DIY: Striped Moto (“Beetlejuice”) Pants

DIY Striped Moto Pants

GAH THIS POST TOOK FOREVER TO GET UP!!! I’m so sorry guys, I’ve been dealing with some crazy life stuff lately and FINALLY got around to photographing the finished product for this blog. This is probably one of my favorite DIY’s I’ve done yet, so I’m so excited to be sharing it with you! Awhile back I went shopping at stupidly overpriced TopShop in SoHo while my mother was visiting me here in NYC. I didn’t buy much because honestly I couldn’t get over how cheaply made a lot of the stuff was for how much it cost. Forever 21 quality for Banana Republic prices? Not my fave.

Anyway, while I was there I fell in love with a pair of striped “Moto” pants, which you can buy/see online here. I’ve always wanted a pair of striped “Beetlejuice” pants, and I liked the slightly worn look of these especially. Since black and white color combos are in this spring, they seemed like the perfect spring pants! I realized, however, that I already owned an old stained pair of white jeans, and for maybe $20 more I could make my own pair instead of shelling out a stupid $80 to TopShop. Hence, this tutorial was born. Read on for supplies and how to DIY your own awesome Spring pants.

Supplies for DIY Moto Pants

TOTAL TIME: ~ 3 hours




1 Pair White Jeans (you can bleach an old pair of pants, but this doesn’t always work like you want. I found these at the thrift shop ages ago for a white party. They cost maybe $5, and I was able to quick bleach any party-related stains to allow for this DIY.)

– Masking Tape (I used 1-inch wide; get whatever width stripe you want)

– Jacquard Tee-Juice Pens, 2 (You could just buy a tub of dye and a foam brush, but these were about $3.50 each, super easy to use, and two was plenty to finish the entire pant. You can find them at most Utrecht or craft supply stores. Be aware though – I’m a petite size 2, so if you are taller/bigger you may need to get 3 or 4. Figure out what works best for you – tubs or pens – just make sure to use DYE not paint so they aren’t crunchy pants, yuck!)

– Not shown: Thin cardboard or plastic, newspaper or cardboard to keep work surface clean, iron

Optional: Black Fabric marker


1. Clean and iron your pants. This is especially important if they were thrift pants since you should ALWAYS clean anything from a thrift store. They have to clean them legally, but I have gotten more t-shirts with crunchy armpits than I’d like to admit. If your pants were stained like mine, go ahead and add some bleach to the wash. The stripes will cover most stains, but you want these to look like they’re worth 80 bucks. Ironing your pants is technically optional, but they are much easier to paint if they are flat.

2. Cut your cardboard or plastic to the width of your leg. This is so you have something to put in-between the fabric sides so the ink from the front doesn’t leak on the back, and vice versa. I used some cheap plastic from Utrecht, but cardboard is just as good.

DIY Moto striped pants

3. Tape off your jeans into the size stripes you want. This is a bit trickier than it sounds, which is why using tape the width of your desired stripe helps. Evenly space out the tape and keep them as straight as possible. Go right over pockets and details, but stop at seams. This means you’ll have stripes from either side running into each other, but this also will make it look like you used striped fabric instead of painted them straight on. Since women’s legs aren’t perfectly straight anyway, this is the only way to get even stripes without them getting all messed up at the ankle.

IMG_1855 IMG_1856

You can see in this picture how the stripes run into each other at the seam where I stopped the tape.

4. Put your cardboard into one pant leg, and start painting the exposed fabric black. Make sure your cardboard or plastic stays in place because black dye soaks through very quickly. You also want to make sure your tape is securely pressed down to prevent any bleeding. This is part of the reason I like the pens because they can paint a thinner line and keep the dye a bit more controlled. Make them as dark as you like; I chose to keep them a little patchy to get the vintage look of the TopShop jeans. Switch your cardboard to the other leg and finish the whole front of the pants before doing the back, letting it dry a bit in-between (maybe 30-40 minutes). Once dry, flip and repeat on the back. It’s as easy as a col0ring book.

IMG_1858 IMG_1859

5. Wait at least an hour for your pants to dry completely, then pull off the tape. This part is stupid satisfying, seeing the stripes take shape. You might notice a couple mistakes here and there, mostly where the fabric may have folded a bit, which is where the fabric marker can come in handy. Simply use that to clean up edges and fill in super white areas. You could do this with dye as well, but the pens allow much more precision.


5. Wait until the pants are 100% dry, then iron the stripes according to dye instructions. This part is SUPER important. If you don’t wait for the stripes to be totally dry, the iron will spread the ink and create dirty patches on the white. If you don’t iron, the wash will grey your stripes. My Tee-Juice said to iron each inked section for about 3-5 minutes. To cover the whole leg evenly, this took some time. Set up the Netflix and just iron away an hour or so. You will thank me for the effort. Probably. 


6. Wash to get out any ink stains and set the ink. When I say get out ink stains, I mean any ink that may have spread from ironing. Because it didn’t set as well, a strong stain remover used only on the white parts will likely get a bit of it out. Washing it will also allow you to see if you used enough ink/ironed it long enough, so you can go back in with more if needed. After that, Wear your pants out in the lovely Springtime!!!

dir striped moto pants

These took a little while, but as a college student I have more time than money, so making $80 pants for $25 dollars is kind of the best. I’ve worn them several times and they look great! I think they came out just as good at the TopShop pants, you agree?

Keep making cool stuff and keep commenting; nothing brightens my day more than all your support! Enjoy the beautiful warm weather we FINALLY are having, and remember,

Keep Conquering!!!


6 thoughts on “DIY: Striped Moto (“Beetlejuice”) Pants

    1. Maybe . . . Depends in the material because it could bleed it not adhere to the fabric. Read the fabric specifications on your fabric paint and do a test patch somewhere it won’t show.

    1. Hey – yeah that would work great! You can use this technique on any stiff material – the taping is hit or miss on something softer like leggings but can work there too if you are patient!

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