How to Destroy Old Levi’s Jeans

Wondering how to destroy old Levi’s jeans to create a custom look?  The techniques that follow will let you express your particular style without succumbing to the mass produced “new vintage” jeans that run upwards of $100.

To destroy old Levi’s jeans you will need:

  • Levi jeans that fit well
  • Laundry detergent and fabric softener
  • Bleach
  • Coffee
  • Spray bottle, or old toothbrush
  • Sandpaper, or a cheese, nutmeg or cinnamon grater
  • Utility knife, or scissors
  1. Wash your old Levi jeans to soften them if they aren’t already worn in. Washing several times with fabric softener will give you a good start on destroying them just right.
  2. Soak in a bowl full of strong coffee to give the Levi jeans an overall vintage look. Leave them in the bowl for several hours, or overnight. You can also just stain a portion of the jeans or spray strong coffee on to give a more random look.
  3. Mix one part bleach to two parts water in a spray bottle and apply over the jeans. Do this outside, if possible, or in on a surface that won’t be affected by the bleach. Alternately you can use a small bowl of bleach and a toothbrush to splatter bleach on your old Levi’s.   
  4. Wash your jeans in between these processes so you can see how they are coming along. Use a bleach soaked toothbrush to scrub a little around the pockets or at the hem of the pants before washing.
  5. Use a utility knife, or scissors to slice under the knee, or in the upper thigh or seat of the pants if you are so inclined. Slip the pants on and stretch to rip the pants exactly how you like them.
  6. Roughen the edges with sandpaper to increase the fraying. Washing will help the process along as well.  
  7. Create rough spots in areas that are normally exposed to frequent wear with the fine side of one of the graters. Destroy the hem line, edges of the pockets, the waist band, or just random places on the legs of the old Levi’s.  
  8. Use a marker to write your favorite saying on your old Levi’s. Draw a picture, or carry Sharpie’s with you and have everyone you know sign your pants. After a few washings this will fade into a nice background pattern.



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