(Photo courtesy of collegefashion.net)

BY SAHAR DIKA, Arts & Entertainment Editor

There is nothing more fun or rewarding than designing and making your own clothes. This year, I discovered the best way to put the little fashionista in me to work!

There were so many items of clothing that I spotted while walking through my favorite stores that I could probably make at home if I had the right materials and some direction. Not only is it a lot of fun to rock the outfit you made and put a tiny piece of your heart into, but it can also save you a lot of money.

I have now conquered the art of bedazzling bras, studding converse, fringing shirts, destroying denim and so much more. Since Fall is now in session, I thought sharing some tips on how to destroy denim would be a great way to help you fill those gaps of time you have in between those oh so wonderful study dates!

(Sahar Dika / MJ)

First, you will need a number of things. Besides time, grab a pair of tweezers or something to shred your jeans with. I usually like to grab tongs that have a special end with teeth (sharp carved metal). Also grab a pair of scissors, some bleach, a pair of latex gloves, rubber bands and a medium size plastic tub that you won’t mind getting bleached or dirty. The amount of bleach you need depends on how big the item is that you want to destroy. Obviously, the larger the item of clothing, the more bleach you will need.

Try to choose a pair of jeans with a darker dye to them. The darker the jeans are, the thicker the material is and the less chance you have of bleaching a hole through them. Now that you have all your materials ready, you can start the process of destroying your denim!

(Sahar Dika / MJ)

The next thing you will want to do after gathering your supplies is to decide if you want to make some slits in your jeans. The beauty in doing something like this is having the freedom to decide if you want to have a rip in the pocket, on the knee, to cut the jeans into shorts or leave them with no rips at all.

For example, if you want a rip in the back pocket, I would cut horizontally so that there was a good size slit but the whole pocket wasn’t gone. Be careful not to cut through the back of the pocket so that you don’t have to reveal the color of your underwear to everyone on campus!

If you look closely you will notice after you cut that there will be tiny pieces of blue and white strands hanging loose. They almost look like little blue and white hairs. This is where the shredding comes in. Grab your tweezers and pull the hairs outwards until the strands tighten. Do this for the top and bottom part of the slit.

If my jeans are tough enough, I use the tongs as well to make the shredding a little more dramatic. Be careful though. I have pulled too hard with the tongs before and ripped the jeans too much making them un-wearable. Try to be delicate so that you can get the exact design you want. Rushing will not do you any good.

Now that your jeans are ripped, they are ready to be destroyed! If you don’t want them ripped seeing that it is Fall and it’s getting a little chilly then you can just skip over the first step and start with this one. Grab your rubber bands and start bunching up your jeans in the areas that you wish to be bleached. For an even design, I suggest bunching up everything. You are going to bunch in increments so start at the bottom of the jeans and bunch a small area then tie the rubber band around it tightly. Do this for the entire pair and if it looks a little weird and uneven, that’s ok. It’s supposed to. You can bunch anywhere and whichever way you want to.

It is now time to bleach. Before you do anything, make sure you put your gloves on! Bleach is strong and you don’t want to get it on your hands. I suggest doing this step in your basement or garage so that you don’t destroy anything besides your jeans and to avoid having the bleach in a confined area where the fumes will get to you.

Take your bleach and pour it into the tub. Pour enough so that it will only cover the bottom half of your bunched jeans because you are going to eventually flip them over. I also suggest diluting the bleach with water so that it is not too strong and will not eat through the material. Here is where it gets tricky.

Every pair of jeans will have a different sitting time. Some denim bleaches quicker than others so it is important to pay close attention to how quickly the color is fading. Once you noticed that the color of the jeans has faded to a very light blue, almost white, you can turn them over and let the other side sit. Remember that until you remove the jeans and rinse them, the bleach will continue to work so do not leave them in the bleach for too long.

After you’ve completed the bleaching process, you can remove the jeans and the rubber bands and rinse them in cool water. You will notice the tie-dye design right away! After you rinse them, you can stick them in the washing machine with some detergent to get rid of the smell of bleach and either hang them to dry or put them in the dryer depending on whichever method you prefer.

So there you have it! You now have a pair of destroyed denim jeans that you can wear this fall with boots or style up with some heels. You can use this method with a denim jacket or denim shirt and when you’re done, don’t be afraid to add studs! Remember, practice makes perfect so good luck and design away!