Hey friends! I’m excited to be sharing a post that that I have been meaning to write for a couple of years now: How to Make Old Jeans Into Shorts. I hate buying jeans because they are so expensive, and when I was in college a couple of years ago I remember wanting the cute vintage cut off frayed jean look, but they were like $100+! This college girl just couldn’t swing it, so I decided to make my own. I didn’t really follow a tutorial or anything I just kind of started cutting, lol, but they turned out great! Two years later I am still wearing them every summer. Must’ve done something right?!
Step 1: Choose Your Jeans!
If you have an old pair you can use those if you want, but I prefer to go to my local thrift stores and find an older pair (LSA Resale Shop always great options if you are in the Decatur area!) I’ve never paid more than $5 for my thrift short denim. I prefer the older vintage look to my shorts and thrift stores usually have a good selection! I also always like my shorts high waisted so what I recommend to do is try on jeans 2-3 sizes too big so you could get them high waisted. They will be a little loose in your thighs, but I find them to be SO comfortable! Another tip is to try and find a pair of Levi brand! They hold up so well, and when you cut them off they always look like you bought them that way. It’s just easier!
Step 2: Measure Your Length
Since you’re making your own, you can pick any length for your shorts! First I try them on and I make a little mark with a pencil on the side of one pant leg where I think I want to cut. Make sure you give yourself a couple of extra inches if you plan on cuffing your shorts at the bottom!
Step 3: Make Your Mark
Next, I lay the jeans out on the floor folded and make another mark on the other pant leg to make sure I cut them both evenly. Then it gets a little tricky. If you want your cut to be completely straight, just use a ruler and draw a straight line across each pant leg. However, I prefer for my inseam to be a little longer than the sides of my shorts, so I used my ruler at a diagonale and drew my line. Then I would recommend trying them on again to make sure your lines are even and to make sure you are okay with the length.
Step 4: Cut Your Denim
Time to cut! You’ll want to use a heavy duty pair of scissors to cut through the denim.
Step 5: Add Customization
This is the fun part where you can really customize your jeans! Here are a few ways you can customize your shorts.
- Use a razor and scrap across the raw hem to create a little bit of fray
- Use scissors to cut slits in your shorts to create distressing. Then throw them through a cycle in the washing machine to make the effect! This will also create a major fray along your short hem, and looks really natural! (this is the method I did)
- Splatter bleach on your denim to create a bleached effect
It really is so easy to make your own shorts! With a little bit of time you can create your own completely unique vintage shorts at home for about $5!