Distressed Jeans

11-14 year olds | one hour

Instead of buying expensive jeans that already have rips, tears, or bleach on them, why not save money by create your own worn looking jeans? Great for the fashion-minded creative teen.

What You'll Need

  • a pair of jeans
  • a pumice stone
  • scissors
  • cheese grater
  • bleach pen (optional)
  • cardboard


1. Lay the pair of jeans on a flat surface. Envision how you want your jeans to look and how distressed you would like them to be. Two to four patches of wear and tear are usually enough for a pair of jeans.
2. Fit a piece of cardboard inside the leg of the jean you are starting with.
3. Pumice any areas of the jeans that you’d like lighter, thinner, or generally more distressed-looking. Be liberal with the stone, just remember to move the cardboard to where you’ll be working.
4. Use a scissor blade to cut three or four tears in a row on the jeans. Make the cuts a few centimetres apart and of varying lengths. Cut diagonally, horizontally and vertically to make a patch of wear.
5. If you’d like, experiment with a bleach pen to add designs to your jeans. Swirls, dots, or other patterns around the bottoms of the jeans or surrounding pockets add flair.
6. If you used the bleach pen, let the jeans set for about a half hour. If you wait longer, the bleach will make the jeans whiter and whiter, so decide how light you want your designs to be.
7. Rinse out bleach with water. Then put your jeans through the washer and dryer. Wear and enjoy.

Tags: fabrics

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