March 7, How to Distress your Own Jeans

Hey friends! I am SUPER excited about today’s OOTD post. I am going to show you how to distress your own jeans. Trust me, I am not a very crafty person, and yet if I can do it, anyone can! So… if you have a pair of old jeans laying around, and you’ve always liked the look of distressed jeans but didn’t want to spend a fortune on them, this post is for you!

First off, here is what you will need to do the job: A pair of good scissors (fabric scissors are ideal), a marker (or pencil) and a pair of tweezers. That’s it!

I label my scissors ‘fabric only’ to keep family members from using them for other things!

Start by trying on your jeans and bending down and marking the top and bottom of your knees (or wherever you want the distressing/ holes to be).

Awkward photo, but wanted to show how to mark the knees! 🙂 Don’t do it while standing, you will be off.

Once you’ve marked where you want to distress, take your scissors and cut a tiny slit in the jeans. Be careful not to cut too large of a slit.

I cut a little above my mark- that’s ok! I’ll end up cutting that out later.

After the first cut, cut as many more strips as you want- depending on the size of the hole you want. Your first slit should be small (about an inch), then cut bigger strips towards the middle, then back to small cuts. You are making sort of diamond shape.

Notice my strips aren’t even- and they are biggest in the middle of the area. I also cut out holes at the top and bottom (where my knees start and end).

Now, this is the tricky (and time consuming part). Flip the strip over and use tweezers to carefully pull out the strings that run the length of your jeans (up and down). Basically, your jeans are woven threads and you are removing the vertical threads. For some reason, it’s easier to do it with the fabric twisted. See photo below.

This takes a long time… be patient!

Leave the horizontal threads (and it’s ok if some rip or tear, this just adds to the distressed look). You can also just cut out a giant hole- if you don’t want the threaded look. Keep doing this until you are happy with the results. Then, throw your jeans in the washing machine and wash and dry a couple of times- this will really add to the distressed look. You can also use a sandpaper block to roughen up the pockets or hemline.

Using sandpaper creates even more distressing!
And here they are! The final look- after being washed!
The brighter camo sweatshirt with the cute white stripes on the sleeves and the ripped jeans make for a more interesting outfit!
Sweatshirt is from AE, and it’s on sale! Jeans are from Vallue Village, they were $12

A couple of tips-

  1. Chose an inspiration pair to use as your guide. (See photos below)
  2. Go to the Goodwill or Value Village and buy a cheap pair of jeans to do this to! You won’t feel bad if it doesn’t work- although truthfully, this is so easy- you can’t go wrong!
Nordstrom
Nordstrom
American Eagle

6 thoughts on “March 7, How to Distress your Own Jeans

    1. Hey Susan- I think if you are comfortable and want to wear them- then go for it! Your age shouldn’t matter. There is a great gal I follow on Instagram, @iamterrib- she is an older mom and she posts really cute, age appropriate outfits. Also, you can do a search on Instagram with the hashtag #over50fashion and get inspired. Honestly though- you should wear what you love and what makes you the most comfortable. Not all trends work for everyone. Thanks for your comment!

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