Young woman with distressed jeans

How to Make Your Own Distressed Jeans

It takes us so very long to find that perfect pair of jeans. Not only does it need to look good on you, it needs to be as comfortable as possible too. No matter how many pairs of jeans one accumulates over a period of time, there is always that one pair that makes it to the top of the list. When that starts ripping, it’s time to consign it to the rubbish bin. Now, however, thanks to the trend of wearing ripped or distressed jeans, those old pairs of jeans can be transformed into something trendy.

The great part of this revival of worn jeans is that you need not wait till the pair is in tatters. Here is the simplest and quickest way to make your very own pair of distressed jeans.

  1. For the best results, choose a pair of jeans that are lighter in color and have become softer after being washed numerous times. Ideally don’t use darker colored jeans or brand new ones. These will not give you the desired result.
  1. Wear the jeans you plan to distress. Stand in front of a mirror and decide the spots you would like the distressed effect on. With a pencil or a piece of chalk, mark the places to be distressed and the required size. A word of caution – don’t go overboard. Make sure you mark out a sensible number of patches to avoid the whole thing from falling apart.
  1. Place something heavy and flat under the part/s you wish to distress. This is to ensure that the other side of the jeans remains distress-free.
  1. You will require something with a rough edge to achieve a truly great result. Here are examples of what you can use: cheese graters, sandpaper, pumice, a serrated knife, nail file, a shaving razor, and scissors.
  1. To get the most natural effect, use a serrated or rough-edge tool to create the hole. Use sandpaper, a nail file or pumice to make it look like a natural fray. A pair of scissors will only make for more work as they will give very clean cuts.
  1. For the bleached effect, dampen a piece of sponge with bleach and carefully apply it to the edges of the hole created. For the speckled effect, use a toothbrush with some bleach and run your finger over the bristles to randomly speckle the chosen areas.
  1. The downside to distressing jeans is that the material around the hole will continue to fray. This means that the area around the ripped parts is likely to give way fast. Use a patch of denim a little bigger than the hole, and stitch it behind the distressed area to reinforce the material surrounding the ripped region. A simple cross or straight stitch will do. The clumsier the stitch the better. You can use patches with woven or hand-drawn designs to add a unique twist. If you do not want to stitch the patches behind the ripped holes, use fabric glue to stick the patch behind the hole. This adds as much reinforcement as a patch that has been stitched on. You can stick rhinestones, sequined patches, and metal rivets on the pair with fabric glue for that extra something.