DIY Summer Denim Cut-offs

Last week I posted the Essential Summer Style Checklist. I hope you had a chance to read it, if not just keep scrolling down and you will bump in to it.
On that list, DENIM CUT OFF SHORTS! But the one thing I am not keen on spending a ton of money on is denim shorts. Why? Because they are really a seasonal item that is very specific for relaxing pool days and summer fun at the lake. And to be honest, I don't get many of those days so spending a fortune on cute denim shorts is not a priority on my wardrobe budgeting list.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own. Believe it or not the last time I attempted to do this, I was in High school. And did not think that cutting up my old jeans would be challenging. It's not! But there are a few tricks that help to make sure you get the right look for your DIY project.

First things first...

Decide whether or not you have some old jeans to spare for this project. In my case, it was easy! I had just recently gone through my closet clean up but neglected to get all the old jeans out or maybe I just wasn't ready to let go of some of them. In any case, I found a few pairs that fit my waistline and hips perfectly and were ready to make the cut!

The first pair, some old bootcut white jeans. Why these worked for me, you ask? Because one, I haven't worn a true bootcut jean in years, and two, every time I try to wear these jeans, its summer and I'm always too hot in them. So it made sense that it was time to actually get some use out of these jeans that are just taking up space in my closet.

I decided to make them into a "walking shorts" length, meaning they end just above the knee. I'm not a "short shorts" kind of gal, as my legs have always been an insecurity of mine. Plus, I feel like white walking shorts can be dressed up or down and you know I LOVE versatile pieces:)


The second pair, I took a chance and went outside of my comfort zone. I cut them SHORT! Ekk! But you know what, I surprised myself and I LOVE them!! Here's what determined for me to "make the cut" on this pair. First, they were a pair of Levi's "mom cut jeans" I had gotten on sale for $19 bucks at Macy's. I was post baby (which wasn't very long ago) and thought the high waisted jean would help hold in the belly while recovering. Little did I know how absolutely amazing this trend would turn out to be for summer shorts!

Just a quick side note here too: Historically, my issue with short shorts is that the "cool" pair that all the gals are wearing are low rise and short! So essentially, I feel like everything I've got is hanging out and not in a good way!

Knowing my issues, the high waisted denim seemed to fit my need perfectly! Now, finally for the DIY part! Sorry for the long back story but I felt it was necessary for you to know why I decided on the jeans I did as I think this is an integral part to your DIY Denim Shorts success! Moving on....

 Here's how to cut them right and get the perfect look for your summer adventures.

1. Try on the jeans and mark only one leg about an inch to 3 inches below where you want them to lay. (Reason for the extra length is you may want to roll or cuff them and it gives you some wiggle room for mistakes) Remember once you cut fabric off you can't put it back so cut conservatively at first. You can always go shorter.

2. Lay the jeans out on a flat surface. Using a measuring tape, measure from the top of the inseam (or inner thigh seam) to where you marked your cut off point. Note the measurement and mark this measurement equally on the other leg of the jeans.

Note: The BEST tip, ALWAYS CUT LONGER ON THE INSEAM AND SHORTER ON THE OUTER SEAM. I know seems crazy right? But it gives an amazingly flattering cut.

3. Get ready with some scissors and grab a straight edge. Take your cut mark on the original leg and lay the straight edge across to square up the cut. Now measure slightly higher on the outer seam and make another cut mark. Re-Align the straight edge which should be at a slight angle now and cut along the straight edge.

(I'll be honest, I wasn't this precise in my own project, but I have had a lifetime of seamstress experience so I tend to eyeball a lot. Totally not recommended unless you have some cutting and sewing background).

4. Lastly, try on your new shorts and get to styling them! I haven't run my new shorts through the wash but I am excited to watch them fray naturally throughout the season.


Looking forward to you all giving this a try! Please let me know your thoughts or maybe there is something I missed here that should be added. Either way, I would love to hear from you!

With Faith and Passion,



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