Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Update a Pair of Old Jeans!

One of the big trends in 2017 is frayed or fringed jeans. Personally, I don’t like to dish out extra cash for a pair of jeans that are frayed, torn, ripped, or dyed- because it’s so easy to DIY!

Whether you want to create minimal fray or a large statement making fray, this article will show you how!

Examples of different types of fringed jeans


Time to complete project: 3-4 Hours

Materials required for creating DIY Fringed jeans Difficulty: Easy


  • Fabric Scissors
  • Seam Ripper
  • Tweezers
  • Chalk/ Fabric Pencil
  • Pair of old Jeans

**I chose a pair of bootcut jeans, a pair of jeans that are flared or bootcut will give you more fabric to work with and therefore more fringe! 


Step 1:

Put on the pair of jeans that you want to fringe. Use your chalk or fabric pencil to mark where you want to make your first cut. Where you cut will mark the bottom of your fringe. I cut my jeans so that the fringe would hit me right above my ankle bone.

Step 2:

Now that you know where you want the fringe to start, you have to decide where you want the fringe to end. I decided I wanted a 3 1/2 inch fringe (you can make yours as large or as small as your heart desires). Use your chalk or fabric pencil to mark where you want the fringe to end.

Step 3:

Ripping out the seams. Using your seam ripper, remove the side seams starting at the bottom on the pants, and working your way up to where you made your chalk line. Remove all excess threads left from the seams.

Step 4:

Time to start fraying! You will notice little white strings going horizontally across the bottom of your jeans. Start pulling on these threads using your tweezers. Don’t freak out if a couple vertical threads fall off, this is normal and won’t be noticeable on the end result.

Step 5:

STOP pulling threads once you’ve reached your chalk line. You will notice the fray is uneven. This is because the white horizontal threads are slightly diagonal. No worries, there’s a simple solution to this! Make small cuts upward, stopping at your chalk line. This will cut the horizontal threads, allowing you to make an even fringe. (See cutting diagram below). Pull out the remainder white threads, making additional small cuts as necessary.

Step 6:

This step is optional. If you plan on wearing your newly frayed jeans a lot, it’s a good idea to take preventative measures against future fraying from wear and tear. You can prevent fraying by using your sewing machine to create a simple cross-stitch across the top of your fray. I recommend using a thread color that closely matches the color of your jeans.

Step 7: 

To give your fray more personality, run your jeans through the washer and dryer a few times. Then VOILA, you have a new pair of ultra-fashionable DIY jeans!

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