How Do You Sandpaper Jeans?

How Do You Sandpaper Jeans?

Give new jeans vintage appeal by distressing them with sandpaper. You need a pair of jeans, a pen, scissors, a sandpaper block, a washing machine and a clothes dryer. This project takes about two hours, and involves choosing areas to cut and rub with sandpaper to distress the fibers. The jeans will require laundering after this treatment.

  1. Mark the denim

    Put the jeans on, and use the pen to mark a 1-inch horizontal line at the middle of your knees. Remove the jeans and spread them out on a table.

  2. Cut along the knee lines

    Stick a hand inside one of the pant legs and use it to separate the front from the back. Cut along the knee mark, switch legs and repeat.

  3. Rub the cuts with sandpaper

    Gently rub a sandpaper block along the cuts. Start with horizontal strokes and move vertically. For a more dramatic distressed effect, incorporate diagonal strokes. Make some movements while holding the block flat, then go over the same area with one of its corners.

  4. Wash and dry the jeans

    Wash and dry the jeans according to the care label directions.

  5. Inspect the jeans

    Don the jeans and inspect them in a mirror. If you wish to add more distressed details, mark smaller lines above or below the frayed cut. Cut and sand the markings, and launder the jeans again.