How to make cutoff jean shorts

Spring and summer are right around the corner! And with that comes warmer temps, and cutoff jean SHORTS weather! I’ve teamed up with professional Poshmark reseller, Elizabeth (who also happens to be my sis in law) from She So Thrifty to show you exactly how to make your own cutoff jean shorts! And if you don’t have the time or energy to create your own, pop on over to her Poshmark closet and check out all of the pairs she has available in a wide variety of sizes and snag some for yourself!

Step 1: Find an old pair of jeans from your closet or Goodwill

Choose your jeans! Only 100 percent cotton jeans will fray well so be sure to check the fabric tags to find the perfect pair. Something with no stretch to them is best.

Step 2: Gather the supplies you will need

  • Sandpaper
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring tape
  • Pen/Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Box Cutter

Step 3: Measure your jeans before cutting

Measure the inseam (hem to crotch) and outseam( top of waistband to hem).

Step 4: Mark the jeans and cut to desired length

Mark the inseam and outseam on each leg with a pencil and then use a sharp pair of sewing scissors to cut the jeans to these measurements.

Step 5: Make additional cuts in a few places

Place a cutting board between the layers of denim, making sure to clear the pocket out of the way. Use a boxcutter to make two cuts about 3” long, about 2” apart. Repeat using varying lengths in a few places all over the front and back of the shorts.

Step 6: Use sandpaper to rub the area between cuts

As the denim begins to thin, you will start to see the fabric divide into blue vertical fibers and white horizontal fibers. More on those below! 🙂

Step 7: Create additional distressing

Use your box cutter to distress the “thick” sections of Denim in areas like the fly, corners of pockets, rear pockets and rear center seam. Simply make about a dozen tiny 1/4” cuts about 1/4-1/8” apart.

Step 8: Use a pair of tweezers to create additional fraying

Carefully use tweezers to remove the blue vertical fibers. Repeat this process in each of the cut sections.

Step 9: Wash your cutoff jean shorts and wear!

Wash your jeans and let the fray happen. After a couple washes you will have crafted your best jean shorts yet! Need help styling them? Check out this post for 3 ways to style jean shorts!

Shop the rest of this look below!

Make sure you’re following She So Thrifty on Instagram too so you get first dibs on all of her latest listings throughout the year!

Watch this short video below on how to make your own cutoff jean shorts!

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This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.



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About Emily

Hi! I’m Emily; wife, mom of two, and all things digital freelance entrepreneur! This is a space where I share my love of all things style, home, family, DIY and more here in Saint Louis, MO. I’m so glad you’re here!

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