Do a distressed denim DIY

Do a distressed denim DIY

Denim is a garment that’s all about individuality. Every day that we wear them, they change: telling the story about what we do in them and who we are. It’s why people are so fiercely committed to their favorite pair, wearing them until they practically disintegrate on their bodies.  For people who want a truly unique look but don’t want to wait years and years, denim distressing is something you can do at home with just a few simple tools and tricks.

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Know Your Starting Material:
The type of denim you start with will ultimately affect how it wears over time. Denim can be anywhere from 6 ounces (per square yard) in weight up to 20+ ounces. The heavier the denim, the more resilient it will be to wear and tear. It’s important to know where your denim falls in the spectrum, since the weight and amount of distressing you do will greatly affect how long your pair of jeans will last.

Tools of the Trade:
Because how denim wears is such a part of our love affair with blue jeans, brands purposely fade and age their denim to give it a vintage, worn look. For your distressing project, all you need are some items found around the house.

Sandpaper (preferably 220 grit or higher): For light distressing and breaking down the denim fabric.
Single-edge razor blade: For ‘scraping’ away surface threads and cutting seams.
Scissors: For full-on hole making.
Block of wood or deck of cards: As a backing to ensure an even surface and that you only distress one layer at a time.
Bleach: Only for the bold. Make sure to place cardboard under the affected surface to avoid bleeding.

Know Your Natural Wear:
When distressing denim, it’s important to work horizontally across the fabric, since that will break down the ‘warp’ threads and leave the ‘weft’ (vertical threads) intact. Distress the appropriate areas for a look that’s authentic for you.

The Knees: Work horizontally with light sandpaper to preserve the weft fibers if you don’t want a full-on hole. Or go at it with scissors for a blown-out rock ‘n roll look.
Back Pockets: To imitate ‘wallet wear’, take a deck of cards or block of wood and place it in the pocket before sanding.
Upper Thighs and Backs of Knees: This is where ‘whiskering’ occurs because of how the denim folds and creases. To re-create this look, you’ll have to lightly sand the jeans while wearing them to ensure the right look.
Side Seams: This is an area where ‘less is more’, because they’re a key structural component of jeans. Lightly sandpaper side seam from the knee up for an authentic look, but be careful not to go too far or your jeans will fall apart on you.

Washing:
Though many people may not think about it, how you wash your denim can affect how it looks in a big way. Ultimately, a rule of thumb for increasing the life of your jeans is to wash them once a month or less.
To lock in the color of your denim, add one cup of white vinegar and a quarter cup of salt to the wash and follow the wash label instructions.

Drying Your Denim:
Since it’s made from cotton, how you dry your denim can greatly affect how it will fit you over multiple washes.

Outdoor Drying: This is a general no-no, since exposure to the sun will weaken the denim fibers and also ‘bleach’ your jeans over time.
Air-Drying: When air-drying, lay the jeans flat. Since denim gets quite heavy when wet, hanging the jeans will result in stretching, ruining the fit.
On-Body Drying: Purist swear by wearing your denim wet and letting it dry on your body, claiming that it’s the only way to get truly form-fitting jeans.
Machine Drying: While this is okay for pre-shrunk denim, higher-end raw denim should never see the inside of a dryer, since it’s prone to shrinking up to 10%.

Avoiding the Wash:
If you’re going to go hardcore and avoid washing your jeans for months on end, it’s important to give them a break every now and then. Though the concept of a ‘freezer’ wash – putting your jeans in the freezer to kill odor-causing bacteria – is popular, scientists have proven that it doesn’t work. The best option? For every few days you wear them, let them hang in a well-ventilated closet for a day to allow odor-causing elements to disperse.

No Matter What, It’s Going to Take Time:
With all denim distressing, the old adage ‘less is more’ is worth noting. Even though you may want blown-out holes or intense shredding on your jeans, those things will occur through natural wear; all you want to do is get the process started. Go too far with your distressing and the denim won’t last. The best elements that go into making a pair of jeans uniquely ‘you’ come with time and patience.

Source URLs:

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/top-lists/ask-a-dfw-expert-how-to-distress-your-jeans/

http://jeans.about.com/od/Jeans101/tp/The-Ultimate-Guide-To-How-To-Wash-Your-Jeans.htm

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/22/opinion/robbins-you-should-wash-your-jeans/

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How to Make Studded Jeans with I Spy DIY

Hi everyone! It’s Jenni from I Spy DIY. I’m back with the fifth part of my series of DIY projects all around denim this Back to School season. This project is studded jeans which is one of the coolest trends for fall. Don’t just stop at jeans – you can stud shorts, canvas sneakers, denim jackets and more!

Photo credit: Jessica Kaminski.

