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How To Make Ripped Jeans

ripped jeans

There’s something so effortless and fashionable about the right pair of ripped jeans. Distressing, rips, tears, holes, you name it, we love it. If you’re looking to learn how to make ripped jeans yourself, keep reading below!

What Are Ripped Jeans?

woman wearing ripped jeans while holding her shirt

Image via Pixabay

Ripped jeans are a style of jeans that come pre-distressed to give them a fashionable and casual appearance. It comes in any style such as skinny, boot-leg, trouser, boyfriend, capri, and more. Additionally, ripped jeans can come in a wide array of rises such as an ultra-high rise and low rise. Ripped jeans can also come in any number of colors and washes.

When people say ripped jeans, they most commonly mean jeans that have holes in them. Rips, tears, holes, and distressing are all common among ripped jean styles. The damage to these jeans can be in a number of locations on the pant itself. The most common locations for distressing and holes are on the knees and upper thighs. It is less common to see distressing and holes of that nature on the back of the jeans; however, rips right below the buttocks are more common.

Why Should I Learn How to Make Ripped Jeans?

Ripped jeans are a fun and casual way to stay on trend. It is a great style trend because they work for any body type and shape. Jeans come in a number of styles such as skinny, boyfriend, boot-leg, and more. That’s what makes learning how to make ripped jeans using your own jeans even more beneficial. It’s often hard to find a ripped jean in a style of pant that fits your individual body type.

Another reason you should consider learning how to make ripped jeans is that they’re surprisingly versatile. Throw on a pair of white tennis shoes and roll up the bottoms for a casual vibe. You can also pair this style of jeans with a great pair of heels and a tight top for that sexy yet effortless girl-next-door look.

Ripped jeans, like most things in the fashion industry, can vary wildly in price.  I’m sure you’ve heard someone older in your life, such as a parent or grandparent, scoff at the price of something that is “already ruined.” That just happens to be the case with ripped jeans; some styles can easily be hundreds of dollars.

Ripped jeans are often more expensive than a traditional, complete jeans and there are two reasons for that. First and foremost, ripped jeans are in style. Just like gas prices go up during peak travel seasons, the more trendy a piece of clothing, the more expensive it will be (even if it already has holes). Secondly, ripped jeans are an art form in terms of design. Not only do the rips have to be placed in locations that are comfortable to the wearer, but they also have to not get larger or fray more over time.

Can You Tell Me How to Make Ripped Jeans?

model poses while looking up

Image by Wesner Rodrigues via Pexels

So, you know everything there is to know about ripped jeans and what to expect. You’re ready to get started learning how to make ripped jeans. Follow the steps below and you’ll have a fashionable pair of distressed pants for half the price of anything you can find in stores!

How Should I Style Ripped Jeans?

Ripped jean outfits are casual masterpieces that litter Pinterest boards across the globe. When you pair the right accessories and clothing articles with a great pair of distressed jeans, you look like a celebrity ready to meet the paparazzi outside a Starbucks. The most fun thing about ripped jeans is how truly versatile they are.

The bigger the holes in your jeans, the hole placement, the leg width, and the rise all play a major role in styling your ripped jeans. For example, a pair of baggy boyfriend jeans with holes from the knees to the upper thigh isn’t going to look the same as a skin-tight, high-rise skinny jean with fraying down the front. When styling ripped jeans we always like to remember to keep things simple in terms of accessories and additional clothing.

Step One: Select Your Pants

The first step to making ripped jeans is to select a pair of sturdy jeans. This is the best part about this design, as we mentioned above, you can make whatever pair of ripped jeans you want to. 

If you want a baggy boyfriend style, go for it; if you want a tight skinny jean, more power to you. The world is your oyster; just don’t go for your tried and true favorite pair right off the bat.

Step Two: Gather Your Supplies

After you’ve selected the right pair of pants for your intended vision, you’ll want to gather the rest of your supplies. In order to learn how to make ripped jeans, you’ll want to use the right tools. We suggest the following supplies:

  • Sandpaper or paint-removing block
  • Steel wool
  • Pumice stone
  • Small scissors
  • X-Acto knife or box cutter
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Chalk or a pen
  • Optional: tweezers

Tip: Keep It Wrinkle-Free

Are your jeans a little bit wrinkled from the wash, not being put away correctly, or from perpetually sitting on your bedroom floor? We won’t judge. However, if you’re looking to create the most seamless and believable distressing on your jeans we suggest popping them into the wash, or at the very least, ironing them.

You want to ensure that your jeans are not wrinkly and are laying how they would usually lay on your body. If you add distressing on top of bumps or folds, it can encourage the fabric to lay oddly and be uncomfortable when worn. Ensure the best outcome by working with jeans that are ready to be worn!

Step Three: Mark It Up

The third step to learning how to make ripped jeans is to mark where on your jeans you want rips, holes, tears, and/or distressing. It’s most effective to do this step while wearing the jeans and looking in the mirror. This way you know exactly where the damage will hit on the jean and how comfortable it will be to wear.

To mark up your pants, we suggest using a piece of chalk for the easiest removal. If you don’t have chalk, you can always use a simple ballpoint pen. The pen should come off in the wash.

Step Four: Start the Damage

girl sitting beside the door

Image by Marcelo Dias via Pexels

This is where the fun part comes in. The fourth step to creating your very own pair of ripped jeans is to lay them out on a flat surface. This is where you’ll want to use your cardboard. Place the cardboard up into the pant legs to avoid distressing the back sides of the jeans as well. Start fashionably damaging your jeans by taking your sandpaper, steel wool, and pumice stone and rubbing them over the marked areas on your jeans until the fabric looks and feels thinner in those spots. This step may take some time and arm strength, so great ready to put in the work depending on the thickness and quality of your pants.

Step Five: Holes and Further Distress

You’re almost done making your very own ripped jeans. The last step in knowing how to make ripped jeans is to further your distressing by creating rips, tears, and holes. To do this, you’ll need to take your blade and start scraping the distressed areas. It’s important to note that you are simply scraping the edge of the blade against the fabric; you are not physically cutting anything at this point.

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If you want large holes or tears, you can use your small pair of scissors to lightly cut across the fabric. Make sure you have the cardboard in between the front and back layer of the jeans. You don’t want to accidentally cut through to the other side, so use caution when using scissors.

Optional: Further Styling

If you’re a fashion expert and looking for more design and customization in your ripped jeans, you can take it up a notch. To further the distressed and worn style, we suggest using a pair of tweezers to pull fraying strands. It’s important to note that we’re not recommending that you pull the strands out; simply loosen them so that the jeans appear more naturally frayed instead.


The ripped jean trend has been sweeping the nation for the past few years and we don’t see it going away anytime soon. There’s just something that looks so fashionable and put-together about an outfit accompanied by a pair ripped jeans; it’s almost as if they’re the girl-next-door of the pants world. However, that’s what makes them so great.

It will cost you a fortune in stores. Learning how to make ripped jeans is a priceless skill that can quite literally save you hundreds of dollars. Not to mention you can always ensure that the style and fit of the pants are absolutely perfect before distressing. Using a few simple techniques above, you can make your very own pair of styling pants that are both casual and fashion forward.

Last update on 2021-09-19 at 19:33 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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