How to Make Your Own Vintage Jeans

With the outrageous prices of modern vintage knockoffs and the scarcity of quality used denim pieces, it is no wonder why many people are looking for an easier alternative to owning a pair of vintage jeans.  One inexpensive method is to simply make your own from an old pair of jeans you no longer wear.

Make Vintage JeansHear is a quick list of techniques you can use to make those worn-once jeans look like they just came out of a time capsule.

Cut Them Up
If you are looking for the swiss cheese effect, then the best place to start is with razor or utility knife.  Both of these tools are sharp enough to cut, but they are also easy to control so you won’t accidentally go overboard.   The cutting process is simple enough, but you’ll need to fray the cuts so they look more authentic.  Do this by gently rubbing them with a coarse piece of sandpaper.  You can also use this strategy to create more natural looking holes without actually cutting the denim.

Wear Them Down
In order to achieve the natural aged look you’ll need to speed up time by using sandpaper or a cheese grater.  Start with the knees and work your way up to the thighs.  It is important to work on each leg a little bit at a time to avoid an unbalanced look.  Once you start seeing the white of the threads you should be gentle since unintended tears can occur.

Bleach Bomb
This is where most people ruin there hard work.  Unless you are looking for an acid washed effect then you have to be careful with how much bleach you use.  Always start conservative by adding just a capful to your wash after the water has filled up.  Each pair of jeans will react differently and you won’t know what to expect until after a couple of wash cycles.  If you want to spot treat them, apply a mild solution of bleach and water with a spray bottle before putting them in the machine.  Use the “mist spray” setting for an even application.

Fray the Edges
In order to get the most authentic look, you will have to work on fraying the edges of your jeans.  This includes the waistband, pocket area, and leg cuffs.  Once again sandpaper is your best friend.  Sometimes it is easier to attach a large piece of sandpaper to a board or wall and run these edges over the surface.  This lets you cover more ground in a shorter amount of time.

Add Some Mileage
While you can spend hours trying to vintage your jeans, one of the most effective things you can do is simply wear and wash them repeatedly.  Obviously you want them to look good before you take them out on the town, but there are plenty of opportunities to add some miles to them without making public appearances.  You can wear them while doing household chores, light construction, and even when you are walking the dog.  Just make sure you don’t do any activities like painting that may stain them forever.

Making your own vintage jeans will take some effort, but it is a great alternative to high priced retail outlets or trying to hunt for the perfect pair at a thrift store.  Once you have made a couple of pairs you will have a system that will make future attempts that much smoother.  Who knows – if you get good at it then you can charge your friends for your vintage services.

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