diy distressed jeans

Fall calls for jeans of all kinds—colored jeans, skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, holey jeans… but what if you could add your own touch? We found an easy, no-fail way to distress our own jeans, and it’s a must-share! After all, why drop big bucks on a pair of pricey distressed jeans, when you can do it yourself?

Here’s what you’ll need:

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– A pair of jeans—the more worn, the better!
– Cheese grater
– Seam ripper


1. Start with a pair of soft, faded jeans—new or used. Worn jeans are better to distress because they’re softer, which makes the job easier.

2. Locate the faded (thinner) areas of your jeans—these are the best places for distressing. Think knees, thighs, pockets and hems.

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3. Run the cheese grater on the areas you want to distress. Once you’ve roughed up an area with the grater, use the seam ripper to pull threads, further distressing the fabric. Trim off pulled threads with scissors if you want.
*Tip: On the pockets, start with the seam ripper. Since they’re smaller, it’s easier to start distressing the pockets by making a little tear with the seam ripper first, then using the cheese grater.

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4. Throw your jeans in the wash when you’re finished; it will complete the distressed look. Pair with a big sweater, a boyfriend blazer or your fave tee and you’ll be wearing them all fall!

For a complete A-Z denim guide to keep you on your game this fall, grab an August/ September issue of Justine!