Polka Dot Pants Refashion (Tutorial)

I don’t know about you guys, but the patterned pants trend has sucked me in. I’ve yet to actually purchase a pair, but I see them everywhere and think they’re so fun. I had a pair of black jeans that I bought ages ago but never wore (they were just too…black…), so I did a quick refashion and added a fun and simple polka dot pattern. It only took me about fifteen minutes, and since I used a paint pen I had on hand, it didn’t cost me a thing!

Step 1. Lay your pants flat, and starting at the bottom of one leg, paint your dots about three-quarters of an inch apart. I made them as uniform as possible, but moved quickly. A mistake here or there won’t be noticeable among the hundreds of dots.
Step 2. After the entire front side is done, move to the back. Laying the legs so you can simultaneously see half of the front and half of the back makes it easier to keep your dots uniform. The paint dries nearly instantly, so you don’t have to wait in between sides.
My new favorite pants!
*UPDATE! I ran these through the washer andย dryer on normal settings, in a regular load, and they came out looking perfect. No fading at all!
chambray: target, jeans: target, necklace: wild about jewelry c/o, heels: payless
  • Ash

    Awesome! They look great!

  • OMG these are amazing! I love that they're patterned but still subtle enough to not 'scream' at you like some I've seen! Thanks for the tutorial!

    Beth xx

  • Love how these turned out! A project like this has been on my list of possible refashions for awhile. I like the paint pen idea. Makes it seem really easy

  • Amy

    What a great idea! I love them so much! I am a huge polka dot fan. I agree that black jeans can just seem much too… black? Plain? But the dots are perfect.

  • So cute, Merrick!

  • I am totally going to try this out on a pair of pants i have been saving for the right project! For your pants, did you only need one of the painters pens?? or did you need more? just so i know when i go to the store.


    • You definitely only need one. I didn't push very hard with each dot, since I didn't want any accidental paint globs (also pressing lightly made slightly lighter dots, which I liked better), so I hardly used any paint. I could probably make 10 more pairs of pants with this one pen. Good luck!

  • I love this idea! I'm definitely going to have to try it out. I've been wanting a pair of polka dot pants like this but haven't found the right ones yet.


    Kristina does the Internets

  • Totally cute! They look just like the ones I just got from Gap…you're so resourceful! =)

  • OMG so cute! I must try this!

  • Oh, I love these so much!!!

  • What a great idea! Thanks for the tip.


  • You're a GENIUS!!!!!
    Would this work on dress pants for work? I have a pair of capris (cotton/polyester blend) that I'd like to "dot"

  • GENIUS!! Would this work on dress pants too? I have a pair of capris that I wear to work that I'd love to try this on…or maybe a black pencil skirt. Thanks!!

  • Thanks for the great idea, love them!

  • Most patterned pants I see scare me, but I like the subtlety of these.

  • I've seen people do this with an eraser and fabric paint, but a paint pen is a new one! I have a pair of mint swiss dot skinnies from target that I'm seriously so obsessed with, so I'd definitely love to do this to another pair. And dots are subtle enough for my business-casual office job, too; giant floral print pants don't exactly fit the bill here ๐Ÿ™‚

  • wow, that is pretty much the most awesome use of a paint pen!

  • Love them! I just got some micro dot skinnies from Old Navy and they look identical to you version. Well done!

  • they turned out darling. now i'll just have to fit into some of my older jeans so i have the excuse to do this too. so cute!

  • I pretty much need to do this today! Love it! So cute!

  • These are so cute! I might possibly be brave and try this. . .

  • great idea!

  • CC

    So cute! I did the same thing with a pair if black shoes this fall. ๐Ÿ™‚ Paint pens are awesome.

  • very cute! I wish I had a pair of jeans I didn't care about ๐Ÿ™‚

  • i have the same black skinnies from target, i might need to dot mine up too:)

  • These are so cute! I'm going to have to dig through my closet to see if I have a pair of pants I can try this with!

  • What a fun DIY! I just got a pair of polka dot pants ๐Ÿ™‚ They're so fun!


  • such a great idea — those pants look amazing on you! xo


  • Awesome! Love how the dots look blue and not stark white. Thats a fun DIY!

  • Woman, you are a DIY goddess! I love these pants, you did such a great job! You may have inspired me to try…

  • This is such a great idea! Love that the are polka dots! My all time favorite pattern!


  • Can't wait to try this! I was just admiring some polka dot pants on my last shopping trip!


  • they turned out so cute! you have such great style!

  • So cute! I have some pants from Old Navy that look almost exactly like those. I can't believe you made them yourself. Awesome!

  • Love this! Will the paint come off in the wash?

    • The paint is made for fabric, so I'm pretty sure it will not come off. I haven't washed mine yet, but when I do I'll let you know how it holds up!

  • Genius! Pure genius! =)

  • i did this with acrylic paint and a chop stick; yours look way better!

  • What a great idea! They turned out legit too.

  • Oh man these are adorable and right up my alley-not too crazy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • These are stinkin adorable!
    Method Clothe

  • Those turned out SO CUTE! Great job!

  • LOVE this!!! They look darling on you!!!!

  • These inspired me to try it, too:)

  • So cute! Love how they turned out!

  • I love these ๐Ÿ™‚ I want to make them with all my pants!


  • So cute! I'm amazed at how uniform all your dot spacings are. They look awesome!

  • How do they hold up in the washer? After all that work, I would want them to be permanent.

  • Oh my goodness, this is a genius idea! I'm a new follower…you rock!

    check me out: nicole-blogs.blogspot.com

  • Found this tutorial through pinterest! As if pinterest read my mind…was totally thinking bout this yesterday! Gonna try this and I'll let u know how mine came out! Super excited!! =)