How To Distress Your Jeans

I love the distressed/shredded jean look. I do not love the ones so shredded there isn’t much jeans left and I do not like the mostly hefty price tags for a pair of ripped jeans.


I distressed the above pair of jeans about 6 months ago and have been getting asked where I bought them from ever since. Since you obviously cant purchase my DIY faves in any shop I thought a tutorial on how to do your own would be the way to go. So grab a pair of your jeans out of your wardrobe now and keep reading.

What you'll need
What you’ll need

Other than a pair of Jeans you will need some scissors, some tailors chalk (or anything to mark out your rips) and a pair of tweezers.

I am using a pair of white jeans I bought on a whim for $20. Truth is I’m not really a white jeans person but know with a bit of distressing they will become more wearable in my wardrobe.

Step One
Step One

Step One: With your jeans on use the tailors chalk to mark out your distressing/shred guidelines. You can go shred crazy or you can keep it light with a couple of patches. With this pair I have chosen a few places to distress/shred and decided to slash both knees.

Distress/shreds marked out
Distress/shreds marked out

Step Two: Take your scissors and cut across your mark lines. Leave about 1.5cm between cuts. As seen below.

Step Two
Step Two

Step Three: Using your tweezers you now need to go through and carefully pull the vertical thread out of each cut. If your jeans have stretch it is easiest to keep the fabric tight as you remove the threads. The vertical thread will not be stretchy and should pull out easily.

Do this on all areas you have cut. It gets a bit messy with all the pieces of thread.

I decided to just cut the knees rather than distress. One simple scissor cut is enough.

Step Three
Step Three

Step four: Pop your jeans through the wash to remove the tailors chalk and give them a worn look as the wash will naturally fray the cuts you’ve made.

AND that’s it! Easy as Pie!

Final Product
Final Product

And here’s how they look on and when you only have your almost 5 year old around to take the photo!


I’d love to see how yours turn out! So if you’re on Instagram feel free to tag me @misstrilly

Have fun shredding!

Mel x

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