High Waisted Shorts DIY

Summer is almost at an end 😥 but I wanted to share my high waisted shorts DIY with you before it comes to a close! There are always tons of summer must-haves, and one of my personal favorites are high-waisted shorts. With a few easy steps, you can take a pair of old mom jeans, and turn them into your go-to pair of shorts for an extremely low cost!


Here’s what you’ll need:




Thrifted high waisted jeans


Chalk (or fabric pencil, or sharpie; whatever you’re comfortable with)


Distressing tools: x-acto knife, razor, seam ripper, tweezers, cheese grater  

Here’s what you do:

Note: This process is simple, but it can be time consuming if you go for a distressed look; also be prepared to put the jeans on several times throughout the process to make sure everything is working out how you want.

– Begin by putting on the jeans in front of a mirror and marking with your chalk (or chosen tool) all the way around your leg where you want to cut the jeans. Make sure to mark a few inches lower than where you want your shorts to end up.

Pro Tip: always start off by cutting less than you think you want, you can always cut more material off, but you can’t make it grow back if it gets too short or uneven!














[I’m distressing the blue jeans and going for that pockets out style, so I angled my line a lot more for the right look.]

– Next, cut off all the excess pant leg. Try to pull at, and completely straighten, the leg you are currently cutting, making sure it’s all flat and even. This helps leave a little more fabric in the back for your booty, ultimately making the shorts even once they’re on.

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– Try on your new shorts, and see how you feel about the length. From there you can either roll up the bottoms for a cuffed look and be finished:






Snip away carefully until you reach a desired length:






[I even cut away more at these after distressing them; remember, small snips avoid irreversible mistakes]

My black shorts are now finished; these cost me under $5.00 and under 5 minutes to make. Talk about a hot summer steal!


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Distressing the blue jeans took a lot more time. Using the tools I mentioned before, play around with different things.

Here’s what they all do:

– Magazine & X-acto Knife – put the magazine between the front and back of the fabric when (carefully) using the x-acto knife to create slits in the material so you don’t cut through to the back.






– Tweezers – after making slits or using the cheese grater, pull out the tiny blue threads, leaving behind the horizontal white ones.





– Cheese Grater – use the finest grater to rough up the fabric and make smaller holes.

– Razor – run it along the belt loops and pockets to fray the fabric. The process will bend your razor, so make sure you have extras around!

– Seam ripper – if you’re feeling crazy, use this to partially take off a pocket!

– The final step is putting these babies in the wash. It will further fray the ends of your shorts and, if you make slits and don’t tweeze out any threads, it will mimic the process (though not as well)

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There you have it! Two different ways to make a new pair of shorts for under $5.00 apiece  (depending upon where you thrift) Happy creating! 


7 thoughts on “High Waisted Shorts DIY

  1. These look great, and its nearing the end of winter here in Australia so I’ll definitely be having a go with your tutorial very soon! I do need some nice high waisted shorts. And I guess DIY’ing is the best option instead of forking out $150 for a good pair.


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