How To Distress Jeans - DIY Ripped Jeans

Published July 11, 2017 by Andrew Giligan

DIY Distressed JeansAre you interested in learning how to distress jeans? Well, in this blog we would like give a bit of information on distressing jeans while keeping the blog relatively short. We will go over the materials needed, the best jeans to distress as well as pictures to help you with this DIY. Also we will give you a step by step set of  instructions so your distressing experience can be simple, easy, and quick. Lets get started.

Start with the Jeans

  •  Best sales for well manufacture jeans for a cheap price are Walmart, Target, and Gap
  • Make sure when buying your jeans to avoid heavier denim due to the fact that they are more resilient against wear and tear
  • Extra Tip: If you decide to use black denim try not distress the thigh section to much because it could cause the denim to look messy. (Really focus on the knees w/ black denim)

Materials required

Now that you bought your pants, you need to start gathering the tools needed for this DIY

  • A marker or tape
  • Piece of Cardboard/Magazine  (goes inside the legs of the jean)
  • Scissors for full on wholes
  • Rotary tool ( not mandatory but helpful)
  • Tweezers to pull surface threads
  • Lint roller


  • Try on denim to get an idea of the area to distress. You can mark it if you prefer too. It is better than eyeballing the place on the jeans that you wish to distress. Use your maker or tape while wearing the denim to outline the spots you wish to distress.
  • Once that's taken care of, place denim on a hard elevated surface, then insert your cardboard/magazine inside the the leg of the jean.
  • If you would like you can use sandpaper on some areas to get a worn look. You can always skip this step so that the distressing is restricted to minimum.
  • Next, Cut horizontal and straight slits by ½-inch to ¾ of an inch which won't make your area to sloppy and can ensure pulling out the threads. If you decide to go with a more blowout look using the rotary tool will help just simply go around your outline and once that's done tear or cut out the piece you chose to distress. By the way make sure if you are underage have parental supervision when using the rotary tool.
  • Use tweezers to pull the threads, use the lint roller to clean excess thread or fray.
  • Once all of that is finished, put your jeans into a cold wash. If required, to enhance the distressing further, go ahead and hand wash then let the jeans air dry.
  • Finally, fit them out


If your in the mood for a more edgier look then here are some tips on how to give your distress jeans a rugged style with bleach.

  • Fold jeans and put them inside a bucket of bleach. For this look don't worry about using rubber bands to create a bleach dye jean just let the bleach artistically choose the spots where it will decolorize. ( P.S. most of your pants will be decolorized)
  • While jeans are in the bucket make sure to keep the bucket in a ventilated area due to the fact that the bleach can be toxic.
  • Let your jeans sit for 2 hours, then safely grab your jeans out of the bucket and wash them in the washing machine with warm water.
  • Finally, try on your more edgier looking distress jeans


That pretty much sums it all up on how to distress jeans. We hope you found this article and infographic useful!

Be sure to comment down below on your thoughts and techniques when it comes to diy ripped jeans. Don't forget to check out Draped Up on the hottest streetwear apparel.

Until next time,

Stay Draped Up


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