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How To Cut Jeans To Shorts In 7 easy Steps: DIY

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Last Updated on September 19, 2023 by Sarah Keene

Are you looking for denim shorts but cannot find the style and the look you like? Do you have old jeans that gather dust inside your drawer? Why not cut these jeans and make shorts that you desire?

That is right, ladies! You see, cutoff jeans shorts are now becoming one of the most popular fashion trends during summer or when you need to relax those legs. The shorts are also the best to wear at home and in the neighborhood! Most women own jeans that they do not wear for ages!

However, most men are also fond of cutting jeans into shorts, but their style is longer inseam length than women. Find out more about this style later.

The cutting of jeans into shorts will not take you long and does not need professional skills, but it will not be too easy. You can do it yourself (DIY) in the comfort of your home. Moreover, this article will teach you how to cut jeans into shorts and guides you with other options on the shorts’ looks.

Tips: If you’d also like to make holes in some of your jeans to create a distressed look, you might want to try to do that first.  If you have a problem on your first try, then use that same pair to create your shorts afterwards!

How To Find The Perfect Length Of Shorts

In modern shorts wear, there are three standard lengths of inseams. Here are the details:

  • Short shorts: two to three inches inseam.
  • Mid-range: three to five inches inseam
  • Bermudas: 11 to 13 inches of inseam.

However, stretchy jeans are not advisable for making shorts because they have plastic or rubber interwoven into the fabric. When cut, these materials may dangle from the bottom of the shorts. Fortunately, the standard provided is only a guide: you can always deviate from this guideline whenever you like.

For most men, the Bermudas are their preferred length of the inseam. But just like what we stated above, they can always deviate from this measurement (longer or shorter) to their preferred shorts. Interestingly, for most women, short shorts and mid-range standards are more common.

So, without further ado, we take you to the easy steps on how to cut jeans into shorts. Keep on reading, folks!

What You Will Need

Notes: The following are the tools for cutting jeans into shorts with frayed edges. If you want to cuff the hemline and other looks, the needed tools are in the instructions.

  • A measuring tape
  • Fabric scissors
  • Chalk
  • A ruler
  • Tweezers
  • A fine-grain sandpaper
  • A pair of jeans

1. Planning To Turn Jeans Into Shorts

  • Pick jeans to make into shorts. But make sure that what you choose is not of stretchy materials.
  • Choosing new jeans to make into shorts might be a waste of hard-earned cash. So, pick the old one that you barely wear.
  • The jeans material (called denim) has cotton twill fabric with diagonal ribbing. This fabric is perfect for cutting and sometimes distressing without dangling on the shorts’ bottoms.
  • Pick the jeans that fit your butt, waist, hips, and thighs. But if the jeans are already tight, it will be tightened when it becomes shorts. Moreover, if it is baggy, it will remain baggy when cut into shorts.

Do you want your butt to look bigger? Well, you need to read this article if you are looking for the best jeans that will make your butt look bigger!

2. Shrink The Jeans If Needed

  • Old jeans that have not been used too often or have never been washed for a long time might shrink. So, you need to run the jeans in the washer and dryer to pre-shrink them.
  • By doing this, you will end up with the appropriate length once you cut the jeans.
  • After washing and drying the jeans in the washer and dryer, respectively: makes sure that they are dry before going to the next step.

3. Making the Cut

Before cutting, be sure that you have decided on what length you prefer. You can always cut more material, but you cannot bring it back to its original form. So, if you are not sure, cut the jeans a bit longer to keep you on the safe side.

  • Wear the jeans and mark the spot where you want to cut them. You can use chalk to mark the lines.
  • Mark your wanted spot an inch below where you want the appropriate length to give allowance for fraying or hemming.
  • Once you marked the spot: take off the jeans carefully, and lay them on a smooth and flat surface.
  • Fold the jeans along the crotch in half; make sure the zipper is up or the button-fly is done up. The fold should line up evenly on the outer seams. Make sure that the folded jeans lay flat and uniformly (without bumps) as possible.
  • Using a ruler: align it with the mark you made while lining it up with the other pant leg. It will make the mark on the same spot. When you are sure of the line, cut the folded jeans using fabric scissors.

The cut may not be perfect or straight as you want them, but you can adjust the edges using the scissors.

Tips: If you want to have short shorts, make the cut angle more enhanced. The shorts will appear sexier. The short shorts will complement a body with an hourglass curve. If you want to find out the best jeans for an hourglass figure, check them out here!

4. Try the shorts on 

  • Once you cut, try the shorts on to see if the length is suitable.
  • If you want a little bit of adjustment on the cut, you can do so.
  • However, if you think the cutting is perfect, go into the next step.

5. Finishing the Hemline (Cuff or Fray)

Fray edges

If you want a more rugged look with frayed shorts, cut small vertical lines around the edges of the shorts using fabric scissors.

  • When done, tease out or pull the loose thread on the edges with your fingers.
  • Once you pull out all the hanging threads on the bottoms of the shorts, get a piece of sandpaper and brush the edge to further fray the hem.
  • Another way of fraying the bottoms of the shorts is by using tweezers. Get your pair of tweezers, and then pull all the blue threads.

It is interesting to know in denim, the blue threads run vertically, while the white runs horizontally. By pulling out the blue strand, you can achieve the more popular horizontal white threaded look.

Once the bottom is fray enough, reinforce the seams to make the shorts more durable. Hand-stitch the sides to make them stronger and will not loosen while you are wearing the shorts

Consider sewing or cuffing the hems.

  • If you want the shorts’ hems in the cuff to avoid too much fraying, you can use a sewing machine.
  • Fold the edges about 1/8 inch and another ½ inch to form the cuff. Once the edged is twice-folded: press the cuff with an electric iron.
  • When pressed, sew the folded cuff carefully.

6. Decorating the shorts without sewing

  • If you want to decorate the shorts to add some charm, there are several ways to do it without sewing. One is by using acrylic paint or fabric paint and the eraser end of a pencil. If you want a neat image, try to use stencils.
  • Using a pencil, dip the eraser in the paint and put some dots on the shorts to make a polka dot make-over.
  • There are more ways to decorate your shorts without spending too much. Visit a fabric store and find some beautiful fashion accessories that you can use.

7. Try on and adjust

  • Once you have completed the shortening of the jeans, wear the shorts to check out the length if it suits you well. Better move around in front of a whole-body-type mirror to access the situation. If you have to make adjustments, better do it now before throwing the shorts into the wash.
  • If everything is okay, put your new shorts into the washing machine and in the dryer. You can do a faster cycle in both washing and drying to enhance those fray edges.

How To Cut High Waist Jeans Into Shorts

If you want your high-waist jeans to turn into sexy shorts with distressing, watch this video for complete instructions with visuals:



Now you know the most affordable option of having fashionable shorts, you can do the cutting using tools inside your home. Not only those, but the diverse options we offer are also all environment-friendly and do not need spending costly items.

We suggest that you do the cutting on old jeans that you seldom wear.

Furthermore, the more you know how to cut jeans to shorts will spare you from uncomfortable wear when summer comes. Your perennial problem is now a thing of the past, indeed!

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