DIY Raw Hem Jeans (You Can Do It!)

DIY Frayed Hem Jeans

Whenever I wear my Levi’s jeans, someone comments about the hem asking whether or not I did it myself or if the jeans came that way.  Well, I used to do a lot more DIYs in my past life, but it was, in fact, me!  I decided to go raw (hem) on a whim one morning before work, but it’s definitely a denim trend we’ve been seeing for awhile.  And here’s the best part–YOU can do it, too.  In fact, it might give life to some of the old jeans that you’ve been neglecting in your closet.

So why did I do it?  I wanted my pair of jeans slightly shorter (like less than an inch) and thought it would give them a little something extra.  I’ve cut the hem of a few pairs of my old jeans because I like the raw hem look–but this was my first time snipping a brand new pair.  The fact that it was a less expensive pair of denim, helped the cause.  And frankly, I love how a slightly frayed hem looks.  It gives them a little edge and makes them a bit more casual without looking sloppy.  So, think you want to do it?  Let’s chat.

Here’s the types of jeans I think it works best with:

  • Jeans that are either 100% (or close to) cotton: here’s why–the stretch fibers in stretchy jeans won’t product that gorgeous, semi-frayed hem.  It’ll just be a sad, straight line and will look like unfinished jeans.  Trust me…I’ve done it to super stretchy jeans and it looks silly.
  • Jeans that are skinny but not leggings.  The pairs I’ve done it to WERE skinny jeans, but they weren’t too tight at my ankle; those have been my most successful DIY raw hems.
  • Make sure the jeans are long enough.  I’m pretty tall and sometimes jeans can be a little too cropped on me, so just make sure they won’t be too short.  I like to cut them right at my ankle bone.

How To Cut Jeans With Scissors:

  • No need for seam rippers–I used regular scissors (not fabric) and cut right above the finished hem in a straight line.
  • If you want to cut a little shorter, put them on and mark them with chalk first.
  • Raw hem jeans will look more distressed over time as you wash and wear–I think it gets better with age!
  • If the hem gets too stringy for your liking, it’s an easy fix: just snip off the excess with scissors.

Levi’s 721 ripped skinny jeans

Levi’s 721 distressed skinny jeans

how to cut your jeans

This is the first day I wore these jeans–had just cut the hem in the morning. (original post here)

diy raw hem jeans

Here’s the raw hem after a couple washes and weeks of wear. (original post here)

frayed hem jeans

The jeans more than six months later – see how they are fraying nicely? (original post here)

diy hem jeans

Loved the raw hem on my other Levi’s so much that I cut these, too. (original post here)

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