DIY Embellished Denim Shirt

In case you weren’t able to join us last week at Madewell‘s anniversary event, we’re giving you the breakdown on just one of the many ways we embellished our favorite chambray shirts that evening. So grab a handful of sparkle and let’s get gilding!

You’ll need:

For shank style buttons, start by cutting off the backs with a pair of flush cutters. Vintage buttons are most commonly made of lightweight metal and plastic so cutting off the shanks is very easy. For embellished collars, make sure there are two sets of embellishments so that the design is symmetrical.

Squeeze a dollop of Jewel-It washable glue onto a wooden spoon or small plastic container. Jewel-It is the best bonding agent when it comes to glueing hard-to-hold jewels and embellishments onto fabrics. Use a toothpick to dab glue onto the back of a button, rhinestone, or pearl.

Position the embellishment on the tip of the collar and work outwards.

Note that the glue does not set right away and takes quite a while to dry so be careful not to nudge the pieces around too much.

Repeat the same design on the other collar tip and that’s it, you’re done! Allow to dry at least 24 hours before handling or wearing and even though clothing can be washed after using Jewel-It, I would recommend dry cleaning the shirt only.

Another option is to embellish the pocket of a denim shirt using the same technique. Check out an example here. Happy embellishing!

(Madewell Chambray Shirt, Bauble Bar Mini Nameplate Necklace, JCrew Crystal NecklaceBauble Bar Monogram Necklace; all images by HonestlyWTF)

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125 Comments

  1. I love this! The buttons + stones you used are fantastic. And Jewel-It is my favorite glue of all time. Ha.

    7.31.12
    Reply
  2. I love this diy!! it’s very original!!!

    http://thestelstyle.com/

    7.31.12
    Reply
  3. The result is amazing, you rock! 🙂

    xoxo
    Fashion Agony blog

    7.31.12
    Reply
  4. Fey wrote:

    Beautiful! This jean shirt is now so elegant! I love all your DIY projects and your photos are lovely. I decided to nominate you to the “One lovely blog award”. I think that you have been nominated many time anyway, it is a please to do it! http://theyellowbalconey.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/one-lovely-blog-award/

    7.31.12
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  5. V. wrote:
    7.31.12
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  6. Slađi wrote:

    Amazing DIY! I will definitely try this out! 🙂

    7.31.12
    Reply
  7. EmerJa wrote:

    love it!!!
    I’ll try it because the reuslt is amazing!
    I’m preparing new diy for my blog too:) Stay tuned!

    http://www.emerjadesign.com

    7.31.12
    Reply
  8. Oh, what a lovely idea! I absolutely have to try that.

    http://rockingzebra.blogspot.com

    7.31.12
    Reply
  9. Olga wrote:

    OMG, This is so awesome!! Love it!! Definitely gonna try it!!
    Also I love the necklaces!! Where are they from?

    7.31.12
    Reply
  10. A very cool DIY! Well done girls!

    7.31.12
    Reply
  11. EUGENIA wrote:

    LOOKS LOVELY I AM PLANNING ON DOING ONE TOO SINCE I HAVE SO MUCH JEWELRY I WOULD LOVE TO TAKE APART:)

    http://diamondsandspikes.com/
    http://www.facebook.com/diamondsandspikes

    7.31.12
    Reply
  12. brilliant!

    Bises,
    monkeyshines
    http://monkeyshines-monkeyshines.blogspot.com/

    7.31.12
    Reply
  13. I love what you did here- it is not the usual (and slightly tacky) collar embellishment you see in blogs. It has an edge to it.

    Paola

    http://www.ThePvdHJournal.com

    7.31.12
    Reply
  14. Michele wrote:

    Fabulous!!!! Can’t wait to do this project!

    7.31.12
    Reply
  15. Carol wrote:

    It’s so beautiful! I loved it !
    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and summer accessories:

    http://www.thegavlaks.com

    7.31.12
    Reply
  16. Armu wrote:

    <3

    7.31.12
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  17. Natasha wrote:
    7.31.12
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  18. Alison wrote:

    I love the embellished collar! I have the perfect top to try this out on as well. I just need to make a stop at Michael’s for some sparkles 🙂

    xoxo Alison
    http://www.stylingmylife.com

    7.31.12
    Reply
  19. Maria wrote:

    Love this! So much more creative than the regular studs on jean shirts (which I also love).

    7.31.12
    Reply
  20. Love, love, love this look. I really like how it looks in the last photo with the layered necklaces – soooo fabu. You have the best DIY projects. =)
    Satisfy Your Cravings For Celebrity Style and All Things Stylish and Sweet

    7.31.12
    Reply
  21. Zadin wrote:

    Thank you for all these DIY posts. Because of them I started to do my multi bracelet hand.

