Well Dressed & Distressed: Easiest Jean Short Tutorial - One CrafDIY G

Summer is almost here, meaning it’s time to break out the sundresses and shorts. Just kidding- “soon” is still 15 weeks away, so ALMOST is a bold adjective. However, recently we have been blessed with a March that began more as a lamb than a lion. While experiencing all four seasons is just one perk of being a New England girl, the summer season is especially precious to me. The warmth and sunshine means longer days, lighter coats, and, best of all, outdoor concerts.

If I’ve learned anything while being in my twenties, constantly confused about my peronal direction, and trying to adult – it’s that being present is incredibly difficult. One of the ways I find myself personally present is during outdoor concerts and festivals. A temporary sanctuary, my friends and I are more relaxed and time just seems to move slower. Sounds pretty hippy for a girl who is preppy the other 90% of the year, but loving fashion, DIYs, and summer music I wanted to start a countdown series to summer.

This week, as I pretend to spring clean out my closet, I found some old flare jeans. Yes, flare. And no not the trendy kind that would probably go perfectly with the context of this post. Which brought me to my next question after “why do i have these?” – to DIY or to Donate? that is the question. So, since the top of these jeans had a nice snug fit, I decided one could never have enough jean shorts.

The great thing about distressing and cutting your own jeans is that you really don’t NEED anything to do this DIY. Whatever is in your house and has the chance of destroying denim will do just fine.

Supply Suggestions:

  • Old Jeans
  • Seam ripper
  • sandpaper
  • Scissors
  • Fine grade cheese grader/ callous grader

This DIY I cut into two parts: cutting & distressing techniques


  1. First, try on your jeans and mark the length with a fabric pen (or water soluble marker)t. I normally cut a little longer because your jean will fray and the coverage will be a little less.
  2. Cut your jeans at an angle making your inseam longer than your outside seam. This is more for style purposes, I feel it gives the short the same summery character of Daisy Dukes.
  3. Make sure that the back of your jean is a little longer than the front to give that booty a little more coverage.

You can see here that I cut the front first to make sure the back is longer.

Distressing techniques

Now comes the fun (and fuzzy) part.

  1. Seam Ripping: This technique is great for the edges of your jean if you want longer threads, to remove pockets/labels, or fine tune the effects of other distressing techniques. Make sure when you are seam ripping that you are gentle, this is a powerful tool and create unwanted jagged snags.

2. Grater: This technique is really great to make those horizontal white threads shine. I used a grater out of my pedicure kit and it worked well – it just took a really, really long time to saw through the fibers on the jean. I also found that some of the fibers would get stuck in the grater & would be hard to remove, which could have been one reason it was taking to long.

3. Coarse sandpaper: this was by far by favorite technique. With some grit, it was easy to break up the jean and expose the white threading I desired. I also used the sandpaper to finish the edges. By sanding the edges (on both sides – flipping the jean inside out helps stop curling of the edge) the strands became softer and longer. This is definitely an outdoor activity though, the little “sand” pebbles along with jean fuzz were flying everywhere.

4. Razors: some people say these work really great. However, I found it didn’t do too much and I wasn’t willing to use my nice expensive razor to rip up some jeans when I had other options.

Blouse / LF (but i like this one) Mules / Lulu’s Sunnies / Charlotte Russe Earrings / House of Harlow / c/o – (like these? – see below) & If you aren’t crafdiy like me here are some really great distressed jean shorts

My jewelry from this post was picked by my fabulous, yet mysterious, personal stylist, Molly. I’m sure many of you have heard of Rocksbox, but for those that haven’t or are curious to know more, it is a jewelry subscription service that sends unique, high end trinkets right to your mailbox. By understanding your personal style, your Rockbox stylist will send you a small collection of pieces to wear. Don’t like them? Want to try more? Send them back at any time, keeping your jewelry box the most beautiful chameleon.

In this month’s box I got these edgy marbled House of Harlow studs. Now, I’m normally not an earring girl and I rarely look outside the windows of the nearest J.crew when selecting my statements, but these were the perfect subtle outfit addition I never know I needed. Most of the pieces selected by Molly, my stylist, were just that, not something I’d chose for myself, but something that blended flawlessly into my wardrobe. Return shipping label and packaging included, making it an easy drop in the mail to return.

RocksBox is offering a free month to readers of One CrafDIY Girl. Simply sign up on Rocksbox.com and use the code onecrafdiyxoxo.

As always, all thoughts are my own.

Can’t wait to see your new jewels!

xo Marissa

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

One CrafDIY Girl
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