Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How To: Distressed Jeans DIY

I love the worn-in look and it's pretty popular right now. Destroying your own jeans is a lot cheaper than buying them in the store and it only takes a short amount of time. Here's a quick DIY on how to put holes in your jeans.

For this project, you will need:
-Pair of jeans
-Chalk or fabric marker
-An old book or hard surface
-Razor or precision knife
-Tweezers or pliers

Jeans that are made of 100% cotton work best because they fray and hold shape better, but you can still use jeans that are made of a cotton blend. If they have spandex in them, it takes a little extra work to make them look frayed and they tend to bunch together if the jeans themselves aren't form-ftting. So if you are using jeans that are a elastane or spandex blend, they should be skinny jeans. If you are using jeans that flare at the bottom, try to only make holes in the upper part where they fit tightly. The jeans I used in this tutorial are actually 2% elastane.

Denim is made of two different threads woven together. The vertical threads are blue and horizontal ones white. The goal is to remove the blue threads while keeping the white threads somewhat in tact.

Step 1: Use the chalk to lightly draw horizontal lines on the jeans where you want to make your cuts. For an asymmetrical shape, make your lines different lengths and space them out differently. The chalk should come off in the wash, but press lightly just in case.

Step 2: Slide the book into pants leg. This will give you a hard surface to work on and prevent
you from cutting through to the back side of the jeans.

Step 3: Use the razor to make cuts along the chalk lines.

Step 4: Use tweezers to loosen some of the white threads on top and bottom of each cut. I used needle nose tweezers for this step because they make it easier to dig out the threads. Loosening the white threads prepares you for the next step and also creates a frayed edge. The number of threads you loosen depends on how long you want your frayed edge to be. I made mine about half a centimeter long.

Step 5: Use the tweezers to pull out all of the blue threads in between the two cuts. I used tweezers for this tutorial, but pliers may be needed for stiffer fabrics.

When you're finished the first section, it will look something like this.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the other sections.

Different lengths and spacing between the lines make different shaped holes.

For a thin line, make two very short cuts.

After you're finished, throw your jeans in the wash to rough them up even more.


If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!

Follow my Fashion Tips board on Pinterest for more ideas and DIY's.


  1. Nice tips. Thanks for sharing. I hope my blog will be as good as your's one day.

    1. Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed this.

  2. The best tutorial i've found for distressed jeans!! thanks a lot!

    1. Thanks so much! I'm happy I could help :)
      If you've tried it, I'd love to see some pictures.
      And let me know if you have any questions!

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  4. Good idea. I will try it soon ! X


  5. Do you have a video on that