inspiration: Techniques


The longer I’m around (and sometimes that feels like forever) the more sure I am that certain trends absolutely never, ever die (remember the forever trends?). Call me old fashioned (or 90’s fashioned) but ripped jeans to me are up there with a black blazer and leopard print heels in terms of their longevity. And so, without further ado, I wanted to share with you how I created my latest DIY denim project – a very quick update to an old pair of jeans with ripped knees and frayed hems that gave them a new lease on life. On a side note, they’re so comfy I can’t help but wear them on every plane trip!

How to distress your denim jeans

Wearing: Daniel Wellington watch, DIY jeans, J Crew bag, Zara heels

Distressing your denim jeans

You need:

  • A pair of skinny jeans
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • A washing machine

How to:

1. First, cut the hems off your jeans, once washed this will create a frayed hem.

Distressing your denim jeans

2. Then, put your jeans on and mark them where your knees are. You want to put a few cuts both above and below your knees so mark where you want them to go.

Distressing your denim jeans

3. Using your scissors, fold the jeans in half so the seams are in the middle, and cut the jeans where your marks were left.

Make a pair of ripped knee jeans

4. The cuts should look like this, make sure you don’t nick the side seams!

Distressing your denim jeans

5. So that your jeans have a bit of style and don’t just look like you’ve hacked them with scissors, you want to create some distressed parts, which is where the white weft of the denim shows. To do this, cut a few parallel lines

Distressing your denim jeans

6. Loosen and remove the blue weft of thread, leaving the white threads behind.

Make a pair of ripped knee jeans

7. It should look like this.

Make a pair of ripped knee jeans

8. Once you’ve done that around the knees, give them a good wash in the washing machine, and you’ll have the perfect distressed knee jeans.

Distressing your denim jeans www.apairandasparediy.comHow to trash your jeans the right way

If you’re feeling a little crafty, why not head over to Wander & Hunt and score some bargains – there’s 20% off until Thursday Sept 4th using the code ‘crafton’.


If you haven’t heard of my friends Kahoko yet you’re in for a treat. With a launch collection that includes space perfecting rugs (with the best foot-feel around – if there’s such a thing), hug-worthy cardigans and thyme scented soaps wrapped in wool for the ultimate exfoliation, the best part about these guys is that everything is hand made by local women in Kenya using 100% organic supplies – so not only if everything to die for – it’s also to live for too.  We’ve recently acquired a beautiful Kahoko rug in the studio (you can see the edge of it here) and I loved it so much we decided to give one away to one lucky reader. Read on to see how to enter.

Win this gorgeous rug.

My friend Luke recently visited Kenya and got to know the families who make the rugs and cardigans – it looked like a once in a lifetime trip. He made some utterly gorgeous videos of the people and processes used in the craft, you can see the first once below and the second (showing the making of the rug itself) here. Must. Start. Looming.

Win this gorgeous rug. www.apairandasparediy.comWin this gorgeous rug.


To enter:

  • Pop over to the Kahoko website and check out their gorgeous wares.
  • Like Kahoko Handmade on Facebook
  • Leave a comment below (make sure you leave your email in the box) letting us know what your fave item from their store is.

Giveaway open until end of day 30th June. Open to all worldwide.

Winner of this giveaway is Sylvie!

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One of the best things about travelling is collecting small memories and mementos from your trip. In my mind there’s nothing better than having things around the house that remind me of the places I’ve been and the things I’ve done – those little memories certainly make a longggg, rainy, ‘I wish I was anywhere but here‘ Monday just that more bearable. But the more places you travel, the more likely you are to have mountains of mementos all stuffed together gathering dust in a drawer, I know I do!

Recently, Loctite and I got together for the Loctite Repair Network to create an essential for any wanderluster – a set of memento boxes that will keep your travel collections safe and organised. They’re also the perfect place to store maps, ticket stubs and other any things you need to jog your memory for when you go back. Because who doesn’t hate not remembering the street that favourite, hidden restaurant was on?

The best part? Once you start making them and stacking them on your bookshelf, it’s all the more reason to wander the globe to fill them up!

Make travel memento boxes a pair and a spare

All you need to do this project is a few small boxes (I used recycled DVD boxes), a few maps and the right glue, and you’re good to go! You can watch the video below:

Travel memento boxes Travel memento boxes www.apairandasparediy.comMake some travel memento boxes

Video shooting and editing: Luke Casey
Creative direction & concept : Geneva Vanderzeil

Oh and for those who haven’t noticed, I’ve recently created a travel gallery, so you can easily access all my guides – I can’t wait to create more destinations!