Turn Old Jeans Into a DIY Denim Skirt, Then Customize To Your Style

12 Materials
1 Hour

In this easy thrift-flip tutorial, I'll show you how to make a DIY denim skirt out of jeans. The first step shows how to refashion the upper part of the pants into a simple jean skirt and how to resize the waist.

The second step focuses on customizing the DIY denim skirt e.g. bleaching, painting, spray bleaching, tie-dying, distressing, adding studs, snatching, and more. Let's get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Denim jeans
  • Scissors
  • Elastic
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Clips
  • Sewing machine
  • Bleach
  • Studs
  • Distressing tools
  • Rubber gloves
  • Rubber bands
  • Tweezers
Denim jeans ready to be upcycled

These were the jeans I decided to upcycle. I also used the legs of the pants to make another skirt. You can watch that other tutorial on how to make a tennis skirt from jeans here.

Adding elastic to the skirt waistline

1. Adjust the size

Fold the pants in half, so the legs are stacked one on top of the other, then cut 17.7 inches off the bottom.

If you need to downsize the waist, cut a piece of elastic the size of your waist, minus two inches. Clip it to the waistline of the jeans (while the pants are inside out) and sew it in place. Make sure to stretch as you sew. This will gather the fabric and make for a tighter waist. 

Converting the jean shorts into a denim skirt

2. Convert the jeans to a skirt

Cut along the crotch seam to open the shorts. Then, pin the skirt back together by playing one end of the crotch to the other. Sew along your pins and cut off any excess fabric.

3. How to dye denim with bleach

Next, I used bleach to dye the bottom of the DIY denim skirt. There are many different ways to do this, so take a look at the video for ideas.

Tools you can use to distress denim

4. How to distress a denim skirt

You can use different tools to distress the DIY denim skirt how you like.

Creating rips in a denim skirt

I used tough bristled brushes to exacerbate the fray at the bottom, metal files to create small rips in my skirt, and scissors to make precise, layered rips. This can be a lot of fun!

Adding studs to a denim skirt

5. Add studs

If you want to add studs to your skirt, grab any tools and studs you have. You can then ease the jean fabric with your tweezers to make it easier for you to stick the prongs of the studs into the fabric. Bend the prongs inwards to secure the stud to finish. 

How to make a DIY denim skirt out of jeans

DIY denim skirt tutorial

The finished skirt is awesome - very punk rock! It's unique, comfy, and a piece that Iā€™m excited to wear. Plus, this DIY denim skirt is a great way to upcycle an old pair of jeans. Let me know what you think of the transformation in the comments below.

Suggested materials:
  • Denim jeans
  • Scissors
  • Elastic
See all materials

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