How to Distress your Jeans at Home

Among the trends that never seem to go out of style is the distressed jeans fad – however, it seems absurd to pay such exorbitant prices in order to buy a pair of designer jeans that are already ripped and faded. If you are unwilling to shell out a small fortune for a pair of jeans that look like have been crumpled at the back of your closet for years, but still want to enjoy the worn-out jeans look, try distressing your jeans at home.

Things Required:

– Chalk, pencil or washable markers
– Sand paper
– Scissors
– 1 razor blade


  • 1

    To start out, plan the design of the jeans you desire. Put them on to get a clearer idea, and using chalk, pencil, or washable markers, mark the areas you aim to distress, and make sure you decide which areas will need holes, and on which parts you want to apply the fading effect. Once you are satisfied with the design you wish to create, take the jeans off (do not work on the jeans while wearing them, this can be exceedingly dangerous).

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  • 2

    Next, start with the fading effect. For this, your prime tool will be the sandpaper. Start rubbing it on the areas you wish to fade – this will take a while, so have patience and continue to work away on those areas. In order to create a more natural looking faded-effect, rub hard at one particular area – e.g. the knees – and then ease up as you move upward and downward, so the fading does not look deliberate.

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  • 3

    Then, start making the holes. If you are looking to make actual, clean-cut holes, pick up your scissors, and proceed to cut holes out of the areas you marked earlier. However, if you want holes that are still held together by white strands, use a razor blade – find the grain of the jeans, and rub the blade in the direction of the grain. This will cause the blue colour of the jeans to wear off, and once this is done, rub the blade along the grain until a rough hole opens up.

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  • 4

    After all this is done, it is time to give your jeans a frayed effect. Use the razor blade again, and run it over areas such as the seams, the holes you created, the ankles, and the pockets of your jeans. This will give the edges a worn, distressed look.

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  • 5

    Finally, throw the jeans in the washing machine, and once they are out, study them carefully to see if they have the effect you want. The washing out will bring out the frayed effect, so you can study the final product carefully, and make any changes if you desire. Your distressed jeans are now ready for use.

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