DIY – How to Rip Your Own Jeans… on a budget

Happy Saturday everyone! This weekend I’m going thrift shopping for jeans.  I’m planning to hit up my favorite “everything $2” store in the hopes they will have jeans I can be creative with.  (I have my supplies all ready…)  Cheers!

How to Rip Your Own Jeans

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Acquiring a fashionable pair of ripped jeans can be expensive — unless you know how to make them yourself. It requires a little patience, but the process is pretty simple.


  1. Do some research. Look online and in fashion magazines for the best-looking rips. Most jean companies seem to place them in areas that you wouldn’t naturally tear.
  2. Find your jeans. Try jeans from a thrift shop for practice if you’re new at this.
  3. Decide on the size and shape of the rip. It may enlarge each time you wash your jeans, as the frayed ends get caught in washing machines. In a word, be conservative.
  4. Decide which techniques to use. You may wish to let the fabric become thin on its own.
  5. Gather your jeans, coarse sandpaper, pumice stone, wood file, grater, utility knife, scissors and a small, flat block of wood.
  6. Draw a cutting line or pattern on your jeans with a pencil.
  7. Place a block of wood inside the pant leg beneath the area.
  8. Rub and scrape the fabric in several different directions. Use sandpaper, a pumice stone, wood file and grater. These will fray the fabric.
  9. Loosen fibers by scraping with the blade of a utility knife.
  10. Using the scissors, cut a hole through the loosened fibers.
  11. For a cute look, you can wear colored nylons or stockings beneath your ripped jeans.
  12. Bleach parts of the jeans for that extra destroyed look.

Things You’ll Need

  • Jeans
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Pumice stone
  • Wood file
  • Grater
  • Utility knife (Straight Edge razor works well to wear the denim down)
  • Scissors
  • Small, flat block of wood
  • Pencil or dark marker

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Rip Your Own Jeans. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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Jody Thompson

I'm going to blog about my many shopping escapades. Whether it is a used book store, a thrift shop or a consignment shop-- I'm here to tell all about my experiences. When I find great stuff-- I'll let you know. I'm sending good karma to all the thrifty shoppers out there!

2 thoughts on “DIY – How to Rip Your Own Jeans… on a budget”

  1. My father had a small chain of dress shops in Ohio. He was a born entrepreneur. I will never forget when “stone washed” jeans and “distressed” jeans first gained popularity back in the early 1970s. My father had racks of nice crispy jeans and suddenly everybody wanted worn, stone washed jeans. Dad was not a man to look past an opportunity. He enlisted my help. We pulled all of the jeans off the racks one night and took them home. He knew that he was going to trash the jeans and he didn’t want to lose track of their sizes, so he devised a system of safety pins to mark the sizes. (One pin was a size 5, two was size 7, three a size 9, etc. — in those days there were no size 3 or below — not in southern Ohio anyway).

    First he took some sandpaper and we sanded them in various spots. Then he put them in the washer and dumped bleach on them. We didn’t rip them, because that wasn’t “in” yet. He washed them like crazy and finished them off with tons of fabric softener. By the time they came out of the dryer, they were all soft and funky looking with bleach spots and worn places (via the sandpaper).

    He removed the safety pins, remarked then with their sizes and marked each pair of jeans up by about extra $5 (a nice markup in those days). The next morning he had a big sign in the window, “Just in — New shipment of high-fashion stone washed jeans.” He sold out in 48 hours.

    Now Jody is going to spend the weekend ripping her jeans because “fashionably ripped jeans are expensive.” My father is turning over in his grave.

    1. You are so right about the fashionably ripped jeans being expensive. My plan is to visit my favorite “everything $2” store, find a pair of jeans and get creative. Many years ago I did the same thing and created some quite fabulous jean shorts for a mere $5. I took jeans from Goodwill, cut them, frayed them and strategically sprayed with bleach.

      I love the story about your father and the stone wash jeans. It shows that a little creativity and good marketing can pay off!

      Thank you for visiting my blog!! I always look forward to your comments. Take care and have a fantastic weekend. Cheers.

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