Thursday, 30 October 2014

Halloween DIY: Destroyed Skinny Jeans

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to show you how to make a pair of Distressed skinny jeans that's simple and easy to recreate with just a few tools that you may have lying around in your home. Now this isn't really a Halloween DIY per se, but because it happens to be a part of my costume and I was trying to go for a more rugged and badass look, so I've decided to just make a little tutorial on how you can make distressed and destroyed details of your own that you can pretty much do to anything such as jeans, shorts, t-shirts, or whatever else you may have in mind.

You Will Need:

  • A Pair of Skinny Jeans (It doesn't matter on colour as long as it's made out of 100% cotton)
  • Rough Sandpaper
  • Box Cutter (or an Exacto Knife)
  • Scissors
  • Something sturdy that you can fit between the legs of the pants so that you don't cut through to the other side


  • Steel Wool
  • Tailor's Chalk (or a Pencil or a Pencil Crayon if you don't have any Chalk handy) for the markings
  • Miscellaneous materials and/or tools that you might want to add to the jeans

So Here is the Pair of Jeans that I started off with. I recommend that you buy your jeans from the Thrift Store or use an old pair that you no longer use. The jeans should be made out of 100% Cotton but these ones were 98% cotton and 2% spandex and they still turned out ok. But really and truly you should not be using jeans that are made from a blended fabric as they won't turn out as well.

Pay No Attention to the Mismatched Socks Child!

Step One: Do a quick Google Search on ripped jeans and find a couple of pictures that inspire you to get an idea on the type of rips that you might want on your jeans. Alternatively, If you already have a pair of jeans or shorts that's already distressed, you can also use that as a template.

Step Two: Insert a study object (such as a cardboard or other study piece of paper) into one of the legs of the jeans. This is so that you don't accidentally cut through both sides of the leg.

Step Three: Using a piece of rough sandpaper, rub around the area that you intend to distress until the fabric begins to thin and fray out. This helps loosen the fibers and makes it easier for you to cut.

Step Four: Use the exacto knife and gently tug at the area that you've just distressed. Continue until you start to see some threads, then genly tug at them using your knife or your fingers.

Step Five: To finish off the ends, use the exacto knife to tug at the loose ends to give it a frayed look.

Step Six: Repeat Steps 2-5 for any other additional rips that you might want to add to the pants.

Step Seven: To add rips to the knees, It's recommended that you wear your jeans for this step so that it's easier for you to figure out where to cut. Using the Tailors Chalk (or a sharpened Pencil), Draw a line approximately 1/2 inch to an inch above the knee and about 1/2 inch below the knee. Then take off the jeans and Add some thin slits in the area between the two lines making sure to leave about 1/4 to 1/2 inch space from the marking. Don't tug the slits afterwards. I'll explain why later.

Step Eight: To add holes to you pants, Use the exacto knife to make a couple of small slits in the pants. Then, with your scissors, cut a small section of the area, making sure to leave a couple of the slits untouched. Then with your fingers tug at the area to rip it even further. Tug at the edges and on the slits to make the rip look more natural.

Step Nine: If you want to, you can add some fray glue or stitch on some thread on the reverse side of the pants to help prevent your jeans from ripping out too much over time and from wear and tear.

***** The Following Steps Are Optional and you don't necessary have to do them if you don't want these type of rips on your jeans... *****

Step Ten: If you want rips on your back pocket(s) as well, insert something thats small but sturdy (For example a skinny plastic bottle or a small piece of cardboard) And just distress the area using the rough sandpaper. Then gently tug at the loose fibers with the exacto knife and pull at the threads.

Basically they should look like this when you are done with the pockets. 

Step Eleven: To add a even more worn-in look, distress the pockets using a piece of rough sandpaper and roughly rub them them until the fabric starts to fray out. Then with the exacto knife, rub the blade along the top edge of the pockets and also tug at the loosened fibers until you start to see some threads. 

Step Twelve: If you want, you can also add some tiny rips to the front pockets and the coin pockets as well (But be very careful with the coin pocket. Because you are working with a very small area, you don't want to rip it out too much. Also the blade is very sharp and you really don't want to accidentally cut yourself now do you?)

***** I Highly Recommend this last step as this helps it really break in the jean and give more of a rugged and worn-in look. *****

Step Thirteen: Throw your jean in the wash in cold water and with normal agitation (with or without detergent, it's all up to you!). Then Completely dry your jeans in the dryer. Repeat this step two times, or skip this step if your completely satisfied with how your jeans look. Alternatively, you can turn them inside out so that you back pockets don't get damaged too much and wind up with a HUGE hole on them.

And That's it! I was really impressed with how they turned out for my very first attempt at this and I really loved how the rips had turned out!

I was going to cut off one side of the jean and make it capri length, but seeing as how I actually want to wear these jeans again in the future, I left the length as is. Oh Well, at least it still looks pretty cool! I say that it definitely adds some edge and destruction to the costume. Now I won't say what my costume is going to be as of yet (Let's just say that this person is a little hellbent on power!), But when the time comes, I'm sure you might be pretty impressed with what I come up with! :)

One last tip for you guys, if you really want to make these jeans extra cool, you can add some paint splatters or bleach (that is if the fabric allows for it and won't wind up actually ruining it) or even add some chains, studs, spikes or whatever strikes your fancy! If afterwards the rips are still too small for you liking, you can always go back and trim off some more until you are satisfied! (or you can always wash it again and tumble dry them and/or continue wearing them until the rips expand).

Happy Halloween Everyone!

So what did you think of this tutorial? Is there anything that I may have missed or something else that can be done with the jeans? Let me know in the comments below!

Love Always,


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