How to Make A Killer Denim Jacket For Your Wedding

APW test-drives a fancy DIY machine

A few weeks before my wedding, I picked up a pleather jacket and leopard print sweater at the now-defunct Joyce Leslie store in New York City (RIP provider of all my questionable college fashion choices). I was getting married in Maine in September, so it was going to be cold, and I’d been strong armed into so many traditional fashion choices for our wedding (the standard long white dress, growing my hair out) that a casual jacket and a little bit of animal print felt like the perfect rebellion.

Fast forward a decade, and cool jackets to wear over your wedding dress are everywhere. There are painted leather jackets, personalized embroidered jackets, sequin embellished jackets. Basically, if you can name it, someone on Etsy is selling it for $100. Which is probably why I’ve had a DIY custom jacket itch for the better part of three years. I’ve sewn sequins on them. I’ve painted them. Bedazzled them. And heat transferred patches onto them. One time I even made a flashing neon sign denim jacket for Meg’s daughter. (It was d-o-p-e.) But my favorite of those projects weren’t the most elaborate ones (the neon sign almost killed me). The best projects were the simple ones. The ones where I could gaze upon a finished product after twenty minutes or so of hot gluing and go:

Which is why today we’ve partnered up with Michaels Weddings to show you how to do a super easy custom DIY denim jacket, using the Cricut Explore Air 2. Confession: I was given a Cricut a few years ago, but was all I’m not even a crafter and gave it to my cousin. I have regretted the decision ever since. (WHY.) But for the uninitiated, the Cricut is a precision cutting tool that can cut through almost any craft material, from vellum to leather. You just choose one of their designs (or upload your own), and it does the rest. You can fake intricate laser cut details for stationery, create iron-on transfers for shirts, make stencils, or anything else that would normally require several emotional breakdowns to complete. And for $250, it’s one of those craft tools you could almost justify would save you money (or at the very least, get you closer to your taste level without having to triple your decor budget).

A pink Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine from Michael's Weddings with paper in place

But since I am still not a crafter, we tapped one of our favorite wedding designers, Jess Rutherford of Sentimental Fools, for the heavy lifting. We tasked her with an easy DIY denim jacket that you can make in about twenty minutes using the Cricut. You can obviously do this without a Cricut as well; it’ll just take longer and you won’t get quite as clean lines. But I really wanted an excuse to take this machine for a test drive so I could report back to you guys. Here are the materials you’ll need:

A woman using a laptop to design text to cut next to her Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine from Michael's Weddings

To get started, you’ll first need to create your design in the Cricut Design Space. If you’ve ever used Photoshop or any kind of design program, it works just like those. For our jackets, we wanted to keep things simple, so we just created a new project in the Cricut Design Space, and then used the text tool to choose the font vibe we liked best.

A woman tightly adhering her pink paper to the Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine from Michael's Weddings cutting background page

Once you’re satisfied with your design, you click the “Make It” button in the Design Space software, and it will take you through a step-by-step process to select the material you’ll be cutting and confirm the sizing of your cutting mats. Next you’ll cut the material you are using to size and adhere it to the cutting mat that you’ll feed into the Cricut.

A Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine from Michael's Weddings in action with pink paper

Then you feed your mat into the Cricut, hit go, and watch your craft-making machine do its thing.

The cut text "Bride's Babe" using the Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine from Michael's Weddings A woman peeling away the background page for the Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine from Michael's Weddings

The Cricut spits out the cut letters, and you just peel them off! The end.

A woman finalizing the details of the text "Bride's Babe" cut using the Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine from Michael's Weddings

You might need to use an X-acto knife to separate out smaller parts of the design or do some clean up if you’re a perfectionist like us. From there on out, it works just like a regular iron-on transfer.

A woman adhering the letters spelling "Bride's Babe" cut with a Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine from Michael's Weddings to a denim jacket back

Boom! 🎉

Two denim jacket backs that were made using the Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine from Michael's Weddings. One reads "Bride" in white letters, the other reads "Bride's Babe" in pink letters. Both jackets are adorned with small cute pins.

Now that we’ve had a chance to take the Cricut for a test run, I’m trying to figure out what other paper projects I can do. (I’m thinking this backdrop is officially on my list now.) And I might be in the minority, but I kind of want to use it to make a stencil for an old-school mall airbrush-style denim jacket like this (it’s fashion, don’t fight me).

This post was sponsored by MichaelsWeddings.com. MichaelsWeddings.com has all you need to make your DIY dreams come true without even needing to leave the house. (It’s basically like an entire Michael’s store, dedicated to just weddings, and online.) You can shop by events like “reception” or category like “floral”, and if you’re not crafty, MichaelsWeddings.com also has awesome readymade decor items and super helpful DIY tutorials.

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