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How to DIY ripped jeans

Want the ripped jeans look without the price tag? Learn how to rip jeans with Cleanipedia and enjoy creating a pair of DIY ripped jeans.


How to DIY ripped jeans

Looking at the fashion world right now, it seems ripped jeans are here to stay. Not all of us can afford to drop money on the perfect pair – but what about learning how to make ripped jeans yourself?

All you need to get started is a pair of jeans and something to cut them with. If you’ve got some time, some creativity, and some jeans that have seen better days, and you can learn how to make torn jeans. Just follow these steps.

While you’re customising your DIY ripped jeans, remember to put a piece of cardboard or plywood inside the leg to protect the back – unless you want to cut that, too!

Step 1: Choosing your jeans

Until you’re a DIY ripped jeans pro, you’re best off starting with a pair you already have at home. Most of us have a pair of well-loved jeans that we can’t quite bear to part with, so start by digging them out and checking them over. Once you’ve picked a pair, you can throw them in the wash with a little bleach if you want to fade them and add a ‘distressed’ look.

A cut above the rest: This article may be about how to rip your own jeans but not all tears are created equal. If there are already holes in the crotch or bum area, that particular pair might be beyond saving.

Step 2: Choosing your tools

Learning how to rip your jeans correctly means choosing the best tools. Scissors are great for basic rips and tears but if you want a frayed effect then you’ll need to work on the denim a little beforehand with sandpaper, a pumice stone or some steel wool. Small scissors or craft knives are great for more delicate rips too.

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Step 3: Choosing where to rip

Learning how to rip jeans is important, but so too is knowing where to rip them. Put your jeans on for a moment, then take a washable pen and map out your incisions. Ideally, you should do this standing up. Remember to take them off for the next part, though!

Step 4: Getting to work

It’s now time to find out how to make ripped jeans. Start by taking them off and laying them flat, then find the spots you marked out. Now, depending on the look you’re going for, you have a few options:

  1. If you want a clean cut, just take the knife or scissors to them and work slowly.

  2. If you want a frayed “this-just-happened” look, wear the fabric down with the sandpaper, pumice or wire wool before cutting.

  3. If you want something in between those two styles, take the blade of a craft knife, pair of scissors or razor and run it over the place you want to cut a few times before you make the incision.

You can add to the frayed effect by pulling on any little strands with your hands afterwards.

Once you’re satisfied, reinforce the edge of the hole by sewing around it with some matching thread and then wash your jeans with a trusted detergent like Skip.

Now you know how to rip your jeans, have fun making and wearing your new custom threads!

  • The thicker the material, the longer it’ll take to tear. Choose your tools wisely.

  • Take care when using sharp objects to cut things.

  • Take your jeans off before you start tearing.

Originally published