An easy way to upcylce those jeans you just don't seem to wear anymore with a hem upgrade.
Try on the jeans and look in a mirror to decide how much you want to remove. The pair I chose to distress, had enough length that I could remove a few inches. Note, for the first cut subtract an inch or so and then make a second cut to ensure you do not remove more length then desired.
*if you are keeping the original length skip to step 2
Time to distress the hem. My favorite tool to create a clean yet distressed look is a...cheese grater! If you do not have one you could also use a lemon zester or anything with a fine sharp "grating/zesting" surface. To distress the hem take this side of the grater (see image below) and ball the hem up in your fist + rub back and forth, back and forth over and over until desired distress level is reached. The more you rub the more frayed the hem will look.
Ta-da, you have a frayed hem! This is the step where you can leave the hem as a straight design or proceed with the following for a step hem.
For a step hem, cut half circles into the front side only. Repeat step 2 on the newly cut hem (you have already distressed the back hem but feel free to do it again). The more you rough the edge with the grater the more frayed the denim will look.