Free People DIY

About a week before COVID-19 hit us like a ton of bricks I posted this picture…

photo curtesy of Revolve

it’s from Revolve and these are an awesome pair of Free People jeans.

I LOVE them.


as much as I love Free People (and I really do love them) I’m not paying $78 for these jeans. Sorry.

So, what’s a girl to do?

D.I.Y of course…

step 1

find your jeans

There is one place I ALWAYS hit up if I have a DIY project.

So, BQ (Before Quarantine) I took a trip to Goodwill to see if I could find a pair of jeans that I thought would work.

I couldn’t believe that I found some on my first trip. I mean sometimes it takes a few trips to produce what your looking for and then it’s not always EXACTLY what you want. In case you missed it, I did a post on “My Favorite Goodwill Tips and Tricks.”

That’s why finding these were so exciting.

They are exactly what I had envisioned for this project.

I know that you can’t exactly run out to Goodwill right now, but I’m thinking that just maybe you might have cleaned up a closet or two. In case that’s true, you might have some that will work for this project.

My first thought was that a straight leg or boot cut jean would do best and I was right. Remember those straight leg jeans we all loved not so long ago? Those are what you will want.

I found these straight leg Old Navy Sweetheart jeans in a light wash similar to the Free People jeans…and I was so excited.

step 2

gather your supplies

There isn’t a lot of tools needed for this. I just grabbed some scissors, an exacto knife, and the largest grit sandpaper I had.

I also added a cutting board to save my granite.

Also, you’re gonna need a LOT of elbow grease.

step 3

determine your length and make the first cut

Find a pair of jeans in your closet that is the length you want or you can measure where you what them to hit your leg and mark that spot. Whichever method you prefer is fine.

I chose to use a pair of ankle length jeans that I really love the length of in order to measure for these Free People dupes.

step 4

mark your knees

For these jeans, the holes in the knees are very important. I mean it’s probably the one thing that sets these apart from other jeans.

In order to make the cuts in the right places, you need to know the exact spot for your knees.

If you happen to be doing a jean DIY that requires holes in a specific place, like your knees, you will need to measure for that. To insure they are in their proper place when completed I use safety pins. Just try them on and mark where your knees will hit.

Step 5

start distressing

This isn’t hard but it isn’t necessarily an easy job, either.

I started with the knees and I used the sandpaper to weaken the material around the knees. I did this so that I could achieve the hole in the knees like the Free People jeans.

There is no real easy way to do this. It’s just going over and over the knees until they start to fray.

Then I moved to the legs…

I cut these uneven, as a way to get the effect I desired. Then…you guessed it…I went over them over and over…and then over and over some more. Honestly, this DIY wasn’t really easy but I am so excited with how they turned out. I LOVE THEM.


I think I created a pretty good dupe for those Free People jeans.

and by the way…I got this super cute Jones New York blazer that same day at Goodwill too.

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