Throwback Fashion: Puffy Paint Swiss Cross Denim Jacket

Throwback Crafting: Puffy Paint Swiss Cross Denim JacketSo, right out of the gate, I have to admit that this project is entirely inspired by Anna Rifle Bond. You guys know her work, right? She’s, just, I can’t even. Everything she does is gorgeous. And of course I follow her on Instagram. So, when I saw this photo of her re-made black blazer using PUFFY PAINT (no lie), harps started playing in my head, I saw stars, my fingers started itching, and well, you know how it goes. I got my hands on some puffy paint as fast as I could. It was like 1992 was back full force.

Sadly, Anna Rifle Bond I am not. At all. While I happily played around with some geometric patterns for an hour or so on a few scraps of fabric, my hands are not Zen master steady and a beautiful, intricate pattern was not happening. Enter plan B. The Swiss cross. The trend is EVERYWHERE. And I love it, every single time. So simple, so clean, so modern.

I wasn’t ready to sacrifice an article of my clothing yet, but I sure as heck was ready to offer up a denim jacket of my daughter’s that came from a thrift store. She’s got maaaaaybe another month before she outgrows it, so if I bungled the whole thing, it wasn’t a big loss. Lucky for both of us, it came out super cute and I feel slightly redeemed from my Anna Rifle Bond-wannabe failure.

Puffy paint, y’all. It’s back.


Step 1

 Open GalleryThrowback Crafting: Puffy Paint Swiss Cross Denim JacketGrab any old article of clothing that needs some new life. Hit up your local craft store for puffy paint, also known as dimensional paint. I found a ton of colors by Tulip brand at my local JoAnn Fabric.

Step 2

 Open GalleryThrowback Crafting: Puffy Paint Swiss Cross Denim JacketAs I mentioned, I practiced on some fabric scraps before trying anything on the denim jacket. It took a little fiddling to get the hang of the flow, but then I was ready to give the real deal a shot. I basically eyeballed the placement and size of my crosses, but I definitely knew how many rows I wanted, and how many crosses in each row. Plan ahead so you don’t run out of room or get to a sticking point.

Step 3

 Open GalleryThrowback Crafting: Puffy Paint Swiss Cross Denim JacketOnce I finished both sides, I allowed the paint to dry for four hours.

Step 4

 Open GalleryThrowback Crafting: Puffy Paint Swiss Cross Denim JacketAfter four hours, grab your iron and set it to the highest heat setting, steam on full blast. (It’s the steam that activates the “puff” in Puffy Paint). Give each painted area a good shot of steam and watch the magic happen. Seriously, I was more than a little mesmerized. (I’m easily amused.) Done! Simple print, added texture and a $2 investment. Total DIY win.


  • Clean, washed article of clothing
  • Puffy Paint


  • Iron with steam setting
About Ellen Foord 


A tight budget has never stopped Ellen Foord from creating a beautiful, modern, creative home and treating every day as one of life's smaller celebrations. A freelance writer and ...

More About Ellen Foord

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