Denim DIY: How to Make Shorts from Jeans

by Jaime on July 28, 2009

Really, this is probably going to be the easiest Denim DIY ever, for both you and me. But, since you guys wanted it, I will give you the step-by-step on how to make cute cuffed shorts (they’re kind of boyfriend shorts-esque!) for yourself!

Step One:

This is just the basic what you need set: A pair of jeans (best bet would be going a size or so large. My option was a pair of old Lucky Jeans that I’ve had for about six years now. They’re a size too big, I don’t ever wear them (except maybe for painting or other grubby things) so I figured they’d be the perfect candidate for this look! Measuring tape is a must (how else will you get even lengths?!?) as well as good scissors and a pen/pencil to mark your cut line with.

Step Two: Measure the length you want to trim it at. Best way to do this is to set up how long you want them to be for wearing. Then add a couple of inches. My personal preference is around 5-6″, so I cut mine up at 8″. Since you’re going to cuff these, you don’t need to sew up the frayed end, but I would recommend you use something like Fray Check or a similar product to stem the fraying… it could look silly if it goes overboard and your fraying gets in the way of the cuff!

(PS: Make sure you turn the jeans inside out to mark and cut them… if you miss your mark, you won’t see the ink!)

Step Three: Cut a small V on the outer edges of the shorts, the size of one cuff fold. This will give you a little extra breathing room… believe me, you’ll want it, and it will help promote the boyfriend look.

Step Four: Put them on! Yeah, I know, they’re going to look a little long and a little silly. This is why we cuff them! With the jeans on (and comparing lengths in detail… you don’t want one side longer than the other!) and preferably while standing up, cuff them once at the length of the cut V. Cuff them one more time after that.

Step Five: I told you this was easy! Voila… you have cute, cropped Boyfriend style shorts… and you didn’t have to spend a bunch of money on them! There are, obviously, a couple of things you can do to make these your own:

  • Paint Splattering
  • Distressing (check out my DIY Distress post!)
  • Bleaching/Tie-Dying
  • Shortening the length (have to be to the extend that the bottoms of the pockets come out… usually best with decorated pockets, a la Kasil, True Religion, etc)


But, at the end of the day, you made them, they’re yours… and you know you look great in them!

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