The Champagne Life on a DIY Budget Since 2007

DIY Destroyed Denim & Tie Dye with Punky Style

DIY denim tie dye

When it comes to vintage and DIY fashion on a shoestring, Amy Lynn “Punky” Chase, proprietress of the popular blog Punky Style and creatrix of the traveling vintage boutique The Haberdash, is our favorite source.

Luckily for us (and you), Punky sat down with us this week to share her top tips, tricks, and step-by-step DIY instructions for both finding and creating three of fall’s top fashion trends — distressed/destroyed denim, tie dye, and pyramid studs — for less. (Punky is also our fabulous and incomparable partner in clothing swaps at The Swapaholics.)

Here are Punky’s instructions for going DIY with fall trends — plus our Q&A with the clever clothier, including her tips on how to style these retro looks and where she’s shopping this fall:


When I shred things, I like to keep the rest of the outfit simple. The same with the studs. To make them more modern, I just mix them into everyday outfits.

1. Put on the pair of jeans you want to alter.
2. With chalk, mark the places where you think the holes will look the best, and then take off the jeans.
3. Cut your marks with a straight razor or scissors.
4. Wash the jeans a few times, or until the holes fray and look shredded.


You can buy loose studs on ebay in small or large packs depending how
much studding you would like to do. I usually find items that I don’t
really wear anymore and update them, such as purses, jean jackets,
sandals — I even made a studded collar for my dog.

1. With an exacto knife, make a small slit in each place where you would like a stud to go.
2. Insert the pyramid stud, prong side first.
3. Bend the prongs closed behind the fabric until they are secure, so they stay permanently attached to your item.


I like to dye using single colors so that the final project doesn’t
seem too childish. A box of Rit will color about eight (8) items.

1. Gather the fabric in the places you want to create a pattern.

2. Place your rubber bands securely around each gather of fabric.
3. Fill your washing machine with Rit to the package’s instructions.
4. Place all of your items in the hot water and Rit solution and let sit for a few hours.


Shoestring: How much time and money do you usually spend on each piece?

Punky: All of them cost no more then a few bucks.

S: What do you look for in a great piece to alter?

P: Good quality basics. When you’re altering clothing, it’s good to start with a quality piece, so you know it wont fall apart during or after
your alterations.

S: What are your favorite places to find these “looks for less,” other than making them yourself?

P: Forever 21 is pretty cheap for trends, but I mostly shop at thrift stores and clothing swaps.

S: Do you sell any of your handmade/DIY pieces in your Punky shop on Etsy or in The Haberdash?

P: I’ve sold some of my feather hair clips, tie dye scarves, and a few pairs of shredded shorts, but mostly I just make them for my friends.

S: Who are some of your favorite destroyed denim, punk rock, and tie dye sellers?

P: I love I Heart Norweigian Wood, NeckLush, which.goose, and Take Off Your Clothes on Etsy.

S: If money was no object, what’s the one item — vintage or new — that you would splurge on for fall?

P: This cage skirt from I Heart Norwegian Wood has been on my wish list all year.

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