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How To Make Your Own Cutoff Shorts

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May 30, 2014 · 1.7k Views

As we transition into spring and summer, the warmer weather will require less clothing. Rather than hitting the stores to buy a summer wardrobe, you can make some tweaks to what you already have in your closet. Jean shorts have made a definite style comeback, inspiring a bunch of different looks. Don’t bother spending a ton of coin on the store bought variety. Instead, create your own jean cutoffs easily. The following list will help you transform regular old jeans into a unique pair of jean shorts.

What you’ll need

Before you get started on designing your own dream pair of jean shorts, you’ll need a few things:

  • Jeans: From your closet or thrift store

  • Scissors: A strong pair that can handle cutting through denim

  • Measuring tape: You’ll have better luck with the soft clothing style

  • Chalk: To make marks

  • Embellishments: This will be up to you and can be lace, bleach, tie dye, and whatever else you’d need to create your envisioned style

Pick a style

This year jean shorts are all the rage, making a wide variety of styles fashionable. From the looser cuffed “boyfriend short” and the short short to the asymmetrical and embellished, there is something for everyone, and you can make them all yourself.

Start Customizing

The boyfriend: For a longer, looser cuffed short that is modest and chic, the boyfriend is a winner for most. Lay your jeans flat on a table and measure 14-18 inches (depending on desired length) from the top along the outside seam. Mark the spot with chalk, then draw a line across the backside at the same area. Repeat on other leg. Cut alone the line. Fold two to three times to reach the length you require. You can sew a quick stitch to secure the cuff if you wish.

Asymmetrical: The low hem in the front and longer in the back has been popular across the board this year. This look is cute and easy to pull off in the jean short. A loose, straight-legged pair of jeans is ideal for this look. Lay them flat and use chalk to mark your desired inseam on the front. A circular line cutting up along the inseam makes for a cute accent. For a super short look go above the pocket line without cutting the actual pocket. Flip the jeans and cut the seam in the back a little longer than the front.

Bleached: Here’s where you can get creative. Decide on the length and style you desire. Once you’ve cut your shorts, prepare to bleach. You’ll need to create a 2/3 bleach to water mixture in a bucket. (Be sure to do this outside or at the very least in a well ventilated area.) There are many ways to stylize your bleaching style. This can be tie-dyed, one leg, just the cuffs or all over. The cuff look is a favorite – to pull this off roll the cuffs a few times and dip the top part into the mixture. Clip them to the side of the bucket so you can let them soak for 30 minutes. Wring them out, rinse then toss them into a soapless wash and dry.

Embellished: Lace is all the rage this year, feminizing the hard look of denim. You’ll need some sewing skills, some lace or doilies and your shorts. Add this feminine touch by sewing a peek of lace on the underside of the bottom of the shorts so just a touch of lace shows. Other embellishments can include painted designs, studs, polka dots, or even designed cuffs.

No matter how you design your very own pair of jean shorts, from cuffs to embellishments to bleach, you’ll know that yours are one-of-a-kind, and they didn’t cost you an arm and a leg.


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The DealsPlus Staff is a team of savvy deal hunters who are here to share their best shopping and lifestyle advice.

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