How to Put Holes in Jeans

How to Put Holes in Jeans

How to Put Holes in Jeans: Jeans with holes, also known as distressed jeans, has been in and out of fashion trends since the 1980s. The frayed jeans with artistic torn holes turn a regular pair of jeans into a fashion statement. 

Create Your own Distressed Designer Jeans

Buying distressed jeans is not so cheap, sometimes too expensive, as a single pair of designer distressed denim jeans starts from a $350 tag. Furthermore, you will not have full control over the rip-and-hole design.

The designer distressed jeans can come with an unusual hole placement, it’s size, and amount of torn. If you like small nicks on the thighs, a small hole on one knee, or a unique design from your mind, you need to get creative and take up some DIY action with your jeans. 

Follow the steps mentioned below that will help you make a hole in your jeans like a pro in just a few minutes. 


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Why Distressing jeans will be good for you?

DIY your jeans, will give you full control over the type of design you want, the placement and size of holes, and save a few bucks also. Although to make authentic distressed jeans with a signature fashion statement, you need to work a little extra on your sewing skills. 

Before you begin to create your masterpiece Jean design, it’s best to understand the type of design you can create on your jeans.

These are some most common ripped designs of popular designer distressed jeans. 

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Different Jean Distressed Holes designs

Although you can create your distressed jeans, they still it will fall into some design categories. The following categories that are used while creating distressed jeans are as follows: You can use one or two depending, on your creativity and your skill.

Holes Showing Skin 

In this ripping design, the fabric is distressed down completely on a specific location, and there is a big circular hole in the jeans. No white threads are covering the space, which exposed skin. Most hole designs are placed, around, right above, or directly below the knee. 

How to Put Holes in Jeans
Big holes cut Jeans Distressed Design

There are some designs where the knee area is fully exposed, and it requires a very big hole.

Small Holes Distressed Jean Design
Small Holes Distressed Jean Design

If you want to create this look, take extra precautions, because if the hole is too big, you will compromise the jeans’ structure (if the jeans are not skinny).

The jeans below the hole will create a look like hanging, which is a big fashion blunder. 

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Holes with White Threads

Also referred to as shreds, as the fabric is torn down, but leaving bits of white threads, that will partially cover the hole.

white threaded Jean Design
white threaded Jean Distressed Design

The holes can be big, or small, depending on as these designs will not damage the jean’s structure in any way. The most popular places for this hole are above, and below the knees, sometimes on the thighs too. 

Scrapes or Scratches

In this ripping jeans design, there is no hole created by using a scissor Or use a knife to cut the fabric, instead the fabric material is scrapped with the use of – sandpaper.

This adds a texture to the jeans, as the material surface is slightly faded and thinner. It’s an abstract design, which can be placed anywhere on the jeans.

Scratches Jean Distressed Design
Scratches Jean Distressed Design

The most popular placements of this design are near the pockets, front and back, above the knees, and below the knees. 

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This is the last distressing design, which consists of adding another type of fabric to your jean’s existing denim. The fabric can be on any material and any color, as per the person’s interest. This design is done in two ways:

Ripped the fabric

In this design, the material is ripped by creating a hole, without leaving any white threads. The edges of the jeans can be flared, depending on the individual interest.

Jean Distressed Design
Patched Jean Distressed Design

Then, the different fabric is placed on the inside of the jeans. It is one of the stylish designs which are only found in designer jeans. 

How to Put Holes in Jeans
Patched Jean Distressed Design

Adding on fabric without any ripping

If you love your jeans but want to add a contrasting color to them, then this design is for you. This design does not require damage to the jeans.

Patched Jean Distressed Design
Over Patched Jean Distressed Design

Instead, the additional fabric is placed on top of the fabric. Creating this design is very easy, as you just need some sewing skills, and you can build your own jeans style. 

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Jeans That Are Good For Distressing

Choosing the right pair of jeans for ripping is the priority. Cotton jeans are more suitable than polyester, Spandex, or stretch jeans.

However, there are hardly any jeans on the market which are 100% cotton. Most jeans brands add a touch of spandex, Elastane for stretch and comfort. Cotton jeans can be easily frayed, so choose a pair of old worn-in jeans for your distressing. 

1 – 2% is the optimal spandex percentage which is suitable to create a nice cut distressed design, and the shreds will not be clean. 

Steps To Put a Hole In Jeans

To make a nice cut distressed design, you have the following all the steps thoroughly.

