You’re cleaning out your closet for fall, taking a poll on your jeans to decide which to keep and which to toss. When you pick up a pair of plain old jeans, the answer seems like a no-brainer — in the recycle bin you go. But remember, blah denim is never a permanent thing: there is always something you can do to give your jeans a fresh new look, and without much effort. In fact, you probably have everything you need for an ultra easy denim makeover at home rn, as in fabric paint, bleach and scissors. See? We weren’t lying.
We challenged the babes in our office to come up with creative ways to hack their old denim, and for this second post in our three-part DIY Denim Challenge series, the gals are showing off three easy ways to amp up basic skinny jeans. Scroll through for the simple tutorials that make a such major difference.
Mariaclara’s Ripped Knee Jeans
“I’ve been noticing every celebrity sporting them, from Selena Gomez to Giselle! Ripped jeans are not a new trend, but the subtle skinny rips across the knees of black jeans look so chic when paired with a pair of pumps. I think this works with my personal style because I love to incorporate high-low fashion trends into my everyday ensembles. Like if I’m wearing a delicate top, I’ll try to offset it with a rugged pair of shoes or jacket. Or, if I’m wearing a pair of heels, I like to tone down the rest of the outfit. This is one way to do just that!”
How to DIY Jeans With Ripped Knees
1. Try your jeans on and use chalk to draw a line where your want the rips to be.
2. Take the pants off and start cutting along the line with scissors. I did a simple straight cut, but if you want you can do it a bit messier.
3. Using either a nail file or sandpaper, rough up your cut. If you really want the threads to look like they’re bursting from the fabric, just put them through the wash.
“I love this delicate slit-knee + dark denim look that is only apparent mid-stride — it’s cool but still very chic. I’ll be wearing these with a simple tee or tank, a cropped leather jacket, nude or pop-of-color pumps and a pair of blinged-out earrings. Maybe even rouge lips :)
Lee’s Geometric Print Jeans
“There’s just something I love about crisp, thin white lines against black and simple geometry that doesn’t have to mean anything. I took my inspiration from illustrations I’d seen all over Pinterest and Society6 and decided this would be a cool, subtle way to change up a pair of black skinny jeans. I also wanted to find a more efficient way to make perfectly straight lines and thought of chalk lines used in construction and woodworking.”
How to DIY Geometric Print Jeans
1. Cut two pieces of cardboard to fit the bottom half of your jeans below your knees and insert them into each pant leg.
2. Squirt white fabric paint onto a paper plate in a line and then lay one piece of string in the paint. Completely cover that section of string in paint using your paintbrush. Brush off any gloopy excess paint.
3. Hold your piece of string tight from both sides and lay it down onto one pant leg to apply paint. You can also slide the string back and forth or carefully press down on the string with a clean paintbrush to apply more paint for a bolder effect.
4. Carefully pull the string away, refill with paint and repeat.
5. Touch up your lines or add little dots of paint as you wish with a fine paintbrush and let dry before wearing.
“For basic lines, this sure did take on an outer-space vibe! To me, this accidental outcome is kind of like an updated galaxy print, so of course I had to style with my silver “ugly sandals,” or as I call them, the moon boots of sandals. I’m personally very cautious with mixing patterns, so I’d go for a simple solid colored top to let the jeans talk.”
Kelly’s Ombre Jeans
“I was inspired by a pair of jeans I bought from Tobi a couple years ago. Those jeans are black to gray, but I never find myself wearing them because darker jeans are just not my style. So I’m updating a pair of lighter wash jeans with that same ombre finish.”
How to DIY Ombre Jeans
1. Dunk the legs of your jeans into water. This will make it easier for the bleach to soak into the denim.
2. Mix 3 parts water to 1 part bleach and let the jeans soak for 10 minutes.
3. Pull about 5 inches of the jeans out of the water and then add another cup of bleach. Let them sit in this solution for another 10 minutes.
4. Pull another 5 inches of the jeans out of the water and add another cup of bleach. Let the bottom of the jeans soak in the solution for a final 10 minutes.
5. Let the jeans dry, then wash them on a cycle by themselves so the bleach solution doesn’t affect any of your other clothes.
“My new DIY denim is now my inspiration for my hair: a beautiful dark hue faded into an icy lighter shade. I can’t wait to style my jeans with a graphic tee or floral blouse.”
What’s your favorite way to DIY your skinny jeans? Tell us in the comments below and check back next Monday for the final part of our DIY Denim Challenge!