Ripped jeans are totally in, but you don’t need to buy actual ripped jeans when you can make it yourself! Here’s a DIY step-by-step on how to distress your favorite jeans!
What you need:
For a simple worn look: Steel wool, Sandpaper, Pumice stone; for large holes, Scissors, and an x-acto knife or a simple box cutter is needed.
MUST HAVE: A block of wood that would fit in your pants so that you won’t alter the other side.
1. Choose the right pair of jeans
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Make sure that your jeans fit you well and are sturdy enough to handle distressing. Most people go for jeans that have been worn out and are starting to fade because they’re easier to handle. Cutting them wouldn’t leave you feeling like you’ve wasted a new pair of jeans, and they give off that whole “grungy” look that ripped jeans are supposed to have.
Don’t feel obligated, though, to rip your own jeans (regardless if they’re new or not) because you can always buy cheap jeans at second-hand stores.
Moreover, light to medium-washed jeans are preferable than dark washed jeans. Why is that? Light washed looks more natural when ripped because of its color, while dark washed looks too freshly dyed to be realistic.
2. Knowing what kind of ripping you prefer, as this may be a bit much.
Distressing your jeans isn’t done by simply slashing random parts of it (although that is the basic principle behind it). You have to know what kind of style you would want your jeans to have. For example, do you prefer large holes or small ones? Do you want plenty of them or not? Where do you want your rip to be, upper or lower portion of your pants? Do you want some gentle fraying or brutal slashing? There’s a lot to consider in the art of distressing.
3. Decide where to rip to keep a fashionable style per the season
After knowing what style you want, you have to decide where to apply it. While most go for cutting the knees, you do have other options. You can lay out your jeans on a table and envision the style you want. You should use a pencil to mark the places you want your rips to be. You can even use a ruler and keep in mind the size of your rip would be.
4. Distress your jeans
Now it’s time for the actual distressing! To start off, place your small wooden block inside one of your pant leg (the one you’re working on). Then you can alternately use the abrasive tools and rub at the spot in your jeans until they begin to thin and fray. Depending on the thickness of your jeans, it might take a long time.
5. Loosen the fiber so that you have leg room to breath
Photo by Pablo E. Ortiz
If you’re not after gaping holes, simply use the knife to loosen the fiber around your jeans. The knife will tug at the material, which will reveal a little bit of skin. You can even pull at some of the white threads to encourage this look.
6. Add holes and reinforce it
Take out your scissors and cut away some small sections in your jeans. Then using your hands, rip the jeans further to your desired size. Avoid cutting too much because it will give it a clean and unnatural look. Instead, rip it or tug at the threads to create a natural ripped look. Afterwards, sew around the parameters of the holes in order to reinforce them so that they won’t get any bigger after washing or frequent usage.
And you’re done!