DIY Cut Off Jean Shorts

Break n Remake
by Break n Remake
5 Materials
30 Minutes

In this tutorial, we are going to take some thrifted jeans and turn them into cuffed shorts, aka my summer uniform. (I wear cuffed shorts the whole time in the summer!) This DIY is very eco-friendly because we’re using what we already have, as opposed to going out and buying new clothes.

Tools and materials:

  • Denim jeans
  • Ruler
  • Fabric marker
  • Rolling cutter/fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine
DIY cut-off shorts


I have a pair of jeans which I like because they’re a really thin denim. First things first, you have to measure either yourself or another pair of shorts that you like to see what the inseam is. The inseam is the inside crotch area of your pants. That length will let you know what you need the measurement to be on your cutoffs. Don’t forget that whatever you want your pant length to be, you need to add cuff allowance. I like my pants to be around 7 or 8 inches, so I’m going to cut my pants at 9 inches, so then if I have a 2-inch cuff fold-up, I will be A-ok. With my ruler, you need to measure down 9 inches and mark it. 9 inches seems long for an in-seam on shorts but I’d rather be generous now and have to cut than not have enough material to work with. 

Make cut-off shorts


Now I’m going to tell you how to cut the material off without having weird wobbly lines. Instead of using the side seam as a guide to drawing your straight line, you need to actually use the center line of the pants to make sure that you cut a straight line. My pants have a strong grain in the weave of the fabric so I just need to follow the grain straight down. Using your ruler and marker, mark where you need to cut. Then, using your rolling cutter or fabric scissors, proceed to cut the jeans. Once everything’s cut, you’ll want to make sure that your legs are even. Hold your finger in the crotch and put the inseams together to make sure that they’re even stevens.

How to make cut-off shorts

Adjust buttons

There are two buttons for the closure which drives me bananas because they pinche me and the waistband is a little tight. So I’m going to move the buttons over one width of the button. To do this, you need to remove the buttons, mark where you’d like the new button to be, and sew it on.

Cut-off jean shorts


The last step is to pin the cuffs in place and sew them down! It’s up to you whether you want to sew them down all the way around or just at the sides.

DIY cut-off jean shorts

Woohoo! We’re done! I am going to be getting A LOT of wear out of this baby! Next time you want a new pair of shorts for your summer wardrobe, there is no need to go running out to the store. Just grab a pair of jeans that you own but no longer use and transform them yourself. Stylish and sustainable!

Suggested materials:
  • Denim jeans
  • Ruler
  • Fabric marker
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