“Out with the old, in with the new” doesn’t have to be your style motto this fall, especially when it comes to your jeans. It might seem like there are more news styles to try than ever (modern flares, ’90s-inspired straight legs, cropped everything) but let us remind you, it barely takes any effort to update the ones you already have, whether they were your last-season faves, worn-once wonders or thrifted pairs. All you need to make it happen are supplies you most likely already have in your DIY kits. As for what to do to make those blues feel new again? We’ve got the inspo right here.


We challenged the babes in our office to come up with creative ways to hack their old denim, and for this first post in our three-part DIY Denim Challenge, the gals pulled out a truly secret weapon when it comes to a wow-worthy jeans makeover. See three genius ways you can update your jeans using *only* glue.

Maddie’s Patched Jeans Hack


The Inspo

“I’ve been seeing patched jeans everywhere these days. Since they’re so easy to make, I figured it would be a great excuse to repurpose all the patches I’ve recently collected. I think the beauty of patched denim is that every pair could be different and personal — like repurposing old Girl Scout badges that mean so much to someone. I decided to put my patches on distressed boyfriend jeans that added to the ‘90s vibe I was going for.”

How to DIY Jeans With Patches


If your patches have iron-on adhesive on the back, use an iron to adhere them to your jeans according to their instructions. If your patches do not have an iron-on adhesive on the back, then apply E6000 glue to the back of the patch and place wherever you like on the denim. Press down hard to fasten and let them completely dry before you wear.

The Result


“I LOVE the way my jeans turned out. If I wear them to work, I’ll probably style them with simple heels or ankle boots and an oxford shirt. On the weekends, they’re definitely going with a Birkenstocks and a basic tee.”


Beth’s Pearl Jeans Hack


The Inspo

“I love pearls, so I wanted to jazz up some jeans with them but still keep it subtle and delicate, so I kept the pearls really tiny and spaced out. “

How to DIY Jeans With Pearls


1. Lay out your flatback pearls on a paper plate.

2. Dip a toothpick or a long, thin tool into fabric glue. Use it to pick up the back of the pearl. Then, place each pearl on the jeans, pressing gently to secure. I did alternating rows of two and three pearls all the way down to the bottom but left a little room at the bottom so I could cuff the jeans. Let them dry overnight.


The Results

The jeans came out so cute! Honestly even cuter than I imagined. They seem very wearable to me; I would buy them if I saw them in a store. I would wear them with a plain white or black shirt with no accessories (the pearls on the jeans are all you need) and bright lipstick and I’d be set. I really like how they look!


Ashley’s Plaid Jeans Hack


The Inspo

I noticed that I had one too many flannel shirts from my cold winters in Colorado and wanted to repurpose them into something trendy for SF. I love the comfy-chic look of boyfriend jeans and wanted to give them a wintery twist by having the pops of flannel peek out from the distressed areas.

How to DIY Jeans With Plaid


1. Rip the distressed patches of your jeans so that they open up into holes for the plaid to pop through.

2. Cut squares out of your plaid shirt large enough to cover the holes in your jeans.

3. Turn your jeans inside out. Apply a generous about of fabric glue around the edges of the hole and affix the patch, pressing down to secure onto the jeans. Let jeans dry inside out for a few hours.

The Results

Now I’m ready for fall in San Francisco! I’m planning to style my plaid patchwork jeans with staples like a solid tee, ankle boots and my leather jacket.


What’s your favorite way to DIY your old jeans? Tell us in the comments below and check back next Monday for the second part of our DIY Denim Challenge!