All The Steps On How To Rip Jeans And Give Them A Makeover

Creating your own stuff is really great! From making your own dress and lavender bags to cushion covers. Let’s take it one step further! We all love ripped jeans and can’t get enough of them. However, they come at a hefty price tag, sometimes even more than that of regular denim. So, it feels ridiculous to pay so much money for a distressed pair of jeans.

Blue jeans torn at the knee close

What if we tell you that you can make your own ripped jeans without much difficulty? At the end of this step-by-step guide, we will tell you all you need to know about how to rip jeans and become the proud owner of a perfect pair. Excited? Keep Reading!

What makes ripped jeans stylish?

Even though ripped jeans are not fit for office wear, they are definitely stylish and create a look that is rugged, dusty, and active. They became the rage in the grunge era when heavy metal rock stars started to wear them on-stage. 

After disappearing from the public eye, the trend of wearing these jeans became popular once again as we saw it on the runaways of prominent designers like Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, etc.

From celebrities such as Heidi Klum and Olivia Palermo pairing their designer handbags with frayed jeans to the street-style stars who are renowned for having an amazing fashion sense, the trend of wearing ripped jeans is back, and it is here to stay.

The million-dollar question is: how to rip jeans without damaging them completely? You can certainly hit the shops and search for the perfect pair, but there are a couple of issues with this approach. 

Some people like neat little tears on the thigh while a few prefer large, airy gaping rips. Not only will you have no say in where the rips are, but you will also have a hole in your pocket after buying the expensive jeans as well. 

From boyfriend jeans with an all-over distressed look to skinny jeans or mom jeans with small tears over the knees, the best solution to getting the pair you want is to DIY it!

Where’s the right place to rip them?

Ready to put your creative hat on and get to work? Hold your horses, folks! You have to learn how you can create the perfect jeans without entirely ruining them.

Woman with cosy knit ripped jeans holding tea coffee cup .

For this, you need to know where is the right place to rip. Unless you want to go with an all-out look, you should be careful. According to the fashion police, you should follow the two and a half rule. 

This means that you should start with a scrape, two shreds, and two holes. You are free to tweak it as per your style, but it is a good place to begin from. Shreds look perfect in the thigh region – around 10 cm works great. 

It is better not to go overboard with the holes and keep the length only as wide as your leg. This is a good idea since you are going to end up showing a lot more skin than you intended when you sit. Moreover, horizontal holes are better. For scrapes, the area above or near the thigh works pretty nicely.

Preparing for your project

The golden rule of ripping your jeans is to test them out first. Get a pair of old jeans that you are not likely to wear again, and see how it goes. Apart from this, there are a few other things that you have to keep in mind before you grab your favourite jeans and get going with a pair of scissors.

  • Select Your Jeans

The first thing to do is choose the jeans you want to rip, preferably one that fits you well. Whether you go for straight leg jeans, mid-rise jeans, or high waist jeans, it is entirely up to you.

It’s better to use old denim jeans as they will give you a better result. Light to medium wash jeans looks good when ripped since their colour helps in creating an authentic distressed denim look, as opposed to dark-washed black jeans.

Stack of various denim jeans

  • Wash the Jeans

To rough up the fabric and for an authentic ‘aged’ look, run your jeans through the washing machine a couple of times. If you add a capful of bleach to the wash, it will help break down the colour of the jeans a bit.

  • Slip-on the Jeans and Mark Them Up

The next thing to do is put on the pair of jeans, and get hold of some dress pins, safety pins, chalk, or a pen to mark the place where you want the distressing and rips to be. We recommend using chalk as it is accident-safe. Take them off and go over the lines once more to make the place more prominent and easier to see.

  • Gather the Tools

You don’t need a lot to create a pair of jeans you want – get hold of something sharp and you are good to go. However, it is better to use scissors or a razor to create holes and use steel wool, etc. to create a frayed look.

To remove threads, you will need tweezers. You need to collect all the required tools such as sandpaper, scissors, steel wool, cheese grater, etc. and clear the work area. You should also get a piece of cardboard and wedge it inside the pant legs to keep the back of the jeans safe – we are aiming for nonchalance and any symmetry will look obvious.

Woman in stylish blue ripped jeans with sneakers

How to rip your jeans step-by-step

Ripping your jeans at home is no rocket science. It is something that you can easily do using the stuff that is already present in your home. All you need is a bit of practice, patience, and planning and you are good to go!

Things You Will Need to Distress Jeans

  • Pair of Old Jeans (you can use a new pair as well)
  • Scissors
  • Sandpaper
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread

DIY Styling Steps

After the markup is complete, you can start distressing the jeans.

  • Spread the Jeans Out

Spread your jeans out on a flat surface. Insert the cardboard piece inside the pant legs. Before cutting, get sandpaper and rub the spot you want to rip up. This will loosen the fibres and it will be easy to rip the area. Depending on the thickness of your jeans, this might take some time.

Woman hand shows a hole on a blue jeans

  • Remove the Threads

The next step is to remove the threads from the area you just weakened with the steel wool. Jeans have blue vertical threads and horizontal white threads. With the help of the tweezer, start tweezing out the blue threads from the area you have marked. 

It will be hard to remove the first few threads, but the jeans will loosen up as you go and it will become easier. You can also fray the edges to distress your jeans. Having a frayed hem is a good place for you to start from. 

Cut the end of your jeans slightly and remove the threads with a tweezer. Frayed pockets are an interesting and subtle way to add extra spunk to your jeans. Take the top layer of the pocket off and scrape the surface with sandpaper or a pumice stone.

  • Add Holes with Scissors or Knife

If you want to make holes, cut off the portion with a pair of scissors and fray the edges. Keep the hole as small as possible. If you go too big, you might end up ruining your jeans completely.

  • Reinforce the Jeans

To ensure the holes don’t keep getting big, you should sew around the perimeter of the hole and reinforce the holes. You can use a sewing machine or you can sew by hand. Use blue or white-coloured thread. A few finishing touches and you are good to rock a cool, nonchalant look! 

Instead of paying a lot of money to buy distressed jeans, you can follow our simple and easy steps and create DIY ripped jeans right from the comfort of your home. Now that you are equipped with all the info on how to make ripped jeans on your own, what are you waiting for? Go ahead with this fun DIY project! Next project: Learn how to sew a patch on a leather vest by hand here!

Have fun, folks!

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