How to Rip Jeans at the Bottom

by Celeigh O'Neil

Ripped jeans are a fashion trend that continues to resurface year after year. Some styles feature frayed knees and pockets, while jeans with a torn hem create a classic carefree look. Store-bought versions of the trend can be appealing, but a more authentic and personal take can be made at home at no extra cost. Transform an old pair of jeans into a statement piece by ripping the bottoms yourself.

Put the jeans on to determine where the rips should begin.

Sit down in order to get an accurate idea of where the jeans will land on the leg when in motion.

Create a mark indicating where you would like the jeans to be hemmed. Use a piece of white chalk to create a line across the front of the pants in the selected area.

Remove the jeans and lay them on a flat surface. Place a cutting board underneath the bottom of the pant legs.

Cut along the chalk line with a utility knife. Create ½-inch-wide scores with 1 inch between them. Cut through both sides of the pant leg.

Rip the pant leg. Tear between each opening created by the knife, which will guide the tear while creating a naturally ripped look. Repeat on the other pant leg.

Pull any loose threads down, making them visible below the hem, if a more frayed look is desired.

Dust off any last signs of the chalk line.

Items you will need

  • Jeans
  • White Chalk
  • Utility knife
  • Cutting board


  • If jeans you currently own aren't long enough or suitable to be cut, visit a thrift store for some affordable jeans that you can experiment on.

About the Author

Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images