Denim jeans have been a casual outfit staple for decades. Almost all of us have at least one pair of jeans in our closet, and we can get pretty attached to them. When our favorite pair of jeans still fit, but we can’t wear them because of a stain, tear or maybe bell bottoms just aren’t in fashion anymore, it’s pretty heartbreaking.
The good news is you don’t have to part with that pair of jeans you took on your first road trip or wore to that Beyoncé concert. The memories can keep on living with these 5 ways to revamp your old jeans.
1. Turn Them Into Shorts
The easiest thing to do with jeans that have a hole or stain on the leg is to cut the legs off and turn them into shorts. Make sure you measure from the hem at both seams so the legs end up the same height. You can either hem the ends or fray the hems by ripping away some threads with tweezers or your fingernails. For a dash of extra style, stitch a little lace onto the hem and perhaps even to the pockets.
2. Tie Dye Them
This tip involves using bleach so wear a plastic apron and be careful not to get bleach on the clothes you are wearing – or any furniture or flooring. Or your cat. You’ll need a bucket, gloves, bleach, and thick elastic bands.
Simply scrunch your jeans up, tie elastic bands around the parts you don’t want died, and drop your jeans in the bucket of bleach. The longer you leave them in, the lighter they’ll get.
A similar technique involves laying your jeans out on a sheet of plastic and using a paintbrush to splash bleach on them – with designs resembling lines, spots, or splashes. Leave them to dry in the sun for the best effect.
If you have white jeans, you can by a tie dye kit and dip un-tied sections of your jeans into colored dye, instead of into bleach. Pretty!
3. Rip Holes in Them
You know that torn denim looks that sell for big bucks in the stores? You can create the look at home as the perfect cover-up for that snag in your old jeans. The easiest way is to use a pair of sharp sewing sizers or even a cutting knife to slice a 2-5 cm long slit into the fabric. Be careful not to cut through to the other side. Next, use a small battery operated Dremel to file away the top layer of denim, leaving the horizontal thread only. For larger areas, you can even use a cheese grater to stress the denim.
Tip: use chalk to draw the area you want to destress and try to stick within the area while filing.
4. Paint Them
Fabric paints open up a wide range of opportunities to revamp denim jeans. You can use anything from paper doilies to lace and even leaves from your garden as stencils.
White fabric paint looks best on dark blue jeans while dark blue fabric paints tend to look the best on light blue jeans. Dark colored fabric markers also work well on light blue or white jeans.
If you have a steady hand, you can even draw repeating patterns like love hearts free hand. Just make sure you let the first side fully dry before flipping your jeans over to do the rear.
5. Turn Them Into a Bag
If your jeans are really beyond saving, there’s probably enough useable fabric to cut out and stitch together as a patchwork bag. Look on Pinterest for patterns and inspiration. When making denim patchwork, your imagination is your only limit.