DIY Distressed Boyfriend Jeans in 10 Easy Steps

For some time now, I’ve been searching for the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans. I love the relaxed, easygoing feel of these jeans that can easily be dressed up with a pair of great heels. I’ve seen a few I liked, tried on a few more, but alas, I couldn’t find a pair that flattered my frame with the perfect distressed, worn-in details I had been looking for. Then, I had an epiphany! Why not make my own pair of boyfriend jeans?? Off I went to Goodwill for some thrifted finds. It’s been years since the last time I’ve been to a thrift store. It was a little overwhelming at first, but then I remembered how much I love digging for treasure. Then, there they were! A pair of Citizens of Humanity jeans in a medium wash that was one size too big. Slightly distressed but not enough for my ideal “Boyfriend Jeans” look. PERFECT for my little project.

I’ve been having fun with Polyvore and put together some of my favorite boyfriend jeans and heels pairings! I was trying to re-create the jeans on the right from Hollister.

Boyfriend Jeans

Here’s What You’ll Need:


1. A padded envelope (folded in half or thirds depending on the size of the pant leg). Cardstock or a thin wooden block can also be substituted.

2. Sandpaper (medium to course grade; I used medium)

3. A pencil

4. An X-acto Knife

5. Tweezers

Ok! Let’s Begin! 🙂

DIY Distressed Boyfriend Jeans:

1. First, try on your jeans. These look pretty bad on me at the moment, but that’s ok! We can work with them! As a petite girl, I have the problem of most of my pants being too long on me. No worries, because…


2. Boyfriend Jeans look great rolled up! Especially the kind of roll that is not perfectly creased or defined. So give them a roll.


3. Grab your pencil and make a marking at your knee. I chose to only put holes on one knee, but if you’d like you can do both.


4. Now take off your jeans and slip your folded padded envelope, card stock or your thin block of wood into the pant leg that you want to cut.


5. Now grab your X-acto knife. *PLEASE BE CAREFUL! Make sure you have parent supervision if you’re under 18* Cut the area of jeans that you marked with your pencil. Make sure you only cut what is above your padded envelope. Your longest cut should be at the center of your knee because this is naturally where the jeans would rip the most. I made a total of 4 cuts that were between 1/4 to 1/2 an inch apart. The cut I made that was closest to the top of the pant was very short, in order to recreate other torn jeans I’d seen and loved.20140210-DSC_235020140210-DSC_235620140210-DSC_2364

6. Make any other cuts wherever you’d like. Make sure you have your padded envelope inside the pant leg!


7. Take your sandpaper and rub against areas that normally have wear and tear like the edges of pockets or coin pockets. Also use your sandpaper to rub against smaller areas that you cut with your exacto knife. This will cause the blue threads to come out and leave behind the horizontal white threads. This is the look you’re going for!



8. Pull apart some horizontal white threads until you can see the visible blue vertical threads. Grab your tweezers and pull out your vertical blue threads.20140210-DSC_238720140210-DSC_0004

9. Keep pulling out those blue threads! Once you’re finished it will look something like this. 20140210-DSC_0007
10. Now throw them in the washer and dryer and you’re done!

Here’s the finished look! In an upcoming post, I’ll show you how I styled my DIY boyfriend jeans.20140210-DSC_0114

Now you’re ready to create your own distressed boyfriend jean! Have some fun!