DIY Distressed Denim

Hey guys!

I hope you all had a fun and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. I remember in high school, I always looked forward to that day off, but in college you’re already free from school! I know my siblings appreciated having that extra day to chill and even though I’m already out from school, I appreciated it too.

A couple weeks ago, I posted a poll on Instagram asking if my followers would like to see a blog post on how to distress denim, and s VAST majority said yes! Whether it be shorts, jackets, or jeans, this method will work for any type of denim. Since it is definitely the summer time for most of us, this is a great way to keep up with summer trends while not spending $30+ on distressed shorts or jeans. In this DIY, the shorts I got were $4 at my local Goodwill. That’s all it cost me to make denim that looks similar to those bought at fast fashion retailers. That brings me to another point! Using DIY methods on your old clothing or on thrifted clothing is a great way to be creative and express your personal style without spending money at fast fashion brands such as Forever 21.

So… let’s get this DIY started!

Before Picture:

I bought these shorts a little bit bigger than my normal size because I still want them to fit me years down the road, and I like the baggy, vintage shorts look! I also made sure that I had a similar color and style of these shorts already before I bought them, so if I made any mistakes I wouldn’t scream at myself for messing up my only pair of dark denim shorts.

Tools Needed:

– The shorts (of course)

– Sharp scissors

– Tweezers

– A solid, flat surface. I used an old children’s book, but a piece of cardboard works great too

– A lot of patience

After you’ve gathered your materials, its time to begin!

Step 1: Planning

Find some inspiration images! Unless you feel comfortable just diving right in, Pinterest is a great friend when it comes to fashion images. Search around for pictures of distressed shorts that you like or enjoy and save them for reference.

Optional: if you need some extra security, use a washable marker or fashion chalk to plan out where you want to place the rips!

Step 2: Separate the Front from the Back

Place your hard surface underneath the leg of the shorts (or jeans if you’re doing that instead). Make sure it is fully separating the front of the jeans from the back. It would be awful if you cut through the whole leg on accident!

Step 3: Make the Pocket Inside Out

Girl, unless you want a hole in your pocket, make sure to do this step! The hard surface being underneath the leg of the shorts/jeans helps with this also.

Step 4: Cut a Slit

I chose to put my first rip/distressing here! The size and length of the slit determines the size and length of the distressing. If you want a bigger rip, I suggest cutting two slits about the size of mine on top of one another. Cutting a slit that’s too long will be a LOT harder to distress. You’ll see why in a minute…

Step 5: Grab Those Tweezers and Pull Out the Threads

This is the hardest step and the most time consuming. Carefully take your tweezers and start to pull out the vertical, blue threads one at a time. If you try to pull out more than one, the threads won’t come out and will break in half or become frayed which makes it even harder. Some material is harder to remove threads from compared to others, so don’t give up! Also, like I mentioned earlier, if the height of the slit is too long, the threads will break in half. The longer the threads, the harder they are to pull out. This is why I suggest working in smaller sections to make one big section.

Continue to repeat this process until all the threads are pulled out of the little slit you made! It does take a while, especially to do a whole pair or shorts or jeans. I suggest turning on a movie, Hulu, or Netflix. You also don’t have to do this all in one day!

This is what I mentioned earlier about working in smaller sections to create a bigger distressed mark!

Step 6: Wash and Dry

All you need to do now is wash and dry these babies using your normal, typical laundry cycle. I wash all my clothes in cold water and dry them on the “normal” option, whatever that means. After that, YOU’RE DONE!

Finished Product:

These are literally my FAVORITE pair of shorts now. I wear them all the time, especially because I put the work into them to create them.

I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial! Let me know in the comments if there is anything you need clarified, and let me know if you enjoyed this tutorial!

Until next time,

8 thoughts on “DIY Distressed Denim

  1. Lexi says:

    I know right!! I absolutely love playing around with denim, and it’s so inexpensive to just pick up something from a thrift store and get creative with it! Thank you so much for the support girl! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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