Ripped jeans are not a new fashion item, they gained a lot of popularity in the last 5 years and are here to stay.
With a pair of ripped jeans, you can easily make a fashion statement and elevate your wardrobe. From casual to dressy ripped jeans are a really versatile piece of clothing every woman needs in her closet.
But of course, everything comes at a price these days and when it comes to ripped jeans the price can effortlessly get to hundreds of dollars.
You don’t need to spend a small fortune on ripped jeans because you can make the perfect DIY pair of ripped jeans with that old pair you wanted to throw away and other things laying around the house.
We thought about all these things so here are 5 easy methods on how to make ripped jeans. There are plenty of advantages to making your own pair of ripped jeans, be they DIY ripped jean shorts or long jeans. You have absolute control over how you customize your pair of jeans.
You don’t have to invest in a new pair as the best-ripped jeans are those which already have that rough, distressed apparel. If you are trying to save money without sacrificing your fashion sense, upcycling your current pieces is the best way to work around this.
Plus, fast fashion and disposable items are a growing problem for the environment, so by making your own ripped jeans, you will send less waste to the landfills. Should we mention that you can brag about it on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter or any other social media channel of your choosing?
Read the whole article and choose your favorite method to make the ripped jeans. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for designer pairs, learn how to make them. It’s worth every minute you spend in the process.
Trial and error
Making a pair of ripped jeans is a craft of its own and before going into that good quality pair you love and want to offer a new life start and practice on an old pair or a cheap pair bought exactly for this.
Don’t worry if your first try is not perfect, just find a reference image and get used to measuring and cutting the material. You can even use a pair of jeans to try out different methods before choosing your favorite to use on that one pair. It is all up to you.
Pro tip: Before cutting and distressing the denim make sure it is clean then start working on the pants’ legs.
1. Simple Cut – DIY Ripped Jeans
First things first. Let’s start with the basic ripped jeans DIY kit. You will need:
- A pair of jeans. We know you have plenty of jeans piled up in your wardrobe.
- Sharp tools. You can use scissors, a razor, or a sharp knife.
Of course, the most important item on your DIY ripped jeans items list is the pair of jeans. You wouldn’t want to slash and tear through a brand new pair of jeans for which you shelled out quite some cash. Clean out your wardrobe and find those old-time favorite skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, high-rise jeans or jean shorts.
Alternatively, scout the local thrift stores or consignments for already worn jeans. They’re perfect to try out your ripped jeans DIY skills. Plus, it’s already worn jeans that have that slightly distressed look and the ideal washed out color to match the ripped apparel.
Start cutting across the fabric in any direction you want. We suggest making the cuts in the knee area. Next, all you have to do for this basic DIY is to throw them into the washing machine at maximum spin speed.
Alternatively, you can try hand washing them – but be warned, distressing the rips in these jeans requires quite a bit of effort.
And that is all it takes. It is just this simple!
2. DIY Ripped Jeans – Extreme Edition
This project will take a bit more to complete. However, in the end, your old pair of jeans you nearly threw away 3 years in a row during spring cleaning will look like a brand-new, designer pair. That is if you have a bit of imagination. You will need:
- A pair of jeans. Lend an old pair a new lease of life by turning them in the trendiest clothing staples of this year’s fashion.
- Sharp tools. Depending on the style you wish to imprint on your pair of DIY ripped jeans, you may want to use scissors, a razor or a sharp knife.
- Sewing kit. This item isn’t mandatory. Nonetheless, if you want to prevent the cuts in the fabric from getting larger, it’s a good idea to reinforce the margins.
- Chalk. You should outline the areas you want to cut out, slash or rip. Good old fashioned chalk is the best way to do it.
First, analyze the denim to make sure it doesn’t have any areas that have already been distressed since you will need to take them into account when you cut.
Then, mark the areas you want to rip and/or distress. Put the jeans on and use the chalk to mark the areas while you’re wearing them.
The secret to neatly done homemade ripped jeans is to stand up while you mark them. This is perfect to make sure the holes will fall just right on your legs.
Even though DIY ripped jeans look rather rebellious, you don’t want those supposed knee holes to fall right above or right below the knee.
If you are happy with the overall look, you can proceed to cut the pieces away and get rid of any extra pieces of thread. To distress the margins start to pull the threads with a tweezer until you start to see the white.
To create partially ripped jeans (that frayed patch you see in the image above) you can make 2 parallel horizontal cuts. Then, simply pull away the blue threads between these 2 cuts.
3. DIY Ripped & Distressed Jeans
This one is one of our favorite methods as will make your jeans look completely different.
Here are all the things you will need:
- A pair of jeans. We know you have plenty of jeans piled up in your wardrobe. Lend them a new lease of life by turning them in a closet essential almost for free.
