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Distressed Denim

The Hip Life



Distressed Denim

Courtenay Henderson

Grab a friend and a pair of scissors!

This was a really great project and it helped salvage a pair of jeans I was ready to throw out. It was a win-win!

You'll need:

  • sharp scissors or an exacto knife
  • card board
  • chalk
  • jeans
  • some aggression

I put my jeans on and then marked where I thought I would want them to be distressed or ripped with a piece of chalk. You know the old "measure twice, cut once"? It definitely applies here. When I was happy with where the rips would be, I put a piece of cardboard on the inside of the jeans and laid them out on my work space.


Here are my instructions/tips:

  • pull the scissors across the chalk lines, like you're scraping the fabric
  • pull the fabric pretty tight so that you can be accurate in your cuts
  • leave about a centimetre of space between cuts, otherwise you'll just end up with holes
  • try them on a few times just to make sure the tears are where you want them to be
  • grab a friend- it really helps to have an extra set of eyes for the final result
  • a mix of the scrapes and cuts looked best (in my humble opinion)

Ultimately, this is your art project/fashion statement so if you make a mistake no one needs to know! I may continue to make changes to my jeans. I love them except the holes on the left knee are a bit much for me. I feel like they're a little too hard rock. I may just commit and make it an actual hole. We'll see- these jeans are still a work in progress.

This project was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Normally these projects seem like a good idea in theory and then just flop in the execution. I got a little scissor happy and distressed my 6 month old daughter's jeans. They are too cute! But, I will warn you that those little toes like to pop through the holes when you're trying to pull them on. Still worth it though. I mean I'm pretty sure babies crawl so hard they naturally wear out their jeans, right? 

If you decide to distress your jeans, #thehiplifeblog and show me your creations. I would love to see them!  

Happy cutting!