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Though the days of decorating your jeans with a rhinestone kit are behind us, you can still get into the DIY spirit with a different kind of hardware. Add metal studs to your jeans to give them a look that's just a bit more hard-core and way more eye-catching. The basic process of adding rivets to jeans is simple, but getting a pattern you'll like and results that will last takes a touch of planning and the right kind of effort.
Prepare your jeans by making them into the smoothest, flattest canvas you can -- all the better for creating your personalized artwork. Lay the jeans out flat on a countertop or clean floor surface. If they look a little wrinkled or lumpy, iron them or let them sit overnight with something heavy on them.
The best stud designs are going to be well-thought-out, not just tossed haphazardly on the pants. For this reason, it's a good idea to mark out the areas of the jeans you want to decorate with outlines in dressmaker's chalk. For smaller sections, trace the rivets themselves; press the top of a stud, or rivet, against the jeans and trace it to create an outline of its shape. Repeat this action to make a pattern outline for every stud you'll want in your design and plan for how you'll place them. Pro tip: Avoid areas that will cause discomfort while wearing the jeans, especially parts that you'll likely sit, lean or kneel on like the knees or the lower part of the backside.
Arranging The Rivets
Once you've got spots marked on the jeans, test out your design by pressing the studs in place in the denim, but don't fold their spikes down yet. This will allow you to move the rivets around and adjust their positions. You may find that this process is easier if you stick one hand inside the denim and hold the cloth stretched flat over your fingertips as you go, or if you stuff the jeans with some scrap fabric while you work.
If you're lucky, the studs will stay in place once you've inserted them and you'll be able to turn the jeans inside out without the metal pieces falling off. If that's not the case, secure them temporarily with some strips of masking tape stretched over the tops of the metal on the outside of the pants. Fold down the spikes to secure the rivets using needle-nosed pliers. If the spikes on your rivets are too thick to fold this way, place the jeans over a piece of scrap wood and fold them down using gentle taps from a hammer. Turn those pants right side-in again and voila!