Distressing Jeans: The DIY Way on the Cheap (Watch Video)

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If you’ve ever owned a pair of distressed jeans then I’m sure you have been asked the question, “Did you pay for those to be like that?” Distressed jeans are super in style (personaly I don’t think they ever went out or ever will). Even though these stylish jeans have holes they can be quite expensive. Think about all the jeans you have in your closet. Surely one of those you can distress on your own and for much cheaper then going out and buying a new pair. If you don’t, head on over to your local thrift shop and pick up a pair for a few bucks!

Distressing is super easy and only requires a few basic materials. Check out these easy steps to adding texture and interest to your outfit!

Materials: jeans, a pen, scissors, tweezers, washer and dryer

1. The Jeans

I suggest doing a practice run on a pair you won’t mind messing up before doing it on any expensive pairs you may own. Put the jeans you plan to distress on.

2. The Pen

Mark where you would like to distress by placing two dots at each end of where you would like to make your cut. Do the same thing exactly an inch or two lower than your first two dots. Distress happens naturally above and below the knee so those are good places to start. Depending on how big you would like the distressing to be determines how wide to make your two slits.

Other good places to distress are the front and back pockets, thigh, and bottom cuffs. If you’re not quite sure where to distress go onto a jeans companies site to check out placement.

3. The Scissors

Make a small cut in between your first two dots. Cut to each dot. Do the same on the second slit. Make sure to not cut the fabric out. Be sure to be extra careful during this step to not cut your fingers.

4. The Tweezers

Gently rub on the jean fabric piece in between your slits with two fingers by pulling blue fibers out. Use your tweezers to pull the blue fibers out. This can take up to 15- 20 minutes depending upon how big your distress will be. Eventually you will see the white horizontal threads. These need to stay intact. Do not pull these or break them.

Once the blue fibers are all out and you are left with your white thread, cut and remove the pieces around the part you distressed.

5. The Washer and Dryer

Before wearing your newly distressed jeans throw them in the washer and dryer. Now you are ready to rock your newly distressed jeans!

Erin @ Wardrobe Hackers

Erin @ Wardrobe Hackers

Content Creator for Wardrobe Hackers

Erin is a fashion enthusiast, all-around craftsy girl, marketer, and devoted mom. She’s been with Wardrobe Hackers since day 1, as the author and “star” of our very first blog post and Youtube video. Before joining Wardrobe Hackers, Erin had her own custom wreath-making business (Front Door Décor) and prior to that, she managed key accounts with Enterprise. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband, two young girls and a beagle that sheds (a lot!).


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