Preparations For Distressing Jeans

Choose A Pair of Jeans

The first step is to choose a pair of jeans that fit well. The best choice to choose is skinner jeans as, loose jeans, can lose their structure during ripping. However, skinny jeans with spandex over 2% are “No”, as this affects the ripping and doesn’t provide clean shreds. 

Wash Jeans

If you want an authentic ” Aged” texture on your jeans, washing will rough up the fiber of the jeans. To lose color, add jeans to the mixture of 50-50 water and bleach. For an extremely light shade of denim, leave it overnight.

Supply Required

Depending on the type of hole you are going to create, you’ll need some essential tools. Every tool mentioned below will help you rip your jeans like a pro. 

  • Cardboard: It is inserted into your jeans when you will create a hole – to avoid damaging the back of the jeans. 
  • Chalk: Use thick chalk or Tailor’s chalk, to mark the shape and design of the hole. 
  • Knife and scissors: 
  • A sharp knife is needed,(a kitchen knife is not sharp around the edges). The first cut is done with a knife. Scissors are used to create holes in jeans. (Use fabric scissors or known as shears, to prevent messy edges). 
  • Ruler: Required for measurement of the ripping design.
  • Sandpaper: It is used for two purposes, to create a rough shred on the jeans or soften the fabric before ripping. 
  • Tweezers (optional): 
  • If the design of your jeans requires a frayed look, tweezers are used to pull the end of the fabric, without damaging white threads. 

Mark your Rips And Choose the Jean Distressed design

Put on your jeans to make exactly where you want the hotel design, then using white chalk, outline the distressed design you want to make. The density of the ripped hole will determine the jean look, and where they can be worn. 

If you want a classic ripped design, you want a small hole design – preferably 1-2 inches above the knee

For a Rebellious fashion statement, you can go with big flared holes, on the front and back. The holes will continue expanding from the knee bending

For an elegant look, you can add small flared holes, or just scratch the jeans on several areas of the jeans. 

For an edge look, place a hole on the knee, and add another fabric inside it. 

Use a ruler to create a symmetrical hole, for holes to match both legs. 

Steps to Put Holes in Jeans

Insert the cardboard

After marking the desired distressed design, lay out the jeans on a hard surface. Insert the cardboard in the legs, to prevent any uneven damage to the Jean. 

Soften the fabric

Before touching the Jean with the scissors, it’s mandatory to lose the weave of the denim. Doing this will enhance the cutting process, and there will be no damage around the edges( small threads will not leave around the edges). 

Softening the fabric is done by rubbing the fabric with sandpaper. Rub the sandpaper across the desired ripped design for approximately 2-4 minutes, to create a smooth cutting process. 

Methods to Create Jeans Holes Cut

Cutting With Knife

Before using the scissors, use a knife, and cut the hole in a Horizontal line. (Never cut in a vertical line). 

If the hole is small, make 1-2 cuts in the hole design. For a small frayed hole design, create 5-8 cuts

For a big hole without white threads, make 20-30 cuts, and if you want a hole with threads – 10-15 cuts are appropriate. 

When making a frayed design( hole with white threads), Try to make cuts horizontally, and there should be a little space between each cut. 

Cutting with scissors

If the hole design is simple and without white threads, then cut the design across the markings with a scissor in any direction

If the hole design is complicated as you can see in the image, then cutting with a scissor is not an option. 

You have to use a knife for the entire cutting process. 

If you want a big frayed hole design, then using scissors is not an option for a clean cut

Irregular hole design shapes

Hole designs can be of different lengths, different sizes, and different shapes. For a professional roop design, you have to use a knife for the entire cutting process. 

Using a knife instead of scissors, limit the mess around the edges of the material. 

Check out some irregular design shapes in the pictures. 

Note: The blue threads in the jeans run vertically, and the white thread runs horizontally

Using tweezers

If the distressed hole design consists of white thread, then you have to pluck all the blue threads out of the stripes. This is easier if you have put several horizontal cuts on the jeans. 

For a big hole design without white threads, you can pluck out white threads around the edges to give a stylish, and edgy look to your jeans. 

Use Sandpaper for the final touch

After cutting down the desired hole design, the design might not look quite authentic, because one last piece of the puzzle is left. The edges of the whole design should be lossen, which will create an authentic look to the denim jeans. 

Use sandpaper, and rough up around the edges. It will lose the weave around the edges, and some white threads can come out. 


There you have it! Three different ways to distress your jeans so that they look both stylish and unique. With a little bit of effort, you can transform a boring pair of jeans into something truly special. So go ahead and get started on distressing your own jeans today!