How to Make Jeans High-Waisted: Turning Low Rise Into DIY High Rise

5 Materials
1 Hour

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to make jeans high-waisted using a simple and stylish trick. I thrifted the most gorgeous pairs of jeans! The only problem was that they were low rise, which I normally wouldn’t wear.

I let my creative juices flow and managed to use a second pair of jeans to create perfect high-waisted pair with a double waistband!

If you want to learn the ins and outs of this awesome fashion DIY, take a look at the 3 examples here. Follow this simple, step-by-step guide and learn how to transform any pair of low-rise jeans into trendy DIY high-waisted jeans.

Tools and materials:

  • Jeans
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Hook and eye
  • Sewing machine
  • Elastic

DIY high-waisted jeans example 1

Low rise jeans ready to be high-waisted jeans

I thrifted these awesome bell jeans but low rise just isn’t the right style for me.

Get a second pair

For this fashion DIY project, I used a second, smaller pair of low rise jeans, which don’t even button up on me. 

Cutting off the legs of the smaller jeans

1. Cut the jeans

I started by cutting off the top of the jeans that were too small for me. I cut to just above the crotch. 

Making DIY high-waisted jeans

2. Measure and mark

I tried on the cut piece and placed it higher on my waist so that it fit perfectly and could be buttoned up.

I then put my cute bell jeans on over the other piece and pinned along the cut piece where it met the waistline. 

How to make jeans more high waisted

I took off the jeans and measured and marked where I had pinned earlier. 

Cut off the bottom of the zipper flap

3. Remove the excess fabric

Once I had taken all the measurements and marked the two pieces, I removed the back pockets from the cut piece and also cut off the excess fabric from the bottom.

I made sure to remove the bottom of the crotch, zipper flap as well. 

Sewing the raw edges

4. Sew the high waistline

I then hopped on over to my sewing machine and stitched along the raw edges of the fabric so that it wouldn’t fray. 

Make jeans high-waisted with a double waistband

Finally, I could pin the jeans and the cut piece together. I sewed along my pinned markings and couldn’t wait to try this fabulous high-waisted pair on. 

Adding a hook and eye closure to the jeans

5. Add a hook and eye

Lastly, I added a hook to the top piece so that I could close the jeans without the top zipper. 

DIY high-waisted jeans

I am so in love with this awesome pair of high-waisted jeans! 

DIY high-waisted jeans example 2

Low rise jeans from the back

For this next high-waisted transformation I started off with a trendy pair of wide-legged, bell-bottom jeans. Once again they were a low-rise pair so I knew I needed to transform them a little. 

Second pair of smaller jeans

To help me out, I thrifted this pair of jeans which were just a little too small for me. 

Removing pockets from the jeans

1. Cut the jeans

I cut off the jeans, just above the crotch, and removed the back pockets as well. 

Trying on the jeans with the extra waistband

2. Measure and mark the jeans

I tried on the two pieces so that I could see exactly how I would need to sew them to get the perfect high-waisted fit. 

Marking where to the cut the jeans

It was time to measure and mark the cut pair so that I could sew the jeans perfectly onto this piece. 

Using a double waistband to make the jeans high rise

3. Cut off the excess fabric

I cut the piece where I had marked it and I also cut out the whole front except for the waistband. This will totally make the new pair incredibly stylish!

Sew the two pieces together

4. Sew the jeans

I moved to the sewing machine to sew the two pieces together and create my new and improved pair. 

Easy high-waisted jeans DIY

I totally adore this awesome high-waisted look. It is so different and fashion-forward! 

DIY high-waisted jeans example 3

Cutting the legs off the jeans

1. Cut the jeans

For this third DIY, I combined two pairs of jeans to create a paper-bag style look. I started by cutting the one pair of jeans just above the crotch and removed the back pockets as well. 

Measuring elastic for the DIY

2. Measure the elastic

I tried the two pairs on and pinned them in place. This time, the cut piece was too big on my waist, but this will create the paper bag effect later.

I measured an elastic band around my waist to get the perfect fit for my new pair. 

Cutting off the bottoms of the pockets

3. Attach the elastic

I trimmed the excess fabric off the bottom of the cut piece and sewed along the center of the pocket. Once I had stitched, I cut the bottom of the pockets off. 

Pinning the elastic to the waistband

Next, I opened up the piece and pinned the elastic just below the waistband. Once all the pins were in place, I sewed on the elastic.

How to make jeans high waisted

4. Sew the two pairs together

Before I could sew the two pieces together, I made sure that the buttonhole of the full pair was fully aligned with the top piece. 

Sew high-waisted jeans

Finally, I could sew the two pieces together. I couldn’t wait to see the end result and try on this paper bag pair!

Adding a hook closure to the top of the jeans

I added a hook to the top part of my new jeans since I could no longer use that zipper. 

Cut the side seam

5. Add a tie

Using the legs of the cut pair of jeans, I snipped off the side seam so that I could use the firmer fabric for a paper-bag tie.

High-waisted DIY paper bag jeans with a tie

I used the cut strip to create the tie for my new paper bag jeans. 

Make high-waisted jeans

How to make jeans high waisted

I am totally obsessed with this paper bag pair!

Which of these refashioned high-waisted jeans do you like best? Let me know in the comments below! 

Suggested materials:
  • Jeans
  • Pins
  • Hook and eye
See all materials

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