Aimee's look

How to DIY a Pair of Distressed Jeans aka Ripped Jeans


If you have been following my blog, you would know how much I love distressed jeans especially in the form of boyfriend jeans (as seen here and here and many more!) I’m sure you all have at least a few pair of denim that’s just sitting in your closet untouched whether you don’t love it as much as you used to or sometimes you completely forget they even existed until you start organizing your closet. Well, bring’em out and give those blue babies some lovin’.  I’ll show you how to make the perfect pair of distressed jeans.

1. Denim (Anything close to 100% cotton, boyfriend jeans would be good like the one I got from Banana Republic. This pair & this darker wash here is cool too)
2. X-acto knife /scissors
3. Magazine or a piece of cardboard
4. A pen that writes on fabric or chalk
5. Lint roller
6. Shaving razor (Optional)
7. A tweezer
8. Washing machine & dryer (not shown)

*It’s important to choose the right denim to distress. Distressing a pair of denim with elastic material won’t give a good raw look. 100% cotton is the best. 

1. If you’re lazy to try on the jeans to measure where the knees are, you can fold the leg of the denim up to the top of the inseam.  That crease is where your knee cap is going to be.
2. Slide the cardboard and mark in the areas you want to distress. (I marked it right above the knee and around the lower pockets.)
3. You can either snip it with a pair of scissors or use a razor. I made two openings side by side about couple inches apart.
4. Take your tweezer and start pulling out the blue individual threads. Make sure you keep the white threads in tact. (Now, you may think this process is too time consuming, but you just got to be patient! I promise you won’t be disappointed by the results.)
5. After that’s been dealt with, this might be a good time to use your lint roller and clean up the mess before the next step.
6. Actually, all you gotta do is throw your denim in the washing machine and then dry after.  I repeated this process twice for a more organic distressed look.

collage3Lastly, trim all the excess threads that are hanging out and VOILA you’ve got yourself a nice pair of distressed jeans!

collage2 From top L to R: See the transformation from the original denim to distressed and washed & dried once and then repeated the process the 2nd time.
song_of_style_distressed_jeans_5_700  Of course my favorite and easiest way to wear my distressed boyfriend jeans is to wear it with my go to striped button down.

song_of_style_distressed_jeans_7_700 song_of_style_distressed_jeans_6_700 
I wore my DIY distressed jeans to my design meeting and everyone complimented on how cute they were and surprised that it was a DIY! (pat on the back hehe)
I love these and practically live in these pair.  Now you try it!

J-Crew Striped Shirt (love this one from Madewell)
Song of Style Jewelry in Malachite
Chloe Drew Bag (this new python one I’m coveting *drool*)
Michael Kors Rose Gold Watch
Isabel Marant Chain Sandals

photos by Jennia and edited by Christina Choi



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  12. Stephanie says on June 8, 2015

    Love this DIY! Perfect was to add a custom spin on a classic item to your wardrobe. You make it so simple and straightforward!

    I’m a fashion blogger in NYC. To follow my adventures featuring the best of New York’s fashion and food, check out Contact me to collaborate! Always looking to work with new bloggers. See you there xx

    – Stephanie

  13. SO…… I am obsessed with Madewell’s High Riser Skinny Skinny jeans. As a girl with a butt and hips, these jeans fit my body like a glove. I have been anxiously awaiting them to come out with these jeans in a white distressed version. They have not. So I’m taking matters into my own hands, buying plain white and distressing myself.

    Thank you for the inspo. <3

    xo, Lauren @

  14. Love a great pair of distressed jeans, did a post on distressed jeans a few weeks back. Not sure I have the courage yet to do it myself but will save this for the future :)

  15. Payal says on June 7, 2015

    I tried to distress an old pair of 100% cotton jeans this weekend but I can’t seem to figure out how to take the blue threads out without pulling out the white threads too. I made the two cuts, and am using a tweezer to try to pull out the blue threads but they’re (a) so close to the white threads that I don’t really know how to pull them individually, and (b) they keep breaking (only get little puffs of blue pulled out). Any suggestions? Thank you!

  16. Love this post. I really like the rings you’re wearing. Can you tell me where you go them? I don’t see them listed in your shop section.


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  18. Thank you for this post, I’ve been looking for a DIY to distressed my jeans. These type of jeans are so you, it’s one of your style sign and you always look absolutely amazing with them. The mix with the stripes shirt is casual, comzy and it can’t be more cool, these beautiful sandals continue with the inspiration harmony. Adore the Chloe Drew bag with it perfect boho chic style

  19. Stephanie says on June 5, 2015

    I love this! DIY is amazing, especially when it leads to a one of a kind piece like yours. DIY is a great way to enhance the wardrobe and show off your particular sense of style.

    I’m a fashion blogger in NYC. To follow my adventures featuring the latest of New York’s fashion and food, check out! Contact me to collaborate! See you there xx

    – Stephanie

  20. Thanks for this! I bought a pair of white jeans a few months ago and I’ve been meaning to do this to them. Now that school’s over, I finally have time to take on a DIY. You’ve saved me the “trouble” of googling a tutorial :D
    My blog: BOWTIE DIARY

  21. Wow this is such a detailed tutorial, I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the tip about needing to be 100% cotton or I would have cut into some elastic-y pairs I have.