair of scissors, creating a stencil. Trim the ends of the stencil to create a square shape if desired.


Lay pants flat

Lay the denim pants flat on the working surface.

Lay pants flat


Measure from belt loop

Starting from the bottom of the belt loop, position the ruler straight down — the top edge of the ruler should be perpendicular to the top edge of the belt loop. If your pair doesn’t have a belt loop, start about one third of the way from the inseam of the pant leg.



Mark first point with fabric pen

Measure two inches down and mark with removable fabric pencil.



Continue to mark at 2-inch intervals

Continue to the end of the pant leg by marking 2-inch intervals.


Continue marking


Begin creating a second line of markings

When you’ve completed one full line of markings, start the second line by measuring two inches to the right from the second marking of your first line. The idea is to create a diamond pattern.

Make second line of markings


Continue marking every four inches

Once you’ve marked the first marking on your second line, continue by measuring and marking every four inches all the way down to the end of the pant leg. Ensure your markings are parallel to your first line.

Make markings

Make markings


Prepare paint

Pour some fabric paint onto your plate/tray, and apply some onto the sponge. Dab some of the excess paint off.


Place stencil on marking

Place the stencil on top of the last marking from your first roll.

Place stencil on marking


Apply paint over stencil

Apply the paint over the stencil. Start lightly with one layer of paint and go over repeatedly as needed. If you make a mistake, quickly use a wet cloth and remove the paint.

Apply paint over stencil


Skip one marking at a time

Work your way up, skipping one marking at a time. This is necessary to create a diamond pattern.

Work your way up

Work your way up


Start on the second line

When you’ve completed the entire first line, start on the second line from the bottom up. Remember to check if you’re creating a diamond pattern. No two hearts should be side by side on each row.

Start on the second line

Start on the second line


Find areas where partial stencils are needed

Once you’ve completed both lines, visually spot areas where partial stencils are needed and apply paint partially.

Apply paint partially


Line up bottoms of pant legs

To complete the second pant leg, start by lining up the bottoms of the pant legs. Measure the distance between the inseam to the last heart of the first line, and make the same marking on the opposite leg.

Complete second leg


Measure and mark the first line

Measure and mark four inches up until you reach the top. Make sure as you make your markings that they are somewhat symmetric to the opposite pant leg.

Measure and mark 4 inches from the top


Create second line

Mark the second line applying the same concept.

Mark the second line


Repeat the same steps as the first pant leg

Repeat the same steps as the first pant leg to stencil the hearts and there you have it!


Final product

DIY heart printed denim


Feel free to alter the color of pants/paint
to fully customize
your own!

These are 100 percent washable and loveable.

More Valentine's Day ideas

Make a Valentine's Day mailbox
Host a Valentine's Day party for kids
Single gal's guide to a sweet Valentine's Day


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Comments on "DIY heart print denim for a sweet heart occasion"

SheKnows Editor February 21, 2013 | 10:39 AM

@Tiff I think you could use a bleach pen. The edges of the hearts probably wouldn't come out as sharp but that might make for a neat tie-dyed look. We'd love to hear back from you if you try it!

Tiff February 18, 2013 | 2:03 PM

Can you use a bleach pen for this?

Natalie February 12, 2013 | 11:48 AM

Kelli! Thanks for loving my project. I've actually curated outfits to go with these jeans - please head over to my blog to see the options, they are so cute!

Kelli February 12, 2013 | 11:10 AM

Adorable idea! Would be so great for a V-Day outfit!

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