Thursday, January 29, 2009

*Do It Yourself* Denim Distressing

In my FFM's Fabulous Find post last night I mentioned possibly trying to distress my own jeans in order to recreate the look of the distressed jeans at J.Crew seen in the two pictures below.

Well, I went for it tonight, and I think they turned out pretty much ok. :) My tool to create the actual distress on the jeans was the Neat Feet Callus Remover that can be purchased at Target for $1.97 Click Here , and a small plastic bowl. The Callus Remover has two sides: one that's similar to a pumice stone, and the other that's similar to a teeny tiny grater, which is the side I used. *Thanks to Leslie who posted that she was also successful with her DIY Denim Distressing, and used rough sand paper to create the look.First I placed the bowl into the leg of the jeans bottom side up where I wanted to cause the distress. The edge of the bowl should be placed where you want the distress mark to be. I then took the grated side of my *tool* and rubbed it back and forth on the edge of the bowl (which is under the denim), until I achieved my own personal desired look. I then moved the bowl to the next targeted area, and repeated the same process. (For the knee distressing I put the jeans on and then marked them with a pen on the spot that would actually get worn if I were to, oh I don't know...drag my knee through a field of rocks and dirt, or spend hours and hours weeding the flower beds.) FYI: The grating causes the denim to shed and shred quickly leaving blue fibers everywhere, so you may want to take this into account when choosing where to create. After I finished the entire process I put them through a wash cycle and then into the dryer. The distressed areas will become more and more *aged* each time they are laundered.

Here is the distressed back pocket...sorry about the blurred picture:

Here is the view of both pockets that were distressed just a little:

This is the right knee:

And here they are on:

They actually look cuter IRL than in this pic, since it's taken from an odd angle trying to get a closer up shot. My DH had already asked me why I was destroying a perfectly good pair of jeans, so I didn't think it wise to ask his assistance with the photos, and that is why I ended up with these...sorry! The distressed areas should get even better with time, wear, and washing. :) So what do you think? Will you try your own *Do It Yourself* Denim Distressing?


  1. I think you have great legs, is what I think.

  2. I was hoping that you would post instructions....I was going to ask, but a previous poster beat me to the punch! They look great. I had the jeans that were on sale in my cart for a few days, but I just couldn't bite the bullet and now they are gone. I guess I've just been spending so much at JC lately I couldn't justify another purchase. I already have about 25 pair of jeans in my closet....I'm sure I can find a pair to distress!!! Thanks for the tips!

  3. Oh FFM...I am LOVING the more personalized DIU posts you have been doing the past few days...keep it up! I always get great ideas from your Polyvore outfits but I like this new "personality" you are showing! Regarding the jeans, I may do this...I was cleaning out my closet this weekend and i actually found a pair of Miss 60 jeans that are about 5 years old that have distressed holes in the knees and are a boy cut and a similar color to the jcrew ones...I haven't tried them yet..I'm concerned they may be very low rise ala 2003. I'll let you know....

  4. I think they look great, and I wouldn't even be able to tell the difference if I didn't know.

    I can't help but laugh at the look that must have been on Fabulous Florida Daddy's face though.

  5. hi FFm,
    i also love all you DIY pages you did.
    keep them coming.
    can i ask you a question OT?
    how does deep persimmon and cerise look like in RL? what is the difference? what would you combine them with?
    TIA ina

  6. What a brilliant job you have done, FFM! I love all your latest posts on dressing resourcefully and creatively, most importantly, for less too. I look forward to reading more :)

    What jeans are those? I have been looking for some slim leg jeans - but no luck.

  7. Wow, thanks for posting. Love the neutral color of your shoes too!

  8. You did a fantastic job! You were also smart not to distress too much as they will continue to wear. Nice.

  9. FFM: I can't thank you enough! As I mentioned in my OP from last night, I already have a gazillion pair of jeans and didn't need to spend $70 on the JC one's that are on sale. I went to my closet and found a pair of JC jeans that were already slightly distressed (pockets, hem). I couldn't find my little pedi grater (so gross, when you think about it! LOL) so I used rough sand paper. I just did a little and then washed them and the look EXACTLY like the one's online. Yeah!! Thanks so much for your creativity...keep it coming!!

  10. Thanks Mamacita! :)

    YAY Leslie! Isn't it great knowing you saved all that money, and essentially *shopped your closet* and used your own resources for the exact same look? How exciting! :)

    Thank you Jordan! I'm so pleased your enjoying my new posts...I really love sharing ideas with everyone. :) Please report back on the jeans...I'd love to hear what you decide to do.

    Melissa, THANK YOU!!! Yes, the look on DH face was, needless to say...priceless. ;)

  11. Ina, both deep persimmon and cerise are in the orange family. Deep Persimmon is darker and seems to have a bit more red in a red-orange, if that makes sense. The Cerise that I have seen is a very bright Orange. Depending on the garment, the color of each can vary a little bit. I personally really like both colors, but so far have more Bright Flame and Deep Persimmon colors than I do Cerise. I would suggest wearing it with Navy, Khaki, Camel, and White. HTH!

  12. Btw...I characterize my orange/bright flame/persimmon/cerise pieces as *Safety Cone* Orange...they are VERY bright. :)

  13. THANK YOU for the kind words Ms. Birdie! The jeans are GAP Essential Jeans...VERY comfortable. :)

    Thank you IRL!! :)

    ss, my shoes are Cole Haan Fiona Mid-heels in Naked Calf. I got them from, and LOVE them!

    Hi gigi! Thanks for the compliment!

  14. FFM, I think you are single handedly responsible for the Gap Essential jeans being sold out in so many sizes in that wash! ;-) I went to try them on, and really loved the fit, but didn't buy them. Then I went to look online, and many sizes , including mine are gone. I like them because of the moderate rise, and the fact that they do not look like trouser jeans-they just look comfortable. I hate paying fp, and am waiting for a sale, but trying to get them on sale in my size looks like a timing game is my best hope. When I do get them, I am going to try this on the back pockets with my trust hand held parmesan grater. Thanks for the idea!

  15. Thanks for all the budget-savvy posts! I love them!

  16. Thank you so much for DIY! You are coming up with absolutely genious ideas, love it , love it, love it! Your jeans look so chic on you and rolled cuff is perfect! You have an amazing bod , you must share your exersize routin with all of us! Thank you, thank you!