I don’t know about you, but I LOVE dressing up for specific holidays, intentionally twinning with friends and going all out for theme parties (why would you even throw a non-theme party?!). But we all know that while these out-of-the-ordinary days deserve an extraordinary outfit, they shouldn’t have an extraordinary effect on your budget. Enter DIY hacks for cheap fashion basics! Pick up a plain pair of denim shorts and white shoes from your fast-fashion retailer of choice and put your painting skills into action. No painting skills? Check out our Acrylic Painting Online Class and learn the basics from a pro!



— plain denim shorts

— plain white sneakers

— fabric paint in assorted colors

— large paintbrush

— small detail paintbrush


1. Squeeze out some fabric paint onto a paper plate.

2. Using a small detail brush, paint 1/4-inch lines onto your white sneakers in a random sprinkle pattern.

3. Repeat for more colors and for the second shoe, and let dry for an hour or so.

4. Using your larger brush, paint three jagged red lines across the bottom of your plain shorts.

5. Fill in any bare spots and clean up the edges with more paint.

6. While your red stripes dry, paint small white dots or “stars” onto the top edge of your shorts using the detail brush.

7. Fill in the gaps in between your red stripes with parallel white stripes and let dry for an hour or two.


Grab a cheap pair of shorts and sneaks and a few bottles of paint, and you’re ready to go!



These painted shoes are a total piece of cake. If you’re nervous about painting in general, these are the perfect place to start!


Squeeze out some red and blue paint onto a paper plate. Using your smaller detail brush, paint teeny 1/4-inch lines onto your shoes. Notice that all the lines are angled in different directions, making for a fun, random sprinkle pattern.


Once you’ve added your red sprinkles, switch to blue and repeat the same technique!


Repeat on the other shoe and let them dry completely for an hour or so. Who else is craving a big bowl of ice cream with sprinks on top right now?



Next up are the shorts! Using your larger paintbrush, carefully swipe a jagged red line across the bottom edge of your shorts.


No worries if your first pass doesn’t look exactly how you want it. Take the time now to smooth out your edges and fill in any bare spots. We left the right end of the line a bit messy, though, to give it a nice fadeout effect.


Repeat this process for a couple more stripes, following the same curves and bends as the first stripe and leaving room in between them for a white stripe later.


While you’re waiting for your red stripes to dry, paint on some small white polka dots (for the stars) using your small detail brush.


When the red paint is totally dry, go back in with the large brush and add some white paint, filling in the gaps in between your red stripes. Notice that we also let the white paint fade out at the end of each line.


Let everything dry for an hour or so and you’re ready for some Memorial Day fun!


Our DIY Editor, Kelly, is rockin’ this shorts-and-shoes combo to backyard BBQs and maybe a festival or two.


There are so many ways you can hint to a flag without going overboard. Try our version or test out some of your own on a sketchpad, and then instantly turn it into fashion with a little bit of paint.


For these sprinkle shoes we wanted to give a nod to red, white and blue but ALSO to ice cream. Just because everyone loves ice cream. Where’s my sundae?


Bust these out again for Fourth of July — it’s only a couple months away!

How would you DIY your own flag-inspired fashion? Post your pics on Instagram using the hashtag #iamcreative and tag us @BritandCo.

DIY Production and Styling: Lee Schellenberger

Photography: Chris Andre
Model: Kelly Bryden