    I will come back to show it to you and maybe you will be proud with me.

    http://www.zadinblog.com

    7.31.12
    Reply
  22. Jane wrote:

    I need to make this today! Thanks for sharing!

    7.31.12
    Reply
  23. Elissa wrote:

    Love this! thanks for sharing!!
    http://www.thegirlon23rd.blogspot.com

    7.31.12
    Reply
  24. britt wrote:

    When I go to the UK my friend and I were going to have craft day with denim with our thrift finds. So doing this! reblogged

    7.31.12
    Reply
  25. Meelena L wrote:

    great job!! love it!

    xx,
    Meelena

    7.31.12
    Reply
  26. Caroline wrote:

    Love this! you have an amazing blog, congratulation!

    Las gangas de Caroline

    7.31.12
    Reply
  27. Michelle S wrote:

    I love my chambray shirt too much to bedazzle it. but i might pair it with it that awesome rhinestone necklace.

    http://www.prettydinos.com

    7.31.12
    Reply
  28. Domonique wrote:

    I love everything about this DIY! Definitely need to try this out!

    http://lilylovelock.blogspot.co.uk/

    x

    7.31.12
    Reply
  29. Carmen wrote:

    It’s all so cute! Love this idea.

    -Carmen
    http://wearmint.blogspot.com/

    7.31.12
    Reply
  30. Nomadic D wrote:

    Love it. And I love the way it’s styled with all that bling on her neck too. Excellent as usual guys!

    http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

    7.31.12
    Reply
  31. jamie wrote:

    Just found your Blog through Tumblr and I am Hooked! Love it.. Can’t wait to follow along some more.
    Jamie
    simplymeart.com

    7.31.12
    Reply
  32. Jessica wrote:

    Gosh I need to do this! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    The Lovelorn

    7.31.12
    Reply
  33. I love this touch on the denim shirt! Thanks for sharing! x

    Kate {Modette}
    http://modetteblog.com

    7.31.12
    Reply
  34. Sara wrote:

    I looove this. Really want to try it out soon.

    http://www.trash-de-luxe.blogspot.com

    7.31.12
    Reply
  35. Virginie wrote:

    WTF i want to do this for ages ! It looks very cool <3

    Virginie/ Style Reload
    http://www.virginiepeny.com

    7.31.12
    Reply
  36. Votre Amie wrote:

    Crazy mad cute!!! Absolutely want to give this a go on one of my old and tired collared shirts!
    x
    http://www.iloveublank.blogspot.com

    7.31.12
    Reply
  37. Hélène wrote:

    I’m so in love with your this idea ! Perfect look ! I really enjoyed reading through your blog, I am a new follower ! Would love for you to stop by my blog and follow back if you like it
    Hélène
    http://www.thisisln.com

    7.31.12
    Reply
  38. tanya wrote:

    Love the gold on the chambray! Looks amazing

    7.31.12
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  39. Jeline wrote:

    Another incredible DIY!! Love this <3 Bookmarking it!

    7.31.12
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  40. In love with your last DIY!! You are incredible!!

    My last BARGAIN in http://cravingforbarneys.com

    7.31.12
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  41. Littlelulu wrote:

    I love embellishing shirts’ colars!!!Great DIY!!

    http://lovelittlelulu.blogspot.gr/

    7.31.12
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  42. OMG I love ths DIY! I linked back to this post from my blog 🙂 Have a nice day!

    http://actofstyle.com/2012/07/31/confession-isabel-marant-etoile/

    7.31.12
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  43. style-xyz wrote:

    fantastic! 🙂

    8.1.12
    Reply
  44. Gio wrote:

    That looks amazing! Will you able to wash it normally? Will you have to do it by hand?

    Thx!
    Giorgia
    http://www.gvn-styleblog.blogspot.com

    8.1.12
    Reply
  45. Mira wrote:

    Looks like a simple way to drastically improve your denim shirt. Love it 😀

    glamDevils

    8.1.12
    Reply
  46. vanessa wrote:

    This is so cool! I will do this pretty soon!

    Vanessa

    http://thepinkmateproject.blogspot.com/

    8.1.12
    Reply
  47. Love those buttons, especially on the collar:)
    Think I will try it also! <3
    XOXO, K
    http://www.fussylife.com

    8.1.12
    Reply
  48. How cool is this DIY!! It definitely shows us that we can do anything we want with our shirts!

    8.1.12
    Reply
  49. Kate wrote:

    Love it…you’re so freakin’ clever with these DIY’s.

