Frugal Fashion With Flares

by Pearl Sanborn

I don't know about you, but the "jeans" craze has hit my house! Big pockets, flares, stripes, colors, zippers, all shapes and sizes, jeans are in!

But with 4 little ones 7-11, keeping them in jeans could possibly break the bank! Here are a few ideas on sprucing up those old jeans & turning hand-me-downs into top of the line fashion statements!

For these ideas you could use upholstery fabric, scraps of fabric from your stash, other old jeans & clothes, etc. Never pay full price for these scraps if you don't have to! And turn the kids loose to create their own one of a kind masterpieces!

  • Draw pictures on your jeans with fabric paint pens or fabric crayons.
  • Add a strip of lace to the bottom of each pant leg. Maybe 2 different colors.
  • Add pockets - large ones & little ones! Add pockets everywhere!
  • Sew a seam down the inside of a pant leg to make bell bottoms!
  • Add a piece of fabric to the bottoms! Actually try 2 or 3 different colors of upholstery fabric! Layers are in!
  • Dig out the ric rac! The kids will want several strips of it!
  • Cut a slit up the bottom outside seems. Add a triangle piece of fabric to create a colored flare area.
  • Use fleece to add pockets, stars, hearts, or just line the top of a pocket. This gives a fuzzy look.
  • Sew buttons on them - across pocket tops, around the bottom, or in patterns.
  • Add felt flowers, smiley faces, peace signs, etc.
  • Any fringe in the stash?? How about on the bottoms of those old curtains? Fringe is good! Add some to the bottoms of each pant leg - or maybe just one! =)
  • Cut off both pant legs below the knee. Add a zipper to each piece. Now they can zip the bottom portion off & have short pants if they'd like! Or maybe do this in 3 different levels. Now they can have shorts, short pants & pants.
  • Patches aren't just for clowns anymore! I bet you have a closest full of patches & you didn't even realize it!
  • What if your kids want to pull the jeans tight at the bottom for a gathered look?? Sew a small seem in the bottom of each leg, thread a shoe lace through it, now they can pull it tight & tie it off!
  • Tie dye?? Great idea! Rit is very cheap! Bunch up the jeans with rubber bands - & follow instructions.
  • May you'd like to use stamps instead? Lots of great stamps these days - or make your own from potatoes!
  • For a lacy effect, lay down a paper doily & spray or dab paint over it. When you remove it, the lace pattern remains.
  • Use fabric glue to add different gemstones from the craft section.
  • There's some great transfer paper these days! Have your kids pick out their favorite pictures - or draw some themselves, then transfer them onto their jeans!
  • Are their jeans too long?? Never! No really, just cut them off & let them fringe naturally!
  • Cut open both seams along the outside edge. Insert a different color of fabric to give that striped effect.
  • What? Not a name brand? Let them make up their own name brands! Just cut a rectangle of fabric & let them paint their "name brand" on it with a fabric pen & sew it on the back pocket (or anywhere for that matter)! Now they can create their own line of clothes! All their friends will want to hire them!
  • Don't forget to keep a piece of the fabric to make a matching hair scrunchie or head scarf! What? Didn't you know that head scarves are coming back in?? What are we coming to!!??

Pearl Sanborn is the Editor of Heart & Home Newsletter.

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