- Sharp tools. Depending on the style you wish to imprint to your pair of do it yourself ripped jeans, you may want to use scissors, a razor or a sharp knife.
- Abrasive tools: sandpaper / a pumice stone / cheese grater / steel wool.
- Bleach. To further distress the jeans and make the fabric thinner.
Now that you have the old pair of jeans prepped, get the party started.
How to Distress Jeans
To make your jeans thinner and easier to work with as well of giving them a new color you can use one of these methods:
- Just one teaspoon of bleach added in enough hot water to cover the jeans can make the fabric thinner.
- Set the temperature on your washing machine and dryer to be higher than usual. This step can also help you get that extra worn look for your jeans.
How to Rip Holes in Jeans
If you got the fabric density and extra worn look you were after, start tearing, cutting and slashing. Remember that you can create and customize your own design. Swift nicks or large slashes with fringes, it’s your call.
Here are the steps:
- Lay the jeans on the floor or a flat surface.
- Make sure you’ve straightened every line.
- Add a piece of cardboard on the inside to prevent cuts on the backside. We bet you don’t want your DIY ripped jeans to have symmetrical distress signs in the front and the back of the legs.
Now, depending on the look you’re aiming for, use the sharp or the abrasive tools accordingly. The cheese grater, pumice stone, steel wool or sandpaper are ideal for fringed looks or the perfect distressed patches.
Each of these tools will yield a different type of worn-out effect. This is why it’s recommended that you test them on a piece of denim beforehand.
Expert tip: use tweezers to remove the blue threads in the denim material. That is if you’re going after the fringed look where the white threads are on display. If showing skin is what you’re after, cut, cut, cut. Review your work every now and then and adjust as you see fit. For easily riffed edges, use the razor around the edges of the cuts, pockets or on any other area.
4. Frayed Edges Ripped Jeans
Another popular way to create trendy homemade ripped jeans is to distress the hems. Usually, when buying jeans with frayed hems you can pay up to an additional $100 or even more.
But why? They are so simple to make and you have full control over the final result.
Here is all you need:
- A pair of jeans: for this method white or black jeans work the best. This technique gives them that designer jeans look we love so much.
- Sharp object: knife or scissors depending on your preference.
- Ruler and pen chalk: to mark straight lines on the jeans legs.
Start by measuring out 2 lines for the back and front hems. One will be higher and one will be lower. A good distance for the hems would be 1.5 inches.
Cut the bottom hems of the jeans, after that, you will start to work your way up for the uneven ones. Separate the stems up to the second line, then measure and cut the two hems.
If you want, for the top hem you can create a distress bottom to give it a more edgy look. If you are happy with your current result distress the edges of the ham, and voilà, you have now a cool and trendy piece of ripped jeans that would have cost you a fortune in the store.
5. The Cheese Grater DIY Ripped Jeans
If you don’t like cuts on your jeans but still want to offer that old pair a new look, you can choose just to distress them without any cuts.
All you will need to complete this project is a pair of jeans, a cheese grater, and your imagination.
First thing first, decide where are the best places to fray the jeans. The most popular places are above the knee, the front, and back pockets and the bottom hems.
Mark the places with a safety pin so you know where to work.
When you are happy with the places just simply run the cheese grater across the denim until it becomes worn. This is honestly, all you need to do. If you like you can choose to cut away the long threads.
You may be interested in: How To Make DIY Distressed Jeans (Don’t Waste Your Money Buying Them!)
Where to distress your jeans for the best results
Practice makes it perfect. But to make sure you will look your best in your “new” jeans you need to know where are the perfect places to distress your jeans and what type of cuts works best for every region.
Both the front and the back pockets can be distressed using an abrasive material.
Above the knee
This area is perfect for 2-inch sheds. You can decide if you want to work only on one pant leg or both.
The knee area is where you want all your major cuts and holes.
Below the knee
This area works perfectly for small sheds, but be mindful of them because too many sheds can look bad.
You can choose to cut the hems and fray the edges for modern ripped jeans look.
A Short Recap
This is the beauty of ripping your own jeans. You get to create a super cool clothing staple using a pair of jeans that fits you perfectly. Moreover, you get to decide for yourself if you want the gaping knee holes, the length slashes or the less attention-drawing a fringed look.
If you’ve embarked on this DIY project, we’re sure you already have a good idea of how to wear the DIY ripped jeans. Nonetheless, check out the lookbooks online. There are plenty of amazing ideas on how to wear ripped jeans in stylish, glam outfits or trashy, edgy ones.
The only disadvantage we can think of when it comes to DIY ripped jeans is that you may not get it right the first time. Keep trying and perfect your technique. It’s still cheaper than forking out cash for a designer pair or a new pair of jeans that you’ll tear afterward. Enjoy!