Denim DIY: Bring Your Old Pair of Denim Back to Life

(Photo via Nasty Gal)

Do you have those pair of denim shorts/pants lying around that you don’t wear anymore or are out of style? Well here’s a little DIY for you to get those jeans back in the “obsessed” pile. Ripped jean shorts are all the rage and you shouldn’t have to spend the big bucks to get them, they’re a piece of cake to do yourself at home for free. So grab those old pair of lame jeans and follow along with me on these few easy steps to transform them into something awesome.

*I started out with a pair of jean shorts I picked up from Goodwill that have barely been worn, so I had to work at them a little to get the “broken in” look. If your jeans are already broken in, work at them accordingly.

What you need:

-A nice pair of scissors, ideally fabric scissors.

-Exacto knife (scissors will be fine if you do no have one of these).

-Sand paper, cheese grater, file etc. (I used the sand paper and file myself).

-An old pair of jeans or a pair you don’t mind cutting up.

Step one: Cut them

If you have denim pants you are using for this DIY, cut them to the length that you want (try the jeans on and measure the length you want for the best results). If you are using shorts do the same thing and if they are already at a good length, trim the hem so you can get the “worn” look.

Step 2: Make Tears

I prefer using an exacto knife because its easier to manage and makes small slits, but feel free to use a scissors for this. I referenced a pair of jean shorts with holes that I bought a while ago so I could see where to put my slits. You can reference photos online if you don’t have any pairs at home.

Step 3: Wear it down

For this step, the sand paper and file worked the best for me, but feel free to use anything that’s rough and will wear the denim down. I’ve heard of people using cheese graters so you can try that out as well. I went around to all the edges of the jeans (pockets, waist band, belt loops, yoke, zipper cover etc) and sanded them down so they looked worn in.

I also took the exacto knife and cut into some of the edges to further the effect. You can also sand the front of the jeans where there aren’t any edges or holes so that they are more soft and broken in. After you sand all the edges, start sanding all the slits you made and also the hem line. You can take apart some of the weave with your hands to make it fray more.

Step 4: Wash them

Washing the jeans creates more fray at the edges and breaks them in a little bit. Whether your jeans are already worn in or not, I would still throw them in the washer.

ÔǪand that’s it! You’ve got a great pair of ripped jean shorts for the summer. Feel free to add on some more DIY’s like studs and fabric. Enjoy!