Since the Emmys aired and Lauren Conrad unveiled her bridesmaid dresses, we have been particularly inspired to amp up our wardrobes here at Brit + Co. But because we don’t have any as-formal event on our radars, we decided to makeover a piece of clothing we’ll be practically living in all fall long — our jeans. And since we’ve hemmed, color blocked and added zippers to our other pairs, we’re tricking out our latest live-ins with leather cuffs. Follow our tutorial below to turn your everyday jeans into a chic closet staple in just five steps.

 – straight-leg jeans (make sure the ends of the jeans are fairly loose so there is room for the leather)

– leather or faux leather

– jean finishing thread

 – sewing machine

– leather sewing machine needle

– cloth tape measure


1. Measure the length and width of leather you will need for each cuff to fit your personal style.

2. Cut your leather pieces to size.

3. Sew the ends of each leather piece, suede side out.

4. Turn your jeans inside out, then sew the cuffs onto the ends of each leg.

5. Cuff your jeans up and wear ‘em out!

First, you will need to measure the length of leather you will need for each cuff. To do this, cuff your jeans up twice, and measure the length. Double that length and add two inches. Then measure the width of leather you will need for each cuff, so measure the circumference of your jean cuff and add two inches.

Next, cut two leather pieces to size. Sew the ends of each leather piece suede side up, using the smallest seam size possible, and you’ll end up with two leather tubes. Then turn your jeans inside out, and turn the leather tubes right side out (got that?). Sew the leather tubes over your jeans, following the current horizontal seams on the ends of your jeans. Also sew the tubes up each side of the jeans following the jeans’ seams. Finally, sew the top of the leather cuffs to the jeans to make them easier to step into. Then slip into your revamped pair, toss on some heels and you’re good to go!

This is how basic sewing skills can make a big impact on your wardrobe. With those chic-looking cuffs, this tried-and-true denim feels totally brand new.

What DIY ways are you giving your fall clothes a refresh? Tell us about your projects in the comments below.