Did you know you can do punch needle on denim? You totally can!
It’s a fun way to add some fun color to your jeans, or you can use a piece of denim as your foundation fabric for a cool looking background.
Today’s project is kind of a DIY upcycle type of thing because you can cut up your old jeans to use as foundation fabric, or you can decorate your still wearable jeans.
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I used a pair of my husband’s old 100% cotton Levi jeans for this tutorial. If your jeans are a blend of cotton and other stuff I’m not sure if this will work as well, especially if they are very stretchy.
I recommend sticking to 100% cotton because I know it will work.
Another awesome option would be to do this on a denim jacket! If I had a denim jacket, I’d be trying that right away. I’m going to keep an eye out for one so I can try it out.
Are you wondering if you can wash your jeans after you punch needle embroider them? Yes, you can!
Make sure you add a layer of washable fabric glue on the back like I show in the tutorial.
Punch needle embroidery is surprisingly sturdy, but if it’s going to be thrown in the wash a bunch of times, the glue is pretty important.
I made a punch needle sweatshirt a while back and at first, I turned it inside out every time I washed it. Besides that, I just washed it with everything else (laundry is not my strong suit).
It’s held up perfectly fine and now I’m even lazier about washing it and I haven’t even been turning it inside out. It’s for science, that’s what I’m telling myself. The glue keeps all the stitches nice and secure.
Make sure your embroidery floss is colorfast if you’ll be washing it.
DMC is what I used and it works great. You can find DMC floss at most craft stores and on Amazon.
I used the Ultra Punch for this tutorial and I recommend you do the same. It has a nice sharp needle that easily goes through the denim and it’s just a great punch needle that won’t let you down.
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Alright, let’s get started!
Supplies You’ll Need to do Punch Needle Embroidery on Jeans:
Punch Needle on Jeans Tutorial:
Step 1: Hoop Your Jeans
Decide where on your jeans that you want to do your punch needle embroidery. Turn the jeans inside out.
Separate the rings of the small embroidery hoop and secure the part of the jeans where you’ll be punching in the hoop. Tighten the fabric as much as you can.
If you’re using a wooden hoop like I am, it’s difficult to get it super drum-tight so you’ll have to retighten it a few times. Since this is a small design it works alright.
Step 2: Thread Your Punch Needle
If you need help with this part, check out my Punch Needle for Beginners post.
I used the largest needle in my Ultra Punch and set it to a stitch height of 2.
Step 3: Draw Your Design
I decided to keep it simple and do a cute little heart design. You can do the same or draw whatever design you like.
Remember, the finished design will be mirrored, so plan accordingly.
Step 4: Outline the Shape
Punch around the outline of the shape.
Keep these stitches close together so the border of your shape will be nice and neat.
Step 5: Fill in the Shape
After the outline is done, start filling in the shape. Make these stitches a little farther apart than the outline stitches.
Punch around and around in a spiral until it’s totally filled in.
Step 6: Check for Bald Spots
Flip your design over and check the front for any bald spots that need to be filled in. Add a few more stitches to those areas.
Step 7: Trim Any Long Ends
Trim any long ends on the finished side even with the loops.
Now’s a good time to use the end of your punch needle to poke all the loops into their proper place.
Step 8: Add Glue to the Back
Flip your design over and spread a generous layer of fabric glue on the back.
Let it dry (or if you’re feeling impatient like I was, use a hairdryer.)
Step 9: Take off the hoop and marvel at your handiwork!
When you remove the hoop, you’ll probably notice a circle imprint around the design. That will go away if you wash your jeans or you could even just wet them down and let them dry.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial showing how to do punch needle embroidery on your jeans!
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You’ll find several punch needle videos, and I’m working on some beginner crochet tutorials and macrame tutorials, and I have lots of other fun fiber craft posts in the works.
Anything that involves yarn, thread, or string is my favorite! If you feel the same way, be sure to check it out.
- Queen Bee Free Punch Needle Pattern and Tutorial
- How to Do Punch Needle on a Sweatshirt + Free Patterns!
- DIY Gripper Frame for Punch Needle Tutorial + Video!
How to Do Punch Needle On Denim Tutorial + Video
Crystal Martin is the crafty lady behind Marching North. She loves sharing easy to follow tutorials and patterns for macrame, crochet, punch needle, and pretty much anything else involving yarn or textiles.
Her work has been featured on Creative Fabrica, Craft Gossip, Ravelry, as well as her own site and YouTube channels.