How to Distress Jeans Tutorial

how to distress jeans tutorialFall has arrived, and it feels great to trade in shorts for sweaters, jackets, and jeans! One of the hottest denim trends right now is distressed jeans, and I’m a big fan! Today I’m sharing a how to distress jeans tutorial, and you’ll spending a fraction of what you’d pay in a retail store! Once you learn how to make distressed jeans, you’ll never go back to buying them!

how to distress jeans tutorial

This pair of distressed jeans has definitely become a staple in my wardrobe!

how to distress jeans tutorialhow to distress jeans tutorialLearning how to distress jeans is much easier than you may think, and can save a lot of money over buying them from a retail store. I picked up this pair of designer jeans from a local thrift shop for under $10. The fit of the top was great, but I didn’t like the wide legs, so I used this tutorial to bring the leg widths in to exactly how I wanted them.

how to distress jeans tutorial

Distressing is one of those things where you really can’t go wrong – distress a little or a lot, and it will still look great!

how to distress jeans tutorialhow to distress jeans tutorialReady to get started? Soon your friends will be asking you to teach them how to distress jeans!

how to distress jeans tutorialhow to distress jeans tutorial

How to Distress Jeans

pair of jeans
tailor’s chalk or disappearing ink pen
seam ripper
coarse sandpaper
fabric scissors

*Supplies and compensation for this post provided by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. All content, photography, and opinions are my own.*

how to distress jeans tutorialIt’s time to learn how to make distressed jeans! Once you learn the basics of how to distress jeans, it’s a cinch. Begin by putting your jeans on. Stand in front of a mirror and use tailor’s chalk or a disappearing ink pen to mark the areas you’d like to distress. I chose to mark each knee and smaller areas on each thigh.

how to distress jeans tutorialUse scissors to cut a horizontal slit at top and bottom of each marked area.

how to distress jeans tutorialhow to distress jeans tutorial how to distress jeans tutorialLook closely at the fabric, and you’ll notice that the white threads are horizontal and the blue threads are vertical. Use a seam ripper to carefully remove only the vertical blue threads. The first few threads are the trickiest to remove because of the tight weave, but it gets easier once a few are missing!

how to distress jeans tutorial how to distress jeans tutorialhow to distress jeans tutorial

If you want an open hole with no white threads, you can cut around the entire hole. It is best if the hole is not uniform for a more authentic look.

For added distressing, use coarse sandpaper to rough up any areas you’d like to.

how to distress jeans tutorialNext, wash and dry your jeans as you normally would to allow the edges to fray further. This gives you a better idea of how the finished jeans will look over time, and is a great time to clip any remaining loose threads and adjust the distressing as needed.

how to distress jeans tutorial img_2667edit680For this pair, I didn’t love how one of the knees looked after washing, so I cut the white threads to make an open hole, and it was much better!

how to distress jeans tutorialGreat job! Now that you’ve learned how to distress jeans, have fun styling them with your other closet must-haves!

how to distress jeans tutorialLayer them with your favorite tshirt and jacket, and you’re ready for Fall!how to distress jeans tutorial

If you enjoyed learning how to distress jeans, check out more jean alteration tutorials below!

Bootcut to Skinny or Straight Jeans

How to Hem Jeans and Keep the Original Hem

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  1. Great article – thank you! There is just nothing like a great pair of comfy “distressed” jeans :)

  2. Were you stalking my google search from the last few days? This is exactly what I have been looking for so I can distress my overalls! Thanks lady!!

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  5. My husband has a pair of Wrangler jeans that are much too wide in the legs for him. How do you take in the legs of jeans?? Do you have a tutorial for this??
    Thanks for your help!

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