Converse are so cheap, so easily manipulated and so durable – you shouldn’t be surprised this second DIY feature brings back the classic Chucks again. This time, we’re cutting and pulling. 😉

 

Shredded Converse at FreePeople.com

Shredded Converse at FreePeople.com

 

The Converse to the left are featured at Free People for $128. Now, they are super cool, but it looked like a pretty simple operation (heck, I have scissors), so I decided to try it out myself. I also just happened to have an old pair of Converse in my closet which definitely helped (yay for being a pack-rat)!

I’ve numbered the pictures below along with the matching paragraph.

1. Ok, so first I took out the laces from my Converse and started cutting slightly angled slits in the shoes between each eyelet. Then I realized just slits were not enough and you need to cut out rectangles, not just straight lines, in order for some skin to peek through.

Make sure that you do NOT cut through the very back of the shoe at the ankle/heel (you’ll see a reinforced strip of canvas there). If you cut through it, you’ll end up with completely separated shoe pieces just held on by laces. Not the look we’re going for.

2. Cool. The cutting was super easy, thank you canvas. It literally took me about 15 minutes to finish both shoes!! You will notice part way through that there are two layers to your Converse shoes, the outer layer and the lining – don’t worry, they’ll stay connected since they’re attached below the insole and along the back of the high top. Now you have a choice: you can make these shoes super sandal-like or a little more sneaker-like… just decide whether to keep the shoe tongue or not. Free People’s website actually has pictures of both versions depending on the color of the shoe! I decided to remove the tongue even though I was a little nervous about how the laces would feel against my skin. Here’s a pic of the shoes with the tongue in for your reference.

 

 

#1 - not just single line cuts

#1 - not just single line cuts

 

 

#2 - the cuts are done on one side

#2 - the cuts are done on one side

 

 

#2 - pretty nice with the tongue left in

#2 - pretty nice with the tongue left in

3. To cut the tongue I re-laced the shoes up so I could see where it’d fall. I pulled the tongue straight up right before the first set of eyelets (the pair nearest the toe) which left a little of my toes covered. Remember, you can always cut more off later, but it’s really hard to put it back. 😉 Well, that ended up being too long for me and I was worried about it bunching up as I walked in the shoes (although you could sew the tongue to the first two flaps holding those eyelets if you want to keep the tongue a little longer). As you can see below, I cut the tongue out in a semi-circle leaving a little less than a half an inch of fabric (since it is sewn to those first flaps a little – I didn’t cut through those stitches which is why the line curved into a circle).

 

 

#3 - goodbye tongue!

#3 - goodbye tongue!

 

 

#4 - fray by rubbing the edges with your finger

#4 - fray by rubbing the edges with your finger

4. Next you’ll need to fray your shoes as pictured above. This part is also super easy and takes less than 5 minutes. Just hold each strap taught at the eyelet and rub down the cut side with your finger, up and down. You can also try holding each section with one hand and then use your other hand to pinch the cut side while pulling if you want even more intense frayed action. P.S.  I noticed that the creamy lining frays a lot easier than the outer canvas does, it’ll pretty much fray on its own just by wearing the shoes, so I personally just pulled a little at the outer canvas only.

5. They’re done (in 20-ish minutes!!),  fabulous and free (if you have an old pair of Converse lying around) – but even if you buy some new, Converse retail for about $40, so you’re saving over $80 off the ready-made version (sorry FreePeople, I do love you)!

Try this with high tops or even with low tops, I’d love to see your pictures if you try it!

And for some interesting reading on the history of Converse, check out this awesome article in the Boston Globe by cool girl Erin Ailworth.

 

 

#4 - the finished product!

#5 - the finished product!

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