DIY Jean Shorts (tutorial, video + tips)

I’m headed south for spring break, so I needed shorts to adjust to the weather. When I went thrift shopping for some new shorts, though, I couldn’t find any that worked for me. Shorts are so short nowadays. Even if you set the question of modesty aside, it’s not comfy to wear shorts that short. I just need a few more inches.

So instead of buying shorts, I purchased 3 pairs of pants (I got great deal on them, btw 😉) and got to work making my own jean shorts. The tutorial itself is pretty straightforward, but there are a couple of things that I didn’t think to do until I was finished. I didn’t do everything perfectly, so after the tutorial, I’ll share some extra tips to help you avoid some mistakes I made. Let’s get into it!


  • Jeans
  • Highlighter/Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine/Needle
  • Thread


  1. Try on the jeans and mark a line a few inches below your desired length.

2. Cut the shorts at the mark.

3. Roll up your shorts to the desired length and iron the hem (very important!).

4. Sew the sides of the hem and (optional) sew the top of the hem as well (see video).


slide the arrow in the middle of the images to see before/after


Tips and Tricks

  • Make the back slightly longer than the front. I made the back hem of mine too short, and a little more length would have gone a long way for comfort.
  • Give yourself a half-inch buffer. When I put the shorts on, they seemed to lose a few inches! Give yourself a buffer. You can always cut off more fabric!
  • Use skinny jeans or add an extra roll to the hem. For jean shorts, it’s nice if the hem hugs your thigh so the shorts don’t slide up and down when you walk. Skinny jeans or a little extra bulk on the hem should solve the problem.
  • If sewing the top of the hem, use a thread that matches the fabric. My sewing stands out too much on the first pair of shorts I made, and it would have been helpful to use a matching color of thread.
  • Use sharp scissors! My kid scissors were not very effective:)
  • Do not try to rip your jeans… I tried this method and long story short, it didn’t work. 🙃

Let’s Talk

Have you ever made your own jean shorts?

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Related: The French Knitter

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21 thoughts on “DIY Jean Shorts (tutorial, video + tips)”

  1. These look great! And amazing tips by the way, I totally agree! I’m excited to do some of this with some old jeans I need to “redo” … there’s just something about playing with denim, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dude, YES! This is how I’ve always wanted to make my custom shorts. I spent like four hours at the mall going to five different stores trying to find a pair of shorts I wanted, and I ended up with a pair of way too expensive shorts that barely fits, ugh. Was it too expensive to buy three pairs of pants only to cut them up? Or would it have been more expensive to buy the shorts themselves?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes, I have made my own shorts. It’s a great idea! I’ve used pants I already had in my closet. I like the length even longer, so it has worked out well for me. And you are right, longer shorts are so much more comfortable! Great post! It’s creative and frugal!


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