How To Rip Jeans


Photo Credit: Photo via Alexa Leviten

Ripping your own jeans is something easy and gives you satisfaction knowing you did it yourself.

By: Alexa Leviten, Managing Editor & Public Relations

If you have ever loved how a pair of jeans fit but didn’t like them because they were too plain, you could try spicing them up a bit by adding rips to them.

Ripped jeans have been a fashion trend for a while now, and is nothing new. But sometimes buying an expensive pair of jeans isn’t something you can afford. You can pick up a cheap pair of jeans from a local thrift store if you wanted and rip them yourself to save money. All jeans can have rips in them, but some just create better holes and are easier to rip. Jeans that have less stretch are the easiest to rip and look the best after getting ripped, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rip other jeans because you can.

Step 1: Picking What You Want To Rip

The first step is picking the pair of jeans you would like to rip and knowing what style they are. For example, they could be boyfriend, mom, skinny, bell bottom, baggy, straight leg, wide, etc… Before actually starting on your item, you can use any denim material you don’t care about cutting to practice on (optional). Or if you want to just wing it, use your creativity to make them your own originally ripped clothes. If you do mess up, just try your best to find a way to turn it into a happy accident. You could look up some inspiration on the internet to help you get an idea of what you want your rips to look like.

Step 2: Gather Your Materials

To rip through the denim you will need sharp scissors (an X-Acto knife or a box cutter will work too), tweezers, sandpaper or a cheese grater (optional) and a piece of cardboard (optional) to separate the back from the front so it doesn’t accidentally cut through. The sandpaper or cheese grater is to create a distressed look which I will be explaining how to do in step 4.

Step 3: Mark Where You Want The Rips

Use a pen, chalk, safety-pin, or anything that won’t permanently stay on your denim to mark exactly where you want your rips and/or distressed areas. To be more accurate and ensure you are drawing straight, use a ruler or anything not flimsy. To create bigger holes, mark the beginning and end of your rips, and then add smaller lines in between to make the rips easier to do later on. If you have an idea but don’t know for sure how it will look, try drawing out the lines on a piece of paper first. Take your time with this step and don’t rush it, be creative with it, and have fun too.

Step 4: Start Distressing (optional)

This step is to get a real good distressed denim look that will make your jeans look worn out. To do this, lay the jeans flat and start using the sandpaper/cheese grater to rub the marked areas. This will create the distressed look on the jeans. The time it takes to complete this step depends on how distressed you want them to look. It also depends on how thick the material is.

Step 5: Creating the Rips & Holes

Now it’s time to actually rip the jeans. Take your scissors (or whatever material you are using to cut with) along the marked lines you made earlier. Make at least two parallel cuts that are no more than 1 in thick (or else it will be harder). Fray the ends of the cuts you just made until you see some white threads. Next, take your tweezers and pick out the blue vertical threads that you see. You should be left with only horizontal threads that will most likely be white in color. Pulling out the vertical threads is the relaxing part, and can even be stress-relieving too. You can sit back and enjoy some music or watch tv while doing this and your jeans are almost done.

Step 6: Final Touches

Repeat step 5 to finish all of the rips you want in your jeans. After doing each section, look at your jeans and see what you think of them so far. It is better to stop in sections to make sure you will like the ending result.  You should even try them once in a while to see how they look. Lastly, when you wash them for the first time after ripping them, put them in at a softer cycle with cold water so that the threads don’t rip. Hopefully, this helps you and you can try ripping your own jeans the way you would like.