Make Your Own Denim Shorts

Happy spring! I cannot believe it’s finally here. I was in a major funk with the cold weather, which tends to happen to me every year around this time. When the winter hits, I tend to hibernate and feel less motivated to blog. But, I’m back and so excited for the next few blog posts I have up my sleeve. Today I am sharing a fun little DIY. I love a good DIY that is actually feasible and not a Pinterest fail. So let’s get to it…

I’ve been cutting my own denim shorts for a few years now. It is SO easy. Everyone has a pair of denim sitting around that they just don’t wear anymore. Am I right? Well, it’s time to take those bad boy’s out from the back of your closet and make some fun cut-offs for your spring vacation and summer!

You will need:

Fabric Scissors (these are the best; only $9)
Measuring Tape

Denim DIY
  1. Put your jeans on and make a small cut (in the inside thigh area) on one of the legs with the scissors as to where you think you may want your denim to fall (the inseam). This is a personal preference. I personally like a 2 1/2” - 3” inseam. If this is your first DIY with shorts, you may want to go longer with your first cut just in case. You can always cut them more.

  2. Take off the jeans. Using the measuring tape, measure from the top of the interior inseam to where you made a small cut. Now take the measuring tape and line it up accordingly on the other leg. Make a small cut at the same length.

  3. Cut the legs off the denim. I usually go at a slight diagonal up towards the outer thigh. Again, this is a personal preference. You can cut straight across and make adjustments from there. Fold the denim shorts in half to make sure they line up. They will fray so they don’t have to be perfect.


4. After you cut the denim, try the (now) shorts on and see how you like the length. Keep in mind, after you wash them, the bottom will fray so they will become a tiny bit shorter.

5. If you’re happy with the length, move on to step 6. If you need to cut more, do so and follow steps above again until you’re ready to move on to step 6.

6. This is the fun part. You can distress your denim as much as you want. You are going to make a small cut anywhere on your denim (I usually start with one of the pockets). Then, make another cut about an inch or larger below the first cut. Next, take the edge of your scissors (you can use a razor blade for this too. I just use the edge of my fabric scissors because they are sharp enough) and run it back and forth against the top of one of the cuts. The denim will start to fray. Now, you’ll see that you can easily pull the blue pieces of thread (individually) from one end to the other. Once you get the first thread out, the rest come out so easily. You’re left with the white threads but not the blue. Cool, right?

7. You can also use the scissors to “distress” the denim in several places (see middle photo above) or makes small holes in different areas of the denim (see bottom right photo above). Remember, once you wash the denim, all those cuts and distressing you made will become frayed and look better than they do at first.

8. This step is unnecessary but I like to give the shorts a soft and worn-in feeling (if they aren’t already). This will obviously lighten them up a little bit too. I put about a cup of bleach in my laundry room sink and add some warm water. Put the shorts in and submerge in the water/bleach mixture. The water should just cover the shorts so you don’t need to fill the sink. If you don’t have a sink, you could use a large bucket. I recommend wearing gloves to do this so you’re not putting your hands in bleach. Let the shorts sit for a good 30 minutes (longer if they’re really dark). Rinse the shorts and throw them in the washing machine on a quick cycle with warm water and detergent. Put them in the dryer and voila!

So simple and easy right?! Let me know if you try and how you make out. Like this DIY post? Please SHARE and comment below.

And because it’s Friday, I’m sharing a jam that never gets old for me and makes me happy & want to dance. Happy weekend friends!