Want a simple diy project that will have you wanting to do a load of laundry this weekend? Today Michelle Forstadt of Catching Couture is showing you how you can give a pair of inexpensive skinny jeans that distressed look that often comes with a steep price tag!

Here’s what you’ll need: a pair of skinny jeans (mine were $20 at Zara, so I didn’t feel bad about experimenting with them!), a pen or pencil (depending on the darkness of your jeans), a box cutter or razor blade and a piece of cardboard.

1. Find the knee of your jeans by folding the bottom hem up to the point.

2. Mark that crease with your pen/pencil so you know where you will want to begin your cuts.

3. You’ll want to double up your cardboard and put it into the leg of your jeans to use as a backing when you begin making the cuts. The last thing you want to do is cut through both sides of your jeans!

4. Press firmly and begin making your cuts. Space them out between 1/8″ and 1/4″. Giving a little variation mixes it up nicely and keeps it from looking too uniform.

This is the pattern I cut on the left leg. The right leg I kept more contained to the knee area. Distressed jeans are definitely one thing that you don’t want to be perfect and symmetrical.

5. Next I added a few little nicks to the coin pocket and pocket hemline. You can also add some distressing on the back pockets for that naturally worn look. Just be careful not to cut into the stitching.

Take a step back and inspect your masterpiece! It’s going to look dramatically different very soon…

6. You’ll want to throw them into the washer and dryer for one cycle (or two)… and you’re done! They should emerge a totally unique pair of distressed skinny jeans!

Be sure to read the full tutorial for more helpful tips here!