Get Going
Kristin Booker • September 3, 2009

She’s Crafty: DIY Distressed Boyfriend Jeans

Jessica Alba in ripped jeans in Beverly Hills

You’ve seen them all over the streets and on celebrities like Jessica Alba, Kathering Heigl, Amanda Peet, Reese Witherspoon and others for months and the trend shows no sign of slowing for Fall: the boyfriend jean is everywhere and the more distressed, the better. If you head to the store,you can pay upwards of $300 for a pair of these artfully “well-worn” denim…or you could take out some frustration on a pair of your old baggy jeans and turn them into some tres cool.
Per The Breakover Diaries, maybe a pair of your ex’s jeans will do?

For this fashion-forward art project, you will need the following:

  • One (1) pair of old jeans that are slightly baggy in the hips and upper leg, preferably wider (boot cut or straight leg men’s) at the bottom so you can roll them up
  • One (1)utility knife or serrated kitchen knife
  • One (1) pumice stone
  • 1/2 c. bleach (optional)
  • One plank of wood that will fit in the legs
  • One piece of chalk

First, put the jeans on and mark with the chalk where you think you want the jeans distressed. I’m old school when it comes to this so I tend to like ripped knees and tears going down the side of the legs but not too terribly much. I don’t want to look like an extra from a Def Leppard video from 1988.

Next, find a stable work surface and lie the jeans facing toward you on the surface. Insert the plank of wood into one leg under your chalk marks. Use the utility knife and remembering to cut AWAY from your hands and body, begin slicing into the jeans. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, but do it slowly because once you make a cut, it’s in there. After about every three slices, take your pumice stone and “distress” the cuts so they fray and age properly. Put them on again really quickly to check your work. More cuts? Keep going. Repeat this process on the second leg.

If you want them to look really distressed, head to a well-ventilated area and dabble or pour spots of bleach onto the jeans. Once it dries, you’ll have a pair of fabulous, one-of-a-kind distressed jeans. Roll the legs and wear them with a cute tank and sandals for Labor Day weekend, or pair them with heaps of jewelry and gorgeous evening sandals for an edgy nighttime look. I’m wearing mine out tonight. This is my craftmanship this morning on a pair of old Levi’s.

Fashion without spending a fortune? Now THAT’S bringing it with style, ladies. Give this a try at home and give a whole new life to an old pair of jeans.


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