March 9, 2015

DIY Star Wars Rebels Jacket

Star Wars Celebration is practically around the corner, and I have Star Wars Rebels on the brain. There are some Rebels wearables on the market and I own some of them, but I like to make my own stuff too. I've talked to Tricia and Sarah at Fangirls Going Rogue podcast about making fangirl flair for Celebration and though I have my Chopper shoes, I needed something else. And it hit me when I had to run an errand at the mall over the weekend: I spotted a green canvas jacket on display at Forever 21 and realized I needed to make a jacket with the Star Wars Rebels phoenix on the back.

Forever 21 ended up having a variety of jackets in stock: blue denim, black denim, khaki, and military green. After consulting Twitter, I went with green. It seems the most Rebel-y. Very technical term. I had everything else I needed in my craft stash (being a craft supply hoarder pays off!) and finished this jacket in less than an hour:

(The sun is hitting my head at a weird angle. I don't have multi-colored hair as far as I know).

And you can make your very own!

Phoenix symbol - I used this one posted by Aaron Ross
Scissors or X-acto knife
Masking tape
Foam paintbrush
Regular paintbrush
Acrylic or fabric paint in the color(s) of your choice

Measure the back of your jacket and decide how big you want the phoenix symbol to be and where you want to place it. Mark where you want to paint it on with a pencil.

Take your measurements, adjust the size of the phoenix symbol, print it on cardstock, and cut out the phoenix to leave a negative space.
If you can't print on cardstock or Bristol board or anything thicker than regular paper, print the phoenix on that regular paper, tape the paper to something sturdier (an old file folder would work!), trace it, and cut around the edges to make a stencil. Using an X-acto knife will let you be more precise.

Use masking tape to securely attach your stencil to the back of your jacket. Before you start painting, place a piece of cardboard or old newspapers or something under the jacket so it doesn't bleed through onto a surface you care about (chances are your fabric will be thick enough that this won't be an issue but just in case). You'll probably want to flatten your jacket more than I did. You could even get crazy and iron it.

Use your foam brush to stipple on paint; be careful not to swipe it under the edges of the stencil. I used acrylic paint and mixed together two shades: Americana's Purple Pizzazz and Folk Art's Violet Pansy. The work of Sabine Wren was my inspiration so using her color palette made sense. Plus, I really like purple.

Build up the paint layer by layer until it's opaque. You can brush the paint on towards the inside of the design to give it a smooth look rather than stippling it. While the purple paint is still a little wet, use a regular, smaller paintbrush to add some other colors. I used Folk Art's Pumpkin (a nice bright orange) to swirl in some highlights. Lighter pinks and purples would also look nice.

The amount of acrylic paint I used didn't stiffen the fabric much (again, it's a thick fabric) but if you're worried about that, add a bit of acrylic medium to your paint. That might help the paint last longer too.

I thought some messy-looking paint splatter would help give the jacket a freshly painted graffiti look. I used a couple other shades of purple (told you I was a hoarder) and mixed them with several drops of water. I loaded up the paintbrush and flicked the bristles over the jacket until I got the look I wanted. I did the same with a little of the orange paint. I smeared a few of the drops intentionally and a couple others unintentionally. If you think you've overdone it, you can wipe up errant spots with paper towels if you act quickly.

Then you're all done. Let the jacket dry overnight. After the paint is completely dry, you can use an iron on a low setting on the reverse side (on the inside of the jacket) to heat set the design.

When it comes time to wash it, I recommend handwashing in cold water and letting it air dry only.


  1. This is awesome. I'm gonna do it!!!

    1. Yay! I want to see pictures when you're done!

  2. I think the graffiti look works Amy and it looks great!

    1. Thanks, Maurice! I might splatter a little more orange paint on there just because. :)

  3. Awesome! The color looks great!! And I love the graffiti splatters :)

    You could also try using the freezer paper stencil technique to iron on instead of having to use masking tape to hold the stencil in place.

  4. Love the jacket! I may try it later with the Jedi, but the celebration I decided to try vintage hats with Star Wars trim. :)

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