Easy DIY Distressed Black Jeans

You may have noticed that I have been seriously feeling the black denim lately (#cantstopwontstop), but I had yet to add a pair of distressed black jeans to my wardrobe. Since I already owned two styles of black skinnies, I really couldn’t justify spending a lot of moolah on a third pair. So when Old Navy was running a sale recently, I scooped up a pair on the cheap and decided to do a little easy DIY distressing of my own.

how to distress black jeans

The only supplies? Sand paper, X-ACTO knife/scissors, tweezers, and denim!

To start off with some light distressing, a sanded the pockets and the hems. Sandpaper adds a super-natural looking wear.

distress black jeans


make your own distressed jeans

Then I put on the jeans to measure where I wanted distressing. Once they were marked (I just made a line with a sharpie), I took them back off and made a horizontal cut with the X-ACTO knife. (I found that worked better than scissors for me, but be SUPER careful not to cut your figure or slice through the back layer of the leg!)

diy ripped black jeans

For one leg, I added an additional horizontal cut. Then I used the tweezers to pull out the vertical fibers, which left a natural looking tear. (For the other side I only did one slit so that they wouldn’t appear identical!)

To rough up the outsides of the cuts, I used the sandpaper again, but I found washing and drying them to do a really good job of finishing off the look.

how to distress black jeans

Are you ready to see the final product? TA-DA!

make own distressed black jeans



So easy, quick, and inexpensive. Be ready to see these babies on repeat.


15 thoughts on “Easy DIY Distressed Black Jeans

  1. Inge

    They look good! You wouldn’t have known that you distressed them yourself. When I cut a pair of jeans into shorts and distressed them a few years ago, I found that they got roughed up perfectly just in the wash and dryer after I cut them!

  2. Rachel

    I had seen a DIY tutorial on doing distressed jeans in that past but it has been nice seeing a refresher. The pants look lovely on you too. I can’t wait to see how you style them in the near future.
    Rachel xo

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