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DIY Frayed Hem Jean Bottoms

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You can make your own fringe-bottomed jeans, which are all the rage right now. Sometimes these are listed as step hems, frayed hems, fringe hems, but they are usually done on a skinny jean and have a fairly high cuff-line.

Freyed hem jeans look really cute with booties or sneakers. And the best part is, they are SO easy to DIY yourself.

The only true resource you need to achieve this look is time. If you’re willing to do this while you watch T.V. for a few hours you should be able to whip them out in a couple of nights, easily. It also depends on how much fray you want, if just a little – it won’t take more than an hour or so to achieve that effect.

Feel free to jazz them up with your own style, meaning, add some other rips or embellishments to the jeans, make a long fringe or a tiny fringe, make the cuff short or down low towards your ankle, it’s your world – and it’s totally up to you how they look in the end.

What Materials You Need

Really, all you NEED need is a pair of scissors and of course, the jeans you plan to fringe.

But, I’d suggest you use all of the following:

  • Scissors – Doesn’t have to be fabric scissors, any ol’ pair will do. Since you’re cutting through denim though, it’s best that they are a good pair and sharp – kitchen shears will work in a pinch here.
  • Jeans – I bought a nice pair of jeans for around $30.00. They looked good and fit before I made the fringe, which was my only criteria for picking them. I washed them before I started to do the bottom so that if they were going to shrink they would do it before I shortened them.
  • Seam Ripper – I prefer a seam ripper to a scissor for the vertical cuts through the jean hem.
  • Pin – You don’t need this but it certainly comes in handy to pull the threads out. If you have a tweezer or a needle, that would work as well.

Optional Items:

  • Sewing Machine –  If you don’t have one, don’t worry – you don’t need it. The risk is that the fringe may continue upward, but it’s not a big risk as it may even be desired that this happen!

Steps To Make a Frayed Hem

  1. Wash your jeans and dry them as you would normally do.
  2. Determine where you want the bottom of your hem (this is the very bottom of the pant, not necessarily where you will be starting your fringe).
  3. Depending on the length you want at the end, you will either cut the hemline off where the stitching is (or higher, if you wish to have a very high hemline) – or you will want to unravel the existing hem by taking out the hem string (this is usually orange). Word to the wise, if you choose this option, a seam ripper will make this task monumentally easier.
  4. Determine how much fringe you want.
  5. Once you know how much fringe you want, cut that sized amount right next to your jean’s seam lines (there will be 2 on each jean leg).
  6. From the area where the fringe will be, cut the bulk of the seam off of the seam on the underneath side of the jean. The purpose here is to eliminate that bulky seam, as you will really only be using some of the seam threads to complete the fringe, and you don’t want a big, thick, seam hanging out right here. Tapor it off as it approaches the top where the unfringed jean is.
  7. Cut vertical slits throughout the hem area the length of the desired fringe.
  8. Remember, the blue fabric stays, the white fabric gets removed. Go through each section pulling out the white threads. The easiest way to do this is to start by pulling the blue threads down on either side of each section. Then, take your pin and pluck up the white threads. Grab these out with a tweezer or your nails.
  9. Once you are finished with both legs and the length is where you want it, you may trim off any straggly threads with a scissor. (This is basically like giving it a haircut). Just go straight across and trim it up as evenly as possible.
  10. Run a comb through the ends to untangle them, or you can use your fingers or the pin to do this.
  11. Optional Step: Use a sewing machine to add a dark threaded straight-stitch hem close to where your fringe starts. This ensures that the fringed edges won’t continue to unravel past that stitch.
  12. Wash and dry your jeans and the bottoms will become fluffy and filled out.
  13. Wear your new, fabulous creation!

DIY Frayed Hem Jeans

Video Tutorial

DIY Fray Hem Bottomed Jeans

Learn how to fray your own jean hems!


Not Into DIY? Buy One Already Made

If you simply don’t have the patience to make these fringed jeans – and while even though they’re super simple easy to do – they DO take some time, so if you’re in a rush – just buy them already fringed. You can find them at most stores but even on Amazon, like the highly rated ones below.

If you created your own fringed jeans – please let me know how they turned out in the comments below!

frayed hem pin

Until then, happy fringing!

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