Photo Credits: Judy Chun and Edited by: Yours Truly
If you’ve seen my previous post and are curious about how to achieve the DIY ripped jeans look, read on! Recreating a pair of distressed jeans is actually quite simple but just a bit time consuming. So patience is key. Since this is my first DIY post, please do leave suggestions on how I can improve and steps where more details are needed.
- A pair of jeans you want to cut up (something cheap) – mine was donated by my sister ^^ and it has a skinny fitting. But boot leg or boyfriend fitting also works!
- A piece of cardboard – a magazine also works
- Scissors and/or razors
- Fabric chalk or regular chalk
- Sand paper or sand block
- Lint brush or roller
- Washer and dryer (not displayed here) – optional
STEP 1: Mark the 2 horizontal cuts
First, take the chalk and make an upward slant mark on each leg of the jeans from the inner thighs going upwards. Although some of you may feel lazy but I encourage you to actually try the jeans on and mark it. This way, it would be more accurate since they look different worn or on the table. Also, make sure you mark it about an inch longer than where you want the actual cut. This is in case you make a mistake and gives more room for threading. You need to make 4 of these horizontal cut marks: 2 on the thighs and 2 on the shins (below the knees).
STEP 2: Highlight the cut marks
Take the jeans off, and highlight the cut marks with a ruler and chalk. This will make the lines more accurate and bold for cutting. Make sure to leave about an inch on each side of the legs of the horizontal line. This is so that we won’t cut to the edge of the jean lining. It also leaves room for threading after the cut.
Use the ruler and connect the 2 horizontal likes to mark the vertical cut. I forgot to do this step before the next two step so that’s why you see the top lines are already cut. You can ignore that for now. This step is to connect the two horizontal chalk lines to make 2 rectangles.
STEP 4: Insert cardboard
Cut the cardboard to the size of the denim legs and slip it into the jeans up to where the horizontal cut will be. This is to prevent cutting the back of your jeans.
STEP 5: Make the horizontal cuts with a razor
Using the razor, make the 2 horizontal high cuts.
STEP 6: Cut the rectangle
Use the scissors and cut out the 2 rectangle boxes.
STEP 7: Pull the denim threads
Take the tweezers and start pulling the threads around the cuts. This is the most time consuming part and requires the most patience. But trust me, it will be worth it all in the end. Pull on the white threads to loosen it and give it the messy look. You can also pull on the horizontal blue denim threads to give it a distressed look. I decided not to do too much of that, but this is all up to your discretion. The more you pull, the more distressed the jeans will look.
STEP 8: Sand the cut lines
Take the sand paper or sand block and sand the edges of the rectangle cut. This will loosen the threads even more give the jeans a torn and worn look.
STEP 9: Add distress
Since the big cut is completed but the jeans still look fairly polished, you can add more distress to different parts of the jeans. I used the razors to add some cuts to the edge of the pockets and sanded it. I also made light razor cuts in random parts of the jeans (these cuts are not as deep as the big cut above. The cut should thinly cut the top layer of the jeans so that you can pull the individual blue threads yet leave the white threads intact. Again, use the tweezers to pick at it and sand block to sand it down.
STEP 10: Clean up
Use the lint roller/brush to clean up all the loose threads on the jeans and around the area.
STEP 11: Wash and dry (optional)
Throw the jeans into the washer and dryer one or two times to give it a more distressed organic look. I did not do it to mine since I wanted a more clean cut look.
And TADA! Wasn’t it easy? Please leave any comments or feedbacks below! I’d love to hear from you.
You can find more pics of this look on my previous post.