i had been on the hunt for the perfect pair of distressed jeans for a long time.  i couldn't find a pair that i liked well enough to commit a big $$$ to, and the cheaper ones were, well, cheap. and then i remembered that sometimes i craft and that i should just make my own.  duh. so i did, and was blown away by how easy it was! the washing machine does most of your work, actually! here's what you'll need to distress your own jeans. 

  • a pair of jeans. (i recommend practicing on some old ones first)
  • x-acto knife
  • tape or chalk
  • scissors
  • nail file/cheese grater
  • tweezers (optional)

1. start by taping off the areas you want to distress. (knees, back pockets, etc.) i find putting the jeans on first helps to find the correct placements.

2. insert your cardboard scrap inside the leg of the jean and place it under the area you are distressing. take your x-acto knife and cut horizontal slits, all the same length, into the jeans. denim is laid out with white horizontal thread woven into blue vertical thread, and cutting the strips allows you to remove the blue strips, leaving the white.

3. after you've cut the strips, separate the blue strands by grabbing them in the middle and pulling out to each side, revealing the white strands! using your fingers or tweezers, pull out the loose blue threads and discard them.

4. once all the blue threads are removed, take the grater or nail file and "rough up" some of the edges of the pockets and bottoms of the legs. or not! this part is where creative freedom comes in, do what you want! i love the look of distressed back pockets and edges of the legs, but anything goes!

5. place those guys into the washing machine! they'll adopt a bit more of a used look, and once they've dried, your set to wear 'em!

remember these ^^^ from this?

strut your stuff and feel free to tell everyone that yes, you distressed these yourself. because you are an awesome boss lady who rules. -m