Are You Making a Dalmatian Costume?

That’s what Anthony’s first words were to me one night last week right after walking in the door, home from work.  You see, I had this great plan awhile ago and only needed some white skinnies to hatch it.  After searching on the cheap, high and low, I finally found these babies at my local fave discount store, Dirt Cheap, for $4.  They’re Liz Lange for Target maternity jeans but as you can see, they’re a little baggy:


But, after a little nipping and tucking, they’re perfect mediums for this DIY plan I’d been itching to try after stumbling upon and pinning this picture on Pinterest:
[via Pinterest via ???]

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Here’s how it all dotted out >>>polkadots 004
[Not pictured:  a measuring tape and pencil for marking out your dots in case you want to.]

All of these things I had on hand – black acrylic paint, fabric medium from this polka-dotting venture, and a random measuring cup and lone plate, both used only for painting purposes.

The foam pouncers I purchase at Michael’s specifically for this project.  Using a 40% coupon (thank you Michael’s app), they added up to $3.  I used the pouncer on the top right for this project but am so excited about all the other sizes and their future potential (baby clothes, scarves, shoes, curtains, walls…the list goes on and on)!photo (3)

So, after gathering all the goods, I started out by making tiny X’s about every four inches across the front and back of my newly altered pants (check out my tutorial for turning wide leg/boot leg pants into skinnies here). polkadots 001
I wasn’t too picky about perfection here.  I just tried to get evenly spaced X’s as well as I could, knowing nobody but a crazy person would notice minor defects in my dotted pattern.  Honestly though, after dotting I realized I probably could’ve gotten away without the measuring and just eye-balled it.  Next time…

After the entire pattern was X-ed out, I stuffed the pants with some plastic bags to make sure paint didn’t seep through and onto the opposite side.  Wax paper would have worked but would’ve had to have been cut/folded to fit, a step I didn’t feel like doing…luh-azeee me.
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Next, I mixed my paint with the fabric medium (2 parts paint to 1 part f.m.), spread the mixture out on my plate, and dotted away.
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I dotted the back of the pants first, let it dry for eight hours, and then dotted the front.  The next day I dotted the left side, waited another eight hours for drying, and then dotted the right side.

To set the paint, I went over the pants with an iron (iron to pants without anything in between) the day after I dotted the sides and then threw them into the dryer on max heat for extra setting.  And that’s that!  Half a dalmatian costume or snazzy, new pants – whatever floats your boat!

So yesterday, while the girls were clocking in their afternoon siesta, I played dress up to see how many outfits I could put together with my new polka-dots.  Turns out they’re pretty versatile!  Check it:   polka1 polka2 polka3
I noticed while I was editing pictures last night that I forgot all about accessories!  I’m not a huge accessory-wearer, mainly because I forget about them when I’m in the throes of throwing on an outfit before the twins tear apart my closet, but I am trying harder to add those little details.  :)

I added sources and prices just to prove my point (made in our About page) that you can have a cute wardrobe for not a lot of cash.  I shop a lot of clearance, thrift stores, and discount stores and while I don’t feel I’d fit right in to Vogue everyday, I definitely have found that I can achieve an Anthropologie/J. Crew look with just a bit of cash.

Anyway, the pants are fun, no?  I love that they’re maternity but I’ll probably have to make some non-maternity ones after baby boy makes his debut to ward off any withdrawal…

You know I will.  :)


  1. O my gosh! I love them!!!! I think I may try it with a colored skinny and gold paint! :)

    1. Thanks Jacee! And oooh, gold paint! That would be amazing!!!! Make sure you blog about them so I can see! :)

  2. Love them. I am so impressed. And you look stunning in all of the outfits!

  3. These are amazing!! Every single outfit is my favorite, and I love all the stuff from Gabes! I reeeeealy want to try this now.

  4. Love this idea and all the ways you styled it! That one with the red hat is perfect!

  5. Sheena.... you are so talented and patient! Love what you did to your pants and love more that you're so frugal! Miss ya bunchs!!!

  6. Two things... One - favorite DIY pant project EVER! Two - you are officially the cutest/most stylish preggo mama! I can't even pick a favorite outfit - they're all amazing and the prices are too!! I want to go play dress up now :)

  7. What fun! My favorites are the outfits with the red hat and then the orange tunic. You look amazing!

  8. The pants look fantastic, Sheena! I love all the outfits- they're so fun. :)