DIY / Fashion

How To : Distress Your Denim

I enjoy ripped denim.  I think it looks cute and definitely casual, but can also be dressed up!  I prefer light denim, and usually wear that color.  I think light denim really looks nice with a little distressing.  Here is how I do my own.

These are some jeans I bought in a light denim color, and I noticed they fit a little bit weird in the knees.  They are a little bit loose there, and then tapered around the ankle.  They definitely looked strange, so I decided to fix them.  


First, I knew I wanted them to be cropped, so I cut about 4 inches off of each leg.  I love cropped denim.  I cut the long strings off, washed and dried them, and I love how they turned out with the frayed edge.

Here they are on me.

They are cute on their own, but I think distressing them would make them so much cuter.

All you need is a pen, fabric scissors, and tweezers.


So, first I’m going to try on my jeans and mark the places where I want to distress them.  It really helps to try them on so you can see exactly where you want the rips to hit.  I decided that I wanted 3 rips in these jeans, one each around the knees (different sizes) and then a random one on the right thigh area.  I didn’t want these to look too destroyed, and I thought this would look good.

Make 4 little dots to form two horizontal lines.  These are the lines we are going to be cutting.  You can see I have four on each knee and then four up on the left thigh area.


Carefully pinch in an area in between the dots and make a cut.


Cut parallel lines going from dot to dot.


Repeat for all three sections.


Rough up the edges of the holes with your fingers until you see the vertical blue threads in between the two lines we cut.  Gently grab the blue threads with your tweezers and begin pulling them out.  Be careful not to cut or grab onto any white threads.  Cutting the white threads will leave you will a hole instead of a distressed look.


It will start to have that distressed look with only the white threads showing horizontally.


This is what it looks like after you pull out all of the blue threads.  


Ok, we are all done with our distressing, but these don’t look like what we want, they are very square.  We are going to just pop them into the washer and then the dryer to let the fraying begin.  This will give them a more natural look and they won’t look like you did them yourself.




All done and out of the washer!  If there are any long strings or anything hanging off of them that you don’t want, go ahead and clip them.

Here they are on me.  I love how they turned out!


Do you like distressed denim?

Thanks for reading! xx

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5 thoughts on “How To : Distress Your Denim

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