Ripped jeans have been around for a while now – and the trend isn’t really going away. I’ve got a few pairs of ripped jeans, but they are grey and black and I really fancied having a denim pair. I couldn’t really find any I wanted, so I simply decided to make my own.
After a quick Google and a YouTube video or two later, I was convinced I could totally rip my own jeans. I purchased a cheap pair from Primark, as I didn’t fancy ruining a pricey Topshop pair and got to work. Here’s my guide to DIY ripped jeans:
What You’ll Need
- A pair of jeans
- A pair of scissors
- Tailor’s chalk (or something to mark with)
- Patience (this one is hella important – see step 3)
STEP 1: Make Your Mark
First up, you’ll need to put on your jeans. Then you will be able to imagine where the rips will look best. I had a look on Instagram, and at some of my other ripped jeans for inspo before making my mark. If you don’t have tailor’s chalk or a pencil, a pen should work just fine.
STEP 2: Snip Snip
You’ll need to take your jeans off for this part (we don’t want any A&E visits). Then pinch your jeans together as this picture shows, and snip along the line you’ve just drawn. Once you have an incision, you can get the scissors in to cut the rest of the way along. I’d recommend not going all the way to the seam (unless you want a really distressed, busted-open jean look).
STEP 3: Tweezer Time
Once you’ve made another slit to mirror the first, you are ready for tweezer time (disclaimer: this part is not as fun as it sounds). Here you want to remove all of the vertical threads of denim with your tweezers so you are left with just the elastic threads going across. Scroll down to see the progress pictures. Here’s where your patience will come in – it’s a painstaking process and if you try and speed it up, you end up snapping the elastic (trust me…).
STEP 4: Rough it up
I bet you were wondering where the sandpaper would come in… well, here it is. In order to distress the edges you have cut, use the sandpaper. Literally just rub along the seam to get a frayed finish – easy!
STEP 5: Finishing touches
Obviously completely optional, but I’d recommend adding a few more ripped/frayed details over your jeans so they don’t look too neat. I used sand paper on the hems and also did some mini rips to give them a distressed finish.
Here are my finished pair of ripped jeans. I went all out with the top rip as I wanted something statement, but now I kind wish I just stuck with two knee rips. And as you can see, a lot of my elastic, snapped in the end because I was overzealous with the tweezers.
But overall, I’m rather happy with how these jeans have turned out and I would highly recommend giving DIY ripped jeans a go.