Denim Cutoff Tutorial — How to Turn Jeans Into Cutoff Shorts

how to make cutoff jean shorts

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I don’t know about y’all, but any fashion DIY craft I attempt better not involve complicated measurements, a sewing machine, or anything that requires more effort than just buying the right item. Sometimes what you think might be a quick-and-easy project turns into an all-day affair, but trust me when I say that turning an old pair of jeans into cutoff shorts is truly so simple.

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I tried it out with a pair, and I think the results turned out more than great if I do say so myself. Read through the steps below to make your own, and in no time at all, you’ll be a pro at turning all your denim pants into cute shorts just in time for summer.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fabric scissors
  • A marker or chalk (I used white eyeliner)
  • Tweezers
  • A pair of old jeans (I used a pair of men’s non-stretch denim jeans, which is what I found works best for cutoffs)

    How to make the shorts:

    1. Cut off the majority of the pant legs to create knee-length shorts. This will make the jeans easier to handle without all the extra material in the way.
    2. Put on the shorts, and fold under the edge of one leg opening to create the shape you want. Tip: Make the inseam (the area along your crotch) longer than the sides of your shorts rather than cutting them straight across. I find this shape most flattering, especially if you like your bottoms a little shorter.
    3. Mark along the edge with your marker so that when you take them off, you’ll know where you want to cut.
    4. Take off the shorts and cut along the marked line. Tip: Cut slightly below the line because the shorts will fray and shorten in the wash.
    5. Fold the shorts in half to cut the other leg so they’re the same length and shape.
    6. Cut small slits on each side if the jeans are tight and you want your shorts to be a bit looser.
      1. How to add distressed details (optional):

        1. Cut horizontal strips half an inch apart. Make the strips as long as you want the hole to be. I made two strips about 2 inches long.
        2. Take a pair of tweezers and pluck all of the blue threads out of the strips. In denim, the white threads run horizontally and the blue run vertically. By removing the blue threads, you can create that horizontal white threaded look.
          1. The final step for making distressed denim shorts is to throw them in the washer and dryer to create the frayed edges for a worn-in look. And that’s it! Super easy, huh? But if you want more of a walkthrough, you can watch this video below to see the whole process.

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