_JYK0262 _JYK0376 _JYK0297 _JYK0314

What you need:
Jeans
Flatback studs in four sizes
Tape Measure
E6000
Paint brush

Step1

What to do:

Step2
Step One:  Measure and mark equal distances between where you would like each stud to be placed on your jeans.
Step3
Step Two:  Put glue on the back of each stud with the paint brush, then place on the jeans. Start with the largest gems and work down to the smallest.
Step4
Step Three:  Create pyramids down the seam of your jeans, decreasing the amount of gems as you reach the top.
Step5
Step Four:  Let dry. Hand wash. Done!
Step6 Step7

_JYK0266 _JYK0293 _JYK0288

Get Jenni’s look:
Jegging
Canvas Anorak
Double Zip Bootie

Have you made an awesome DIY project with your favorite American Eagle Outfitters pieces? Show us with #AEOSTYLE on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram for the chance to see your project on our AE.com Style Gallery or our blog! Be sure to tag @ispydiy so I can see your project, too!

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DIY Super Distressed Denim with I SPY DIY

Hi everyone! It’s Jenni from I Spy DIY. I’m back with the third part of my series of DIY projects all around denim this Back to School season. This project is super distressed denim, which I did with a pair of shorts but you can do with your favorite denim as well.

Photo credit: Jessica Kaminski.

Final8 Final4 Final9 Final2

What you need:
Boyfriend Jean Shorts
Box cutter
Sandpaper
Tweezers

Supplies

What to do: 

Step One: First, slice the front of your shorts in horizontal parallel lines.

Step1

Step Two: Rub your sandpaper over the cuts to loosen the threads.
Step2

Step Three: Pull out the individual blue vertical threads with your tweezer to reveal the white threads. The first one can be difficult, but once you start, it’s super easy!
Step3

Step Four: Next, lightly make a bunch of cuts in one area.
Step4

Step Five: Rub with sandpaper to get a worn-in look.
Step5

Step Six: Finally, cut off the bottom hem and pull strings to loosen.
Step6

Step Seven: Wash your jeans to make them look more distressed. The more you wash, the better they look!
Step7

Get Jenni’s look:
Boyfriend Denim Shorts
Cotton Blazer (similar)
Splatter Striped T-Shirt (similar)

Have you made an awesome DIY project with your favorite American Eagle Outfitters piece? Show us with #AEOSTYLE on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram for the chance to see your project on our AE.com Style Gallery or our blog! Be sure to tag @ispydiy so I see your project, too!

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Dual Denim Dotted Skirt with I Spy DIY

Hi everyone! It’s Jenni from I Spy DIY. I’m back with the second part of my series of DIY projects all around denim this Back to School season. This project is a dual denim dotted skirt, I added a more condensed dot pattern on the back of the skirt to take the design to the next level!

Photo credit: Jessica Kaminski.

Final4 Final6 Final5 Final7

What you need:
Black Denim skirt
Bleach gel pen
Q-tip
Ruler

Step1_supplies What to do:
Step2
Step one: Lay your denim skirt flat, then make a line of dots with your bleach pen each an inch apart. Practice on a piece of paper making small dots with the pen.

 

Step3

 

Step two: Continue dotting rows on your skirt, each row an inch apart.
Step4 Step three: Let sit for 10 minutes.

 

Step5Step four: Using your Q-tips, remove any excess bleach on each dot.

 

Step6Step five: Flip to the reverse side and repeat. Try making the space between the dots smaller on the back, for a new twist on the polka dot trend!

I Spy DIY tip: Be sure to hand wash the denim skirt in cold water before you wear for the first time!

Final2 Final8

Get Jenni’s look:
Sky High Denim Skirt
Chambray Shirt
Slip-On Sneaker

Have you made an awesome DIY project with your favorite American Eagle Outfitters pieces? Show us with #AEOSTYLE on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram for the chance to see your project on our AE.com Style Gallery or our blog! Be sure to tag @ispydiy so I see your project, too!

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DIY Destroyed Denim Jacket with I Spy DIY

Hi everyone! It’s Jenni from I Spy DIY, back with a series of DIY projects all around denim this Back to School season. My first project? A destroyed denim jacket. I used a men’s denim jacket so guys can even get in on the crafting action with their girlfriends and girls, you can wear it for that “taken from the boys” look.

Photo credit: Jessica Kaminski.

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What you need: 

AEO Denim Jacket
Box cutter
Sandpaper
Tweezers

ispydiy_denim_jacket_supplies

Supplies for DIY Destroyed Denim Jacket

What to do:

ispydiy_denim_jacket_1

ispydiy_denim_jacket_2Step One: Slice the shoulders and top back of your jacket in parallel lines with box cutter.

ispydiy_denim_jacket_3

Step Two: Cut line in the inner arm of your jacket the with your scissors.

ispydiy_denim_jacket_4

Step Three: Cut off the bottom hem.

ispydiy_denim_jacket_5 Step Four: Rough up all your cuts by rubbing with sandpaper. Then, wash and dry your jacket twice.

ispydiy_denim_jacket_6

Step Five: Put out the individual blue vertical threads with your tweezers to revel the white threads. The first one can be difficult but the ones after that come out super easy!

