This weekend I decided to spend some time taking on a DIY project to transform an old pair of jeans that have always been my favorite go-tos, but have started to fade. I'm loving the distressed denim look for spring but can't always find the right pair, so I did some research on how to make my own and it was super easy.
For this pair, I decided to create a shaggy step hem and add rips to the knees.
Step 1: Find an old pair of jeans you're not ready to let go of, scissors, and tweezers.
For tweezers, I suggest Tweezerman for this because you'll need some that are sharp and easy to manage (also great for the brows).
Step 2: Try your jeans on and fold up the hem to the right length.
I would suggest keeping them close to the ankle bone since you'll be shortening the front. Also make sure to keep them folded when you take them off so you know how much you want to cut off. Tip: I only folded up one leg and carefully stepped out of them.
While trying on your jeans, mark the spots where you want the rips to be as well. Tip: you can use chalk to circle the area and mark the hem and it will wipe right off.
Step 3: Take off your jeans and cut the first leg straight across, then fold your jeans in half and mark the second leg where it needs to be cut.
Step 4: Cut two 2-inch slits into one of the jean legs in front of the seams to create your step hem (see last picture for a closer look - you don't want to cut the seams off or leave them in the front).
Make sure the slits are even, then cut straight across. Repeat for the other leg.
Step 5: Cut slits into the knees about a half inch to 1-inch apart.
I made the slits different lengths, so the rips didn't look too square.
Make sure you don't cut the through both sides of your jeans! I avoided this by taking the fabric, folding the front side vertically, and then making horizontal cuts.
Step 6: Now that you've cut your hems and slits into the knees, you can start distressing them.
For the hem: I took my tweezers and used the sharp point to pull at the hem to give them a shaggy look.
For the rips: I used the tweezers to pull out the white treads horizontally and pull out the blue threads vertically. Make sure to carefully pull out the white threads first to keep them intact. The blue threads can be pulled all the way out and discarded (see picture 3).