    Kate

    http://www.thrillofthechaise.com

    8.1.12
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  50. Kelly wrote:
    8.1.12
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  51. Marina wrote:

    Thanks for ideas! it is great! I will try with white shirt 😉

    8.1.12
    Reply
  52. Entice wrote:

    This is great! I love how it turned out. I used to be a major do-it-yourselfer and have strayed. Glad I found your blog! Great stuff!

    http://beefelle.com

    8.1.12
    Reply
  53. I LOVE IT!!! :-)) THE RESULT IS AMAZING!! I LOVE PRECIOUS COLLARS BUT MOST OF ALL I LOVE CUSTOMIZE ITEMS :-))

    http://loveisthebestfashionistherest.blogspot.it/

    8.1.12
    Reply
  54. michelle wrote:

    Looks awesome! please check out my blog!

    8.1.12
    Reply
  55. Jewel-It is seriously miracle goo! So many glues claim to be washable, but within a few wears your embellishments start falling off! This stuff seriously works and you can wash to your hearts desire.

    I love that this slightly tacky but oh so cute look is becoming trendy. It is like all of the good of 80s fashion without all the horrific. A little bling goes a long way!

    8.1.12
    Reply
  56. Jasmine wrote:

    wow these look amazing! i think i might try these! :)) xx

    Jasmine
    turquoiseinlove.blogspot.com

    8.1.12
    Reply
  57. Güler wrote:

    such a great diy!

    my DIYs —————> http://gkdone.blogspot.com/2012/08/my-favorite-necklace.html

    8.2.12
    Reply
  58. Amazing!!!!!!! I will do this today!!! 🙂
    http://bonnieclydemarni.blogspot.gr/

    8.2.12
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  59. Sin12012 wrote:

    So cool ! 😀

    xo ,
    Ana Catalarrana
    http://Sinbowtie.blogspot.com

    8.2.12
    Reply
  60. olithée wrote:

    Defintely gonna try am somehow tired of my usual denim shirts (which i have plenty of)
    thanks !

    8.3.12
    Reply
  61. clair wrote:

    hello – can u tell me where you purchased the personalized name necklace in the first and last pic?

    8.5.12
    Reply
  62. cloum wrote:

    I absolutely love it <3

    Thanx for the tuto 🙂

    8.7.12
    Reply
  63. Arummmanis wrote:

    Hi,

    Will it work if I use glue gun instead?

    8.10.12
    Reply
  64. Awesome post, I love the necklace!
    http://jewelryrage.com

    8.15.12
    Reply
  65. Namrata wrote:

    Inspired from this DIY, I tried to do the same using the materials I had at my disposal. Have a look at it on my blog
    http://seasoncheck.blogspot.in/2012/08/diy-mondays.html

    N
    http://seasoncheck.blogspot.in

    8.23.12
    Reply
  66. Natasha wrote:

    I looooooovvveeee this DIY. I was trying to think of a way to jazz up my school uniform. I probably can’t get away with too many embellishing but one or two is still a great way to add style. I’m worried that when I wash my shirts, the embellishments might fall off since dry-cleaning would be pricey.

    9.3.12
    Reply
  67. ihaveadeer wrote:

    nice!
    i’m a crafter and a DIYer too!
    Check out my blog (;

    SHOP UPDATE| GALAXY TOPS & TEES, EMBELLISHED SHOES & MORE on: I Have A Deer (CLICK HERE)

    9.6.12
    Reply
  68. ME encantaaaa!

    9.20.12
    Reply
  69. Kaari Mulk wrote:

    These DIY projects you have made are out-standing, absolutely love them.

    Kaari

    9.21.12
    Reply
  70. lena wrote:

    The idea is good. Imade it too, its brilliant

    9.25.12
    Reply
  71. Jazmine wrote:

    This makes me want to go out and buy a denim shirt just so I could embellish it! I will definitely try this look out this season.

    OnaRoadtoNeon.blog.com

    10.7.12
    Reply
  72. DGT wrote:

    This is the ugliest piece of crap shirt I have ever seen – seriously people – where are you from? The freaky deep south. Are you such slaves to “trends” that you completely lose all self-respect? Grow a pair….of bloody creative balls of your own.

    10.9.12
    Reply
  73. nicole wrote:

    love your idea!!! <33 amazing!!!

    xoxo, nicole

    FashionLuv by Nicole

    10.19.12
    Reply
  74. Natalia wrote:

    mmmm It is a cool idea. What I don’t understand is that you can sew most of the materials to the shirt instead of gluing them. You cut the back of the buttons to glue them!? What a lazy DIY!! I wonder how long your DIYs last? Wash them two times and they are destroyed! Needle and thread is not too hard.

    12.7.12
    Reply
  75. Alexandra Melo wrote:

    Olá adorei a ideia eu também sou muito de fazer as minhas coisas adoro DYD,
    BEIJINHOS
    Alexandra mELO

    3.28.13
    Reply