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Modifying/customizing/wearing out jeans

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hey all, I posted a while back on how to make a pair of jeans look more customized, hip, and over-all more worn out.  I couldn't find a whole lot on this forum or the web, so I devised my own method.  While it is 'cheating', it looks a whole lot better than designers who use chemicals to get the worn areas. General wearing/fading down front/back of legs and the seat: I've heard using a cheese grater produces good results.  I found that 100 to 400-grit sand paper works a lot better.  Make sure to press fairly hard.   Press harder in the center and gradually go lighter towards the outside to 'blend' it.   Whiskars: Technique 1:  Wrap sandpaper around a thin metal rod and rub that on the upper thighs and backs of the knees.   Technique 2:  Fold the jeans over the sharp edge of a table in the desired area.  Use sandpaper to sand down that 'edge' of the jeans. Technique 3:  Get a Dremel Tool.  Use either the thin grinding wheel or the small sandpaper drum.  Use the edge of the attachment while using the tool to create a thin line. Wearing down edges of pockets/fly/bottom cuffs: Sandpaper/Cheese grater will work, but it will be tedious.  Instead, try the dremel tool again.  Use either the sandpaper attachment, or the steel wire disc attachment. General breaking-in/"dirtying": Find an area with some gravel/rocks/dirt.  Put the jeans on the ground in this area and kick them around.  Put your full weight on them and grind them on the ground.  Kick them around.  Do this for a while.  Leave them there a few days if you desire.  Then, take them in and wash.  Repeat this process a few times.   Added 'custom' touches: Somebody suggested this in a past post - replacing back pockets or the smaller inside pocket with courderoy pockets. Removing rivets Use sandpaper or dremel tool to make a small worn patch Cut/remove a belt loop Cut one side of a belt loop so it is there but hangs Cut a chunk out of one of the back pockets (preferably NOT the one you put your wallet in)
post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 
52 views and no replies??? Anybody have any other techniques that work well, or just comments?
post #3 of 21
I think I'm going to settle for breaking in my new pair of 501's by driving my car over them a few times.
post #4 of 21
What about adding things like patches, silver studs, or even doing some hand painting? I'd love to try that.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
What about adding things like patches, silver studs, or even doing some hand painting? I'd love to try that.
That would be cool, or some scrolling embroidery on back pockets or near the bottom hem if you can do that.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I think I'm going to settle for breaking in my new pair of 501's by driving my car over them a few times.
You should put some black ink on your tires and then run over the jeans, that might make a cool effect (like you got hit by a car ).
post #7 of 21
I've always toyed with the idea of altering jeans. I just never got the time to do it. I will eventually.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I've always toyed with the idea of altering jeans. I just never got the time to do it. I will eventually.
I want to go to some thrift stores this weekend and pick up some pairs in my size and just mess around with them; practice some of the new ideas you brought up. Painting would be cool. Ever see those Boss jeans from last season with the eagle 'painted' on them? Something like that would be cool. Maybe "styleforum" down the legs?
post #9 of 21
I've done some very minor denim customizing, but nothing too crazy. However, I just picked up a pair of bullhead jeans that are just screaming to be modified. Something I've been thinking about: Using my airbrush to add subtle shading and aging (kind of like a very specific wash) Stenciling broken text (barely readable) at the bottom of the leg, preferably from a older book (Latin, perhaps?), especially something with decorative lettering, such as an illuminated manuscript Piercing the pockets, and placing a captive bead ring through the hole. Cutting the side of the leg 2-3 inches (like you see some people doing to make their own "bootcut" jeans), but hemming the edges, and adding a few buttons (functional or not, your choice) Using a negative star-shaped stencil and an airbrush to give the illusion that the pants once had a star (or any other shaped_ patch, and that after much wearing and age, the only remnants are a "newer" area, where the darkening hasn't happened. A stripe of contrasting material (like tuxedo pants) Doing tattoo style designs with pens, ink, paint, airbrush, etc Since I'm into the hotrod/tattoo scene, I'm thinking of using a "pile of skulls" stencil I have to airbrush a barely visible pile of bones on the outside of each leg, at the bottom around the hem, possibly starting out darker, but fading the paint to where it's virtually invisible by the end (which would be about 5-6" up the leg) Using a lighter or candle to (carefully..) burn dark spots or even holes into the material Poke holes down the side of the leg, and use an interesting material (a leather cord, perhaps) to do decorative lacing up the side of the pants. For added interest, just do one side Using dye or paint (on light jeans) or abrasives or bleach (on darker jeans), darken the area around the hem, fading it as you go up (not just at the knees, but all around). Optional: fade back into the darker shade at the top. Add material (or use paint) to accentuate the flair at the bottom of bootcut jeans...don't actually make them bigger, just start with a stripe at the top (like tux pants) and gradually widen it as the pants get wider, perhaps ending about 2-3" wide at the hem I also think that the difference between looking designer and looking like those Christmas sweaters my crazy aunt makes is subtlety. If you paint a design on, full color, with thick paint, it'll look more like arts and crafts day at church camp. If you thin the paints, or use a stencil and purposefully overspray, then you'll get more subtle results that will look more sophisticated. Also, if you're going to be "aging" the jeans, you may want to think about doing any painting or drawing before aging them, so that the design will show the same abuse as the denim. Of course, there's also more typical things like patches. I really like the idea mentioned earlier about embroidery around the hem. I've been trying to plan out a pair of pants like that for a while. Just a few ideas. If I get around to trying them, I'll let you know how they work. And if anyone else tries them, please let me know how they turn out.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
I think I'm going to settle for breaking in my new pair of 501's by driving my car over them a few times.
I just can't stop thinking of how funny this would look if your neighbors came out and saw you rolling back and forth over a pair of jeans. You might have some explaining to do at any get-togethers, haha.
post #11 of 21
Similar to the above mentioned leather strap going up the hem, get some cheap brass buckles, sew them in the side then sew a vinyl strap around the buckles (leave extra room, so that they hang and are very loose). I think this would give a great effect.
post #12 of 21
Can you put thinned bleach in an airbrush? It seems like you should be able to. Also ink or dye with some of your ideas would be cool. I have always thought having clothes with bloody-looking wounds on them would be cool. Maybe some dark red dye soaked into a section and washed out somewhat, with a slash or bullet hole through it. Bonus points for a shotgun blast with small bloodstains. Maybe just a few pellets- the scar from that incident with the farmer's daughter.
post #13 of 21
As far as leather straps or cords with buckles go, I wouldn't do that with jeans. I would do that with black pants. Some nice silver buckles with some straps and a bunch of different little numbers painted on in white. Would look like a code or something. I like that idea.
post #14 of 21
I prefer to not overly embellish my jeans, but to customize them as they actually get worn out, adding patches, sewing up hems, etc... as necessary, with whatever is on hand at the time (usually some mismatching thread.) It looks less thought out and more authentic (doh.) Seriously guys, to get your jeans to look worn, just wear them - a lot.
post #15 of 21
I don't really want mine just to look worn, though. I love the look of hand painting, and some hardware here and there. Customization doesn't just have to be about wearing out.
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