DIY Denim Shorts

Shorts are the ultimate clothing piece to have in your wardrobe.

Effortless day to night outfits are super easy to put together: grab a pair of heels and an elegant cami for an evening out, or wear them with an off-the-shoulder top with sandals for an off-duty look on sunny days.

From several sewing attempts of my own, making something with your own hands and DIY-ing something on a weekend off is a super relaxing activity, and you end up with an item that only you own, so make them yours and unique!

Before you start cutting up the first pair of jeans you lay eyes on in your closet, review your cutting options.

Find a pair that’s a few sizes bigger so that you don’t end up essentially making a pair of bike pants out of stretchy skinny jeans. Avoiding super stretchy jeans is also a good idea, the less stretchy they are, the more wear you’ll get out of them in the long run.

If you don’t own any suitable pairs, check out the local thrift store. There’s always a few pairs of unwanted jeans that are ready to get DIY-ed. Check the men’s section as well, because you never know what you’ll find, and they might just have the perfect size for this project.

After you’re set with jeans that are a couple sizes bigger, are comfy enough, and you can already imagine yourself walking around in them as your soon-to-be shorts: get them prepped for chopping.


There are two cute types of shorts to DIY, so hopefully there’s one that suits your taste!

Rolled Hem shorts

This short style gives you a polished and cleaner look, the frayed edges are hidden as you roll the edges. These are the shorts that can effortlessly work for both day and night attire.

What you need:

  • Scissors
  • Chalk or pins
  • Blue thread
  • Sewing needle
  • Iron

How to:

  1. Try your jeans on and mark with a few pins, or with some chalk where you want to cut them off;
  2. Add about two centimetres to the edge of the line you just drew to allow for the rolled hems, and cut right about there. Remember to cut from the inside of the leg out, and keep the inseam length a little longer, so that when you roll them up it creates a comfortable and natural angle. You’ll thank me later!
  3. Try on again to double check that you’ve gotten the perfect length
  4. Roll the hems over twice so no frayed edges are peeking through
  5. Hand sew a stitch on the inside and outside seams of your new shorts so that they don’t unravel
  6. Most importantly – iron your new hems flat so that they don’t roll out!


Girlfriend shorts

These are the shorts that are flirty and laid back with a frayed, curved hem. They are perfect for festivals, road trips and casual days.

What you need:

  • Scissors
  • Chalk or pins
  • Sandpaper

How to:

  1. Try your jeans on and mark with either pins or chalk where you want
  2. Add two centimetres to that length then cut! (remember the tip to cut from the inside of the leg jean out, and make sure there’s enough comfortable length left in the inseam of the jeans)
  3. Once you’re happy with the length, cut them so that they have a rounded shape – the sides are shorter that the front
  4. Once you’ve rounded up both sides, fold the shorts together to check that the shape is mirrored on both sides of the short
  5. To create just the right amount of fray, use the sandpaper and rub all the edges. Alternatively, if you want to give your jeans a vintage, washed out vibe as well as frayed edges, chuck them into the washer and dryer to finish them off!
By Nina Sudnitsin
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.