How To Cut Jeans Into Shorts


Cutting jeans into denim shorts is a great way to repurpose old or ill-fitting jeans. It allows you to create a new piece of clothing without having to spend money on a new pair of shorts. Additionally, denim shorts are a classic and versatile piece that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

By cutting your own denim shorts, you can customize the length and style to suit your personal taste and fashion preferences. It’s also an eco-friendly way to extend the life of your jeans and reduce textile waste.

Skinny jeans can be stylish and versatile, they can also be uncomfortable or unflattering for some people. A-line jeans offer a more relaxed fit and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

What You Need to Cut Jeans Into Shorts

To cut jeans into shorts, you will need the following materials:

  1. A pair of jeans
  2. Scissors (preferably fabric scissors)
  3. Measuring tape or ruler
  4. Chalk or pencil
  5. Optional: sandpaper, bleach, or fabric dye for distressing or coloring the shorts.

Make sure that your scissors are sharp enough to easily cut through denim fabric. Additionally, it’s a good idea to wash and dry your jeans before cutting them to ensure that they are pre-shrunk and won’t warp or distort after being cut.

Steps to Cut Jeans

Take Measurements

measure jeans

Before cutting your jeans into shorts, you will need to take some measurements to ensure that the shorts are the desired length and fit properly. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Put on the jeans and decide how long you want the shorts to be. Use a measuring tape or ruler to measure the length from the top of the waistband to where you want the shorts to end.
  2. Mark the length with chalk or pencil on both legs of the jeans. Make sure that the marks are straight and even.
  3. If you want the shorts to have a frayed or distressed hem, you can use sandpaper to rough up the edges. Alternatively, you can use bleach or fabric dye to create a unique look.
  4. Lay the jeans flat on a table or cutting surface, and use your ruler or measuring tape to draw a straight line across each leg of the jeans at the marked length.
  5. Double-check your markings and measurements before cutting to ensure that the shorts will be the correct length and fit.

Start Cutting

Once you have taken measurements and marked the length, it’s time to start cutting the jeans into shorts. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Use fabric scissors to cut along the marked line on each leg of the jeans. Cut straight across, making sure to keep the scissors level with the fabric to ensure an even cut.
  2. If you want a frayed hem, you can use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to pull out some of the threads along the cut edge. Alternatively, you can wash the shorts a few times to naturally create a frayed edge.
  3. If you want to distress the shorts, you can use sandpaper or a cheese grater to create small holes or frayed spots in the fabric. Be careful not to make the holes too big or cut through both layers of the fabric.
  4. Double-check the length and fit of the shorts before wearing them. If you find that they are too long or too short, you can always make additional cuts to adjust the length.

Time to Distress

If you want to distress your denim shorts to give them a more unique and worn-in look, here’s how to do it:

  1. Use sandpaper or a cheese grater to rough up the fabric in areas where you want to create a distressed effect. Focus on areas like the front pockets, back pockets, and hemline.
  2. Be careful not to make the holes too big or cut through both layers of the fabric. You can also use scissors to make small snips or cuts in the fabric for a more distressed look.
  3. To create a bleached effect, you can use bleach to lighten the fabric in certain areas. Dilute the bleach with water and use a brush or sponge to apply it to the fabric. Be sure to wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area.
  4. Let the bleach sit for a few minutes, and then rinse the shorts thoroughly with cold water. You can repeat this process to create a more dramatic bleached effect.
  5. Once you have distressed the shorts to your liking, wash and dry them before wearing to remove any excess bleach or sandpaper residue.

Use the Sandpaper

To use sandpaper to distress your denim shorts, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a sandpaper with a rough texture, such as 60 or 80 grit. You can also use a sanding block for easier handling.
  2. Rub the sandpaper over areas of the shorts where you want to create a distressed effect, such as the front pockets, back pockets, and hemline.
  3. Use a circular motion to create a more natural-looking distressed effect. Be careful not to sand too aggressively or make the holes too big.
  4. You can also fold the shorts and sand along the edges to create a frayed hemline.
  5. Once you have achieved the desired level of distressing, wash and dry the shorts to remove any excess sandpaper residue.

Note: Always use caution when using sandpaper to distress your shorts, as it can damage the fabric if not done carefully. Start with a small amount of distressing and gradually increase as needed.

Wear Them

After you have finished cutting and distressing your denim shorts, it’s time to wear them! Here are a few tips for styling your new shorts:

  1. Pair them with a basic white t-shirt for a classic, casual look.
  2. Dress them up with a blouse and heels for a more elevated outfit.
  3. Add a belt to cinch in the waist and create a more defined silhouette.
  4. Layer with a denim or leather jacket for a cool, edgy vibe.
  5. Experiment with different shoe styles, such as sneakers, sandals, or ankle boots, to see what looks best with your shorts.

Remember to have fun with your new shorts and make them your own. They are versatile and can be worn in many different ways, making them a great addition to your wardrobe.


Cutting your old jeans into denim shorts is a great way to breathe new life into a piece of clothing that might otherwise go to waste. With just a few basic tools and some creativity, you can create a stylish and unique pair of shorts that are perfect for summer. Remember to take accurate measurements, use sharp scissors and sandpaper, and take your time to create a pair of shorts that you’ll love to wear. And don’t forget to experiment with distressing techniques and different styling options to make your shorts truly your own.

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