DIY Fashion: How To Make Ripped Jeans

Because of its sheer coolness, ripped jeans are often more expensive than regular jeans. Rather than spend a whopping amount on it, why not learn to rip your jeans yourself? After all, it’s both fun and self-satisfying to create exactly what you want. Hey, we all have our preferences and doing it yourself gives you a certain type of control.

Ripped jeans have never really gone out of style so it’s safe to consider it a wardrobe staple. Right now, they are seriously in vogue and every influencer and their BFF is rocking one. In these times of social distancing, self-isolation and quarantining, boredom is sure to set in seeing as most people would rather stay at home. This becomes the perfect time to put your DIY skills to use. The best part is that you can find all you need at home. Need another reason to create your own ripped denim? Maybe it’s time to revamp those old pair of jeans or you might have been inspired by Kanye West’s love for tattered clothes; either way, creating your own ripped jeans is just plain adventurous. 

So how do you like your ripped jeans?

Do you like two gaping holes at the knees, a few tiny abrasions or a series of serious cuts all around. Everyone loves that designer feeling and would like to respond with the iconic “I made it myself” when someone throws a compliment at what you are wearing. But creating a ripped look is not as easy as it may seem. One wrong tear and you could end up looking like a destitute on the streets – unless of course, that’s the goal, then by all means. #justkidding!

Ready to master how to rip your jeans all by yourself? Let’s get started…

1. Choose the right pair of jeans

Pile of denim jeansPinterest

Purchasing a new pair of jeans for this project feels like the right thing to do but don’t feel pressured, you could always use a pair of jeans that you already own. For a more “convincing” look, opt for light to medium washed jeans because a darker shade appears too new to be distressed but if you don’t mind, way to go. It’s allowed to rip any pair of jeans of your choice as you’ll still achieve similar results. 

2. Choose your tools

tools for making ripped denim

This depends on what style you want to achieve. If you want to go all out and create holes, use a pen knife or scissors. If you’re a bit conservative and just want a frayed look, use a cheese grater, sandpaper or a pumice stone. Basically, all you need is your choice of sharp tool, tweezers, needle and thread (or a sewing machine), chalk and a befitting pair of jeans of course.

3. Take trial runs

Trial steps when making ripped denim jeans


This step is important and can’t be overemphasized. Before you start tearing down your favourite jeans, choose a scapegoat from your less-cared-about jeans and try your hands on it. It’s a lot more tolerable to ruin a pair of jeans you don’t love than those favourite pair you had been yearning to transform. Create your prototype ripped jeans, spot your mistakes then go ahead and rip the threads out of this masterpiece. Go through the next step, we are about to discuss the process. Patience is still a virtue. 

4. Start marking your jeans

You might want to slip into your jeans for this one or not, it’s a crucial step and if it goes wrong then we’re about to witness a rip-off. After you have thought of what you want (go through your Pinterest or Instagram collection if you may) then replicate it accordingly on your denim. Using chalk to sketch your proposed rip design has been found suitable for marking the denim material.

5. To start ripping, follow the marks

Here’s the part the newbie jeans ripper could find tricky. Take the knife or scissors, using the edge and not the tip to scrape down the length of jeans horizontally in choice areas. Scrape away till the white threads are in sight. Use the tweezer to fray threads carefully but if you want holes, cut out the threads with the scissors/knife. To create a more distressed look, use the grater or pumice stone to rough up areas like the ankles and pockets. This would further create a worn-out/distressed look. 

6. Bolster up your work 


To prevent the holes from widening over time, sew around the outer edge of the hole. Use either a white or blue-coloured thread to sew around the rip – either by hand or with a sewing machine – but if you want the holes to grow as time goes on, this step is not for you.

Cover girls: Jennie Jenkins, Sade Okinosho, Linda Ikeji and Ruby Fairs. Image credit: stylerave