DIY: Cutoff Shorts

It’s not quite full-blown summer here in Tucson, but with 90 degrees in this week’s forecast I figured I’d share one of my favorite staples for warmer weather – cutoffs. They are simple, and CHEAP. This tutorial is very easy and requires zero sewing.

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First, you need to find jeans to transform. The best place to find a pair is your nearest THRIFT STORE. Hunting for the right denim at a thrift store can be difficult but all you need to worry about is how they look from the waist to mid thigh. NOTE: skinny jeans don’t tend to fit well as shorts since they are tight through the thigh. I prefer a looser, straight leg pair and extra bonus if they are vintage Levi’s!

Get a ruler or a tape measure and measure the inseam of your favorite pair of shorts. This will likely be a good length for your shorts. I will typically do 4” so I have the option to roll them, but for these two I did 3”.  Anything shorter gets a little…”cheeky” but to each his own!

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Mark the length with a piece of chalk and using your ruler/tape measure and draw a chalk line to mark where you’ll cut. I usually angle the chalk line slightly up, so the cutoff line isn’t completely straight across.

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Now you cut. Use sharp scissors!

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Your shorts will look like this and after a couple of washes the ends will fray and give you a really nice distressed look.

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That’s about it! Enjoy, and let me know if you give this DIY a try!



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  1. Jess on April 7, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    My kind of sewing! Hehe

  2. Abi@AbsofSteel on April 7, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    nice! I usually fold them in half and cut them together lazy style but measuring the inseam and drawing a line is way smarter!

  3. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on April 7, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    I call those JORTS (jeans/shorts), and I have a few great pairs that I made myself. They came in handy in college as a regular tailgater at Florida Gators games. But yes, they can also be fashionable these days. 🙂

  4. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on April 8, 2014 at 7:43 am

    I have never made my own jean shorts but they look awesome!

  5. Kris on April 8, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I cut off my daughter’s pants/jeans all the time to get extended wear out of them.

  6. brittney on April 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm


  7. Livi on April 8, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Adorable! Can’t wait to try this!

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