How to Decorate Jeans with Studs

Decorating plain jeans with studs is more fun with friends.
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It's a guarantee you won't see anyone else wearing the same jeans as you by embellishing a pair with some serious hardware. Studs are inexpensive, easy to apply to clothing and available in many different styles - from edgy, punk-rock spikes to girly, glittering rhinestones. Denim jeans are the ideal garment for a fun studding project because the fabric is sturdy enough to stay taut under the weight of a spattering, a neat row or a veritable onslaught of studs.

Decide on the position and arrangement of the studs by holding them up against the jeans. You can cover a back pocket, place a triangle or star-shaped arrangement at the hips or ankles, or lay out a row of studs along a side seam.

Draw dots on the jeans using a fabric marker to indicate the placements of the individual studs. If you want perfectly neat spacing, use a ruler to mark the dots.

Fold an old blanket or towel to form a thick pad. Place this underneath the part of the jeans that you are going to apply studs to.

Poke the studs through the denim at the marked dots. The folded towel or blanket should protect you from pokes. If it is difficult to poke the studs through the denim, use an awl or the tip of a craft knife to make small holes at the marked dots first.

Hold the studs in place with a flat hand and flip the jeans over so that the prongs on the reverse side of the denim are facing you.

Bend the prongs using pliers so that they lie flat against the denim. Make sure the fold in the prong is as close to the back of the stud as possible for a tight clasp against the fabric. The bent prongs should resemble the back of a used staple.

Repeat until all the studs are securely in place.

  • If the backs of the prongs are uncomfortable against your skin, apply a patch of soft, non-fraying fabric, such as felt or fleece, over the prongs on the inside of the jeans. Use fabric glue to hold the patch in place without stitches.
  • To test a design, poke the studs through a piece of thick paper or card stock without bending the prongs back. Hold the studded paper against the jeans to see if you like the look. You can then use the holes in the paper as a template to mark dots on the fabric.

A writer of diverse interests, Joanne Thomas has penned pieces about road trips for Hyundai, children's craft projects for Disney and wine cocktails for Robert Mondavi. She has lived on three continents and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is co-owner and editor of a weekly newspaper. Thomas holds a BSc in politics from the University of Bristol, England.