DIY Boyfriend Jeans

One time in fifth grade I wore my mom’s jeans to school. They had big rips in the knees and I felt like a cool kid for the day. Of course I didn’t tell anyone they were my mom’s because that might have taken the “cool” factor out of the ripped jeans. Want to know how my mom got those rips in the knees? She cleaned our floors in those jeans, they ripped, and the rest is fashion history. 

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Fast forward to a few months ago when I was trying on boyfriend jeans at Madewell. I fell in love and was about to buy them when reality sunk in: I was about to pay $120 for ripped jeans. I couldn’t do it. Whatever happened to manual labor for natural wear and tear? When I got back home I scoured my closet for the oldest jeans I could find. (Words of wisdom- keep old jeans; they always seem to come in handy).

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I have to admit, I didn’t get on my hands and knees to clean the floor and rip my jeans. Instead, I got on my hands and knees with an exacto knife and a small piece of cardboard and started cutting. 

DIY Boyfriend Jeans_Prep

Place the cardboard in between the two pieces of fabric so you don’t cut through to the back side of your jeans. Start cutting a bunch of lines in the fabric where you want your rips to be. Make sure you see that at least a few of the lines have cut through.

DIY Boyfriend Jeans_Process3

If you want a cut in the knee, slice it open with the exacto knife and you may need to use scissors to cut all the way through.

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For scuff marks, make some criss-crosses with the exacto knife, but not cutting all the way through the fabric. This just gives the fabric a nice scruffy look after it’s washed and dried. 

DIY Boyfriend Jeans_Process

Once you have all your cuts, throw them in the wash, then the dryer. Then roll up the bottom a couple times, throw on some slip-on shoes and revel in your new DIY boyfriend jeans. 

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Now go find something fun to do with that $120 you saved yourself!

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P.S. I have a newfound respect for fashion bloggers. This stuff is awkward.

6 Comments
  1. GAH, so so so cute! I have the same problem – I fall in love with boyfriend jeans, but then I nearly die when I see the pricetag (I recently fell in love with a $230 pair. $230?!??!?). Love this tutorial – I’m totally going to find and old pair and do this!

    1. Thanks Natalie! Ya, you can wear them year round too where you are…I’m already wearing my california winter coat for the fall!

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