The Easiest Way to Refresh Your Skinny Jeans For Spring

We’re dedicating this week to all things DIY denim, so check back each morning for more fashion girl-approved ways to customize your jeans–from personalizing with patches to acid-washing flares, distressing boyfriends jeans, and more!

how to rip the knees of your jeansWearing customized Forever 21 jeansC/meo Collective tank, J Crew jacket, Oscar de la Renta shoes.

Of all the ways you can customize your jeans this season, there’s one that stands out as being the quickest and the most effective: ripped knees. It might sound simple, but there are a few tips you should know before trying this DIY at home.

You’ll need:

Skinny jeans (we used this $7.90 pair from Forever 21)
Stanley knife
Thick piece of cardboard

how to rip jeans at the knee

Step one: Hold the jeans against your body and note where the knee sits.

how to rip jeans at the knee

Step two: Double check that you have the right point by folding the jean leg in half so that the cuff meets the waist band.

how to rip jeans at the knee

Step three: Where the jean creases is where your knee sits in the jeans, and this will be where you want to make the ripped incisions. Use your finger to press along the crease so that it leaves a visible line to guide your incision.

how to rip jeans at the knee

Step four: Place a piece of thick cardboard inside the jeans and slide it down to the crease point. This is to protect the back of your jeans from ripping as well when you cut the front.

how to rip jeans at the knee

Step five: Use a Stanley knife to cut along the crease. Start at the center and cut one to two inches to the left, then go back to the center and cut the same distance to the right. Leave at least an inch of fabric between both the inner and outer leg seams and the incision as this will naturally rip with wear.

how to rip jeans at the knee

Step six: Place one hand above and your other hand below the incision, and gently pull the rip open to separate the fabric and check that the incision is even.

how to rip jeans at the knee

Step seven: Repeat on the second leg.

Here’s what our finished product looked like!

How to DIY Your Denim and Rip Jeans at the Knee

Photos: Tiffany Hagler-Geard