The finished product!

Have you made an awesome DIY project with your favorite American Eagle Outfitters pieces? Show us with #AEOSTYLE on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram for the chance to see your project on our AE.com Style Gallery or our blog! Be sure to tag @ispydiy so I see your project, too!

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Friends & Family: Jenni Radosevich from I Spy DIY

You may have seen some of our amazing collaborations with DIY superstar Jenni Radosevich including our Embroidered Graphic Tank Top and Neon Gem Sandals. Read on to learn more about one of our favorite blogger contributors, Jenni!

Jenni from I Spy DIY.

Jenni from I Spy DIY.

How did you discover your love of crafting?
I have always been a crafty girl and growing up in Wisconsin I always created my own style: thrifting clothes, making friendship bracelets and covering everything I owned with tie dye and puffy paint (I was not afraid of multiple pops of color). When I moved to New York on a tight budget, I continued to make the trends I was seeing in magazines and on the runway. I got a great response from my coworkers at InStyle, which lead to a story in the mag, then a column, and then a book, I Spy DIY Style and ISpyDIY.com.

The I Spy DIY studio.

The I Spy DIY studio.

What’s next for I Spy DIY?
I am jazzed to be partnering up with Darby Smart to release new DIY kits every other week for the next year! I think its a great way to evolve the DIY tutorial so readers can get the same material I am working with. I am also teaching Craft Classes in I Spy DIY Studio, which I such a cool way to get off the computer and make cool stuff with rad people in real life.

Jenni's Darby Smart Kit.

Jenni’s Darby Smart Kit.

What is the most difficult part of running your own business?
There are a ton of fun things about having a crafty job, but I think the most difficult is the pace of websites and making sure that you are constantly coming up with new projects and inspiration for others. I also think social media has become an untamed beast. People are forgetting to unplug and enjoy life instead of just Instagramming about it.

Jenni's DIY Pineapple Pillow.

Jenni’s DIY Pineapple Pillow.

What is the most rewarding part of I Spy DIY?
I LOVE seeing readers make my projects, it still amazes be that people read about my projects and are inspired to create them. It’s pretty cool. If you make one, make sure to tag me on Insta (@ispydiy), I want to see it!

Jenni modeling her DIY Ribbon Necklace.

Jenni modeling her DIY Ribbon Necklace.

What is your all-time favorite DIY project?
Ohhhh, If I had to pick just one it would be my chain and rhinestone wrapped bracelet. It was one of my first jewelry projects, and it came out when wearing a stack of bracelets was the must thing to do, so it really took off on the internet and put me on the map as a DIYer.

One of Jenni's favorite projects, her Chain and Rhinestone Wrapped Bracelet.

One of Jenni’s favorite projects, her Chain and Rhinestone Wrapped Bracelet.

What’s currently on repeat on your playlist?
I am OBSESSED with Sam Smith. Obsessed. I listen to “Latch” approximately 47 times everyday. It is my instant mood lifter. That man can sing!

Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere! I love Pinterest. I love window shopping for ideas. I am a magazine connoisseur. Once you change your mentality for buying to DIYing, you find inspiration all over the place.

Jenni's DIY bracelets and phone case.

Jenni’s DIY bracelets and phone case.

What is your favorite fit of AEO Jeans?
I have been searching for great pair of Boyfriend jeans and AEO nailed theirs. Great fit and great distressing… stay tuned for an amped up version soon.

Jenni's customized Thick Strap Sandal with our jeans.

Jenni’s customized Thick Strap Sandal with our jeans.

What is your best DIY tip?
Start with a simple project, like a bracelet. Once you experience the excitement of making something, the instant gratification of wearing it, the compliments, and being able to say you did it yourself, you will be hooked.

Once you start crafting, you'll be hooked!

Once you start crafting, you’ll be hooked!

What’s always in your purse and why?
I switch purses so often I am lucky to get out of the house with the essentials! Keys, wallet and iPhone always make the transition from bag to bag, and if it’s a good day, there will be some powder and a pen in the new bag. And lipstick, I also have between 5-7 lipsticks in everybag… but never the color I want. My DIYed phone charger is always handy, and my Frend’s headphones are usually slung over the strap.

Jenni's DIY Phone Cord.

Jenni’s DIY Phone Cord.

What’s next on your life to-do list?
More travel! San Fran, Mexico and Abu Dhabi are all on the list.

Jenni in Mexico on vacation.

Jenni in Mexico on vacation.

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