The Denim Tapestry of Your Desert Dreams – DIY

If tossing pretty fabrics and intricate yarns isn’t in your rule book, then this Earth Day could be the best yet.

Something about loving our planet and preserving our home had us dreaming.

A dream that began with upcycling used denim, quickly started to resemble chic home decor…

But then again, we’re not mad.

Because this “Rehash Your Trash” might just be approved by Mother Nature herself.

A girl rips out the seam of a pair of jeans.

Materials You’ll Need:

  • A 15″ x 20″ denim scrap for your canvas (We used an old pant leg.)
  • Acrylic paint
  • A large stick
  • Yarn and fabric scraps
  • Desert Dreams Printable

Tools You’ll Need:

  • A thin paint brush
  • Cup of water you can get dirty
  • Seam ripper
  • White chalk
  • Hot glue gun
  • Steamer
  • Ruler (Optional)

Girl removing the extra thread left in the ripped seams.

1. Take your seam ripper and get rid of any unwanted seams that prevent your denim canvas from laying flat. We got rid of the large welt seam keeping our jean’s leg in tact.

(If you’re using a denim jacket or other denim scraps, make sure it measures the suggested above.)

Girl cutting the denim tapestry.

2. Lay your denim flat on the table and get rid of the extra thread left in the ripped seams so it’s less messy.

Girl cutting the denim tapestry.

3. Starting from the center of your denim canvas, use your scissors to cut an upward and diagonal deviation in the fabric on one side. This will create the V shape at the bottom of the tapestry. (See above)

Tip: Use a ruler if you want to be exact, but perfection doesn’t have to be your friend here.

A hand steaming the denim tapestry.

4. Fold your denim canvas over in the middle so you can make a second diagonal cut into the fabric until both sides are even.

A girl creating texture and abrasion to the bottom of the tapestry.

5. Once you have the perfect V shape at the bottom of your tapestry, steam your fabric so that it lays as flat as possible.

Girl sketching a design to be transferred onto the denim tapestry.

6. Using a seam ripper and scissors, create texture and abrasion to the bottom of your tapestry. This gives it that worn, well-loved look.

A desert drawing with a moon, sun, and cactus.

5. You can either sketch your own design, or you can download our free desert dreams printable to be transferred onto your denim canvas.

Girl applies chalk to teh back of the design.

6. Once you have your design ready for transfer, apply chalk to the back side of each design element.

Tracing the design on a denim tapestry.

Quinn & Copper, Mantraband Bracelets

Tips: Do not cover the entire back side of the design in chalk. Only apply chalk to where there are design elements such as the cactus, moon, and stars.

Painting the denim tapestry.

7. In the middle of your tapestry, flip the backside that is chalked onto your denim canvas. Trace over your design with a sharpie or thick marker to transfer the chalk design into the denim.

We suggest going over the designs multiple times to ensure transfer.

Painting an outline of the design onto the dneim tapestry.

8. Using your acrylic paint and thin paint brush, you can begin painting. Make sure you mark the corners of the design so you have perimeters to paint inside of.

Feel free to use a lot of paint on your thin brush. Again, perfection isn’t key.

Desert painting on the denim tapestry.

9. Using the straight edge of your 8″ x 11″ sheet of paper, paint an outline of your image.

Hot glue gunning the denim tapestry onto a stick.

10. Once your painting is done, warm up your hot glue gun.

Hot glue gunning the denim tapestry onto a stick.

11. Starting from the middle of the denim tapestry, begin gluing the top of your denim tapestry to the back of your large stick working from the center out to the edges.

Tip: Align your tapestry with the stick before hand so that your tapestry is hanging straight and isn’t warped by the shape of your branch.

Hot glue gunning the denim tapestry onto a stick.

12. Knot your used fabric or rope around the branch for hanging purposes.

Tying string onto a branch.

13. To make the bottom tassel, begin wrapping a large amount of yarn between your thumb and pointer finger and around your elbow. Continue doing this until you have the desired amount. Cut the string down by your elbow.

Wrapping yarn aroudn an elbow and hand.

14. Make a horizontal 1″ slit at the bottom of your tapestry. Loop the fabric through the open slit and fold the yarn in half so that both of the loops are at the bottom.

Take scissors and cut the loops open so that you have individual, loose strands.

Tying tassels to the bottom of the denim tapestry.

15. Tie the tassels off at the top, wrapping the string around the base of the tapestry and tucking the loose strings in the back. Trim the tassels for a shaggy look.


A desert denim tapestry of your dreams.

The best part? Finding the perfect spot to hang it. 

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