How to DIY a Step Hem

by christiem on April 20, 2017 · 43 comments

DIY Step Hem Tutorial

Step-hems are everything right now.  

From celebs to fashionistas and street-stylers EVERYONE is trying their hand at this cut, cut, snip style.

You may have spotted a step hem but wasn’t sure what it was called or heard the word tossed around on social media but was at a loss on how to get a piece of this trend.

No worries! I’m breaking it down step by step on exactly what a step hem is and how you can rock this trend with a quick DIY Step Hem Tutorial.

A step hem is a raw hem that is cut higher in the front than the back- Think of them as the mullet of denim cuts.

The best thing about step hems is that you can create one super easily yourself!

DIY Step Hem Tutorial

Here’s What You Need:

  • A Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil or Chalk
  • Jeans

DIY Step Hem Tutorial

Step 1: Mark where you want the longest part of the step hem to land on your jeans- I like it to land right above my ankle. The easiest way is to put your jeans on and mark the length with a dot. After making the initial mark take the jeans off, and use the ruler to draw an even line all the way across where you are going to cut.

Step 2: Cut along the marked line across both the front and back of the jean (at the same time). Make sure you have some sharp scissors!

Step 3: Now measure up about 2 1/2 inches from the bottom of the front of the freshly cut jean and mark it. Do this on both edges just inside the seams.  Then draw a line connecting the two marks.

Step 4: Now, from the bottom cut up the inside of the seams to the mark then across the top and down the other side.  This will make a cut that resembles an upside down U.

Step 5: Repeat the process on other leg.

Step 6: Once your step hems are cut use your fingers to pull a few of the threads out to start the fray the bottom of the jeans and toss them in the washer. Keep in mind that the frayed part will just get better with every wash and wear! If white strings fall down just cut them off (or not..whatever you like!).  DIY distressed hems are all about personalization so however you feel like rockin’ it is cool.  There really isn’t a wrong way.

Stylist Tip:  If this is your first-time customizing a pair of jeans, I recommend practicing on an older pair first until you get the hang of it.


{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Tamsin April 20, 2017 at 11:10 am

Oh I love playing with denim. It’s right that the frayed bit gets better with time.. I used to turn all my old jeans into shorts and after a few months, the frayed bit always looked better than when they were freshly cut 🙂

Jessica April 20, 2017 at 11:19 am

This trend looks neat but I would be so nervous to actually try that on one of my jeans even if they were old lol. I would definitely buy them at the store though! Thank for sharing 🙂

Danielle April 20, 2017 at 11:47 am

Love this! Definitely going to give this a try💁🏼

Liza Amor April 20, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Great idea! Step hems so are in now!

Madison April 20, 2017 at 12:56 pm

I have been DYING to find an article like this!!! I’ve wanted to do a step hem for months now. Thank you for this easy to follow tutorial! Such a great post.

christiem April 20, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Oh I’m so glad you found it helpful!

christiem April 20, 2017 at 5:14 pm

There are so many DIY denim trends right now- it makes denim fun again!

christiem April 20, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Thanks for stopping by!

christiem April 20, 2017 at 5:15 pm

Ha! Give it a try- I promise it’s super easy!

christiem April 20, 2017 at 5:15 pm

Right! They just get better and better!

LINDSEY of THE NOMIS NICHE April 20, 2017 at 8:39 pm

Such a great how-to! Step-hem jeans are SO flattering too.

Love, Lindsey

christiem April 20, 2017 at 8:44 pm

Right! and they show off your shoes!

Antonia Genov April 20, 2017 at 9:23 pm

So creative, looks perfect!

Jamie Dunton April 21, 2017 at 5:34 am

Great post! I always learn so much!

christiem April 21, 2017 at 10:37 am

thanks lady!

christiem April 21, 2017 at 10:37 am

I’m so glad you liked it!

Rachel Vigil April 21, 2017 at 10:54 am

The pictures on this are awesome! Make it really easy to follow along.

Hayley Botte April 21, 2017 at 11:05 am

Wow this is so amazing. I love how you took pictures every step of the way, it makes it so easy to follow. Thanks for sharing xx

christiem April 21, 2017 at 11:07 am


christiem April 21, 2017 at 11:07 am

Glad you liked it! Give it a try- it’s super easy and packs a style statement!

Shannon Burlingame April 21, 2017 at 12:42 pm

This is so cute and perfect for spring! I’m fairly petite and finding jeans that aren’t on the floor is really difficult but I also suck at sewing to hem my own pants. This is a great alternative. Thanks for sharing! I’m definitely trying it out! 🙂

Amanda Pamblanco April 21, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Thanks for the tips Christie! Is it better after a couple washes, that they look really “fringy” at the bottom? Or just continue to pull the strings?


Kristi April 21, 2017 at 4:45 pm

I love this look – I love a raw hem so this is really up my alley – it’s perfect for a laid back look but you could style this with anything

Shileen April 21, 2017 at 7:24 pm

Ok so I have never seen this but it is sooo cute! I could totally pull this off! Thanks!! 🙂

Ophelia Tang April 21, 2017 at 10:09 pm

I love this article. Will definitely give this a try this season.

XOXO // Check out my latest post if you like 😉
SINCERELY OPHELIA | TREND ALERT: Off the Shoulder Tops Galore

Daniel Heaver April 22, 2017 at 10:00 am

Thanks. Thats a clever idea

sonali jain April 22, 2017 at 10:14 am

This is so fun , and pictures are really cute. 🙂

Christina April 22, 2017 at 10:18 am

I love all DIY and this is a great tutorial. I’m just not sure it’s my thing even though it is in style. haha Guess I’m getting old!

Tina von S April 22, 2017 at 10:18 am

I love denim, because it is not important how messy it gets, the better it looks (in some styles of course). I guess I like the frayed look.

christiem April 22, 2017 at 10:23 am

Totally! Denim gets better with age!

christiem April 22, 2017 at 10:24 am

Hey, every trend isn’t for everyone but there are tons of denim DIY’s out there- maybe you just havent found the one that suits your personal style yet!

christiem April 22, 2017 at 10:24 am

Thanks for reading!

christiem April 22, 2017 at 10:25 am

Thanks for stopping by!

christiem April 22, 2017 at 10:25 am

So easy and fun!

christiem April 22, 2017 at 10:25 am

Its great for showing off some fab shoes!

christiem April 22, 2017 at 10:26 am

Totally, it’s super versatile.

christiem April 22, 2017 at 10:27 am

Honestly it’s whatever you like! I tend to cut the strings off but you can totally leave them and rock the fringe!

christiem April 22, 2017 at 10:27 am

YES! Denim DIY is a short girl’s BFF! I’m only 5’5 so I snip all my denim!

Anja / Womanhattan April 26, 2017 at 6:41 am

I’m really bad at DIY things. But I love this one, will try it for sure 🙂

christiem April 27, 2017 at 12:20 pm

It’s so easy!

fashNcurious May 25, 2017 at 3:35 pm
christiem May 27, 2017 at 11:30 am


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