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How To Make A Rock and Roll Denim Jacket or Vest

Updated on April 13, 2013

My young teenager is a huge Beatles fan and this past Christmas I was looking for something Beatles related that she didn’t already have. I looked on Etsy for something different and handmade and came across some handcrafted Beatles buttons. They reminded me of going to rock concerts as a teen and of the denim jacket I wore, which was covered with rock buttons and patches. I loved that jacket and knew then what I was going to make her. A one of a kind vest.


Before you start gathering supplies it is a good idea to have a general idea of theme/ band you want to focus on. It could be a tribute to your favorite band or you could choose to go with a different theme such as sports,admired celebrity or movie. ( I'm thinking of a wizard of oz jacket for myself)

The materials list is not set in stone either. I used computer transfer paper the pictures on the vest but you may want to hand paint or applique a picture. Basically you just need a jacket and the creativity is up to you.

  • Denim Jacket or Vest - I found the best source is second hand clothing stores. They are cheaper than new and I prefer the worn denim look. If you find one that has holes or imperfections, they can always be covered with patches or embellishments.
  • Computer Iron On Transfer Paper - I originally tried the cheap stuff from the dollar store and found it didn't always stick strongly to the denim. I ended up using the Avery T-Shirt Transfer paper from Wal-mart. For the pictures, I scanned photos from several of her Beatles books. You can find wonderful pictures online but if you use them make sure your jacket is for personal use. Most band pictures have copyrights. You can also try using wonder under fusible webbing to make your own iron on pictures.
  • Buttons Patches and Embellishments - The buttons I used were the ones I found on Etsy. The dollar stores sometimes carries buttons and patches. The jeweled peace sign I used is an iron on from the dollar store. Fabric stores are a good source of patches. Michael's craft store has a huge line of embellishments and their sewing buttons come in a big variety of themes.

Back of Vest
Back of Vest | Source
Front of vest.  For the stitching around the photos and the collar I used my serger with rainbow thread
Front of vest. For the stitching around the photos and the collar I used my serger with rainbow thread | Source


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    • coolenconnections profile image

      Suzanne Coolen 5 years ago from Toronto

      Thank you Kebennett1! I had so much fun making this vest.

    • Kebennett1 profile image

      Kebennett1 5 years ago from San Bernardino County, California

      What an awesome vest! This is a great hub. You explained everything very well. The idea is fantastic! Voted up and awesome and useful!