How to Turn a Pair of Jeans Into Shorts

Updated on May 27, 2017

Choosing a Pair of Jeans

I pulled a pair out of my closet that I no longer wear because they're sagging in the back. These kinds of jeans are perfect for shorts because shorts are made with a little extra room in the back (as opposed to skinny jeans). You can use old jeans that feel good around the waist but loose around the butt, or you can buy a cheap pair from the thrift store to turn into a great pair of shorts!

What You'll Need

  • a pair of jeans
  • fabric scissors (don't use regular scissors!)
  • a sewing machine (optional for the fold-over hem, but I highly recommend it)

For the Fold-Over Hem

  • a colored pencil (i used white against my blue jeans) or a fabric pencil
  • fabric glue
  • an ironing board and an iron
  • something to measure with (I used a sewing gauge but you can also use a ruler)

For the Scalloped Hem

  • a pen
  • a cup

1. Choose the Length of Your Shorts

Put the pants on and look in a full length mirror. Decide how long you want the shorts, then make a mark (make the mark 1 1/2" below that point with the pencil for the fold-over hem; make the mark at that point for the scalloped hem). I draw a line all the way around for reference. You only need to draw the line on one of the legs; the other leg will be cut based on the length of the first leg.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

2. Cut the Shorts

Next, lay the jeans out flat on a table. Cut the leg that you drew the line on, cutting through both the front and the back of the leg at the same time. Then, fold the jeans over and make sure you line up the two legs perfectly. Cut the second leg so it has the same length as the first leg you cut. NOTE: Take the time to actually lay the legs out completely flat (see image two). Otherwise, your legs will have different lengths.

3. Finishing the Hem

Now that you've cut the shorts to the right length, you'll need to follow specific instructions depending on which hem you would like your shorts to have.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Fold-Over Hem (no machine required)

OPTIONAL STEP: If you want to avoid fraying, use a sewing machine and zigzap stitch around the bottoms of the shorts (see image one). Again, this is optional, but if you have a sewing machine I recommend you take the time to do it.

Fold the bottom of the shorts over (see image two). Then, using the gauge, ruler, etc., iron the shorts so that there is a 1 1/2" hem (see image three). When you've ironed the fold well, unfold it and you'll see a crease around the shorts (see the crease in image four).

Now, fold the bottom up again but this time only fold up about 1/2" (use the ruler to guide you...see image four and five). Iron on this fold being careful not to iron over the crease you already made (see image five). When you're finished ironing all the way around, keep the small fold and fold the bottom up again using the crease you made before (see image six). You'll have a cute little fold on the bottom of your shorts.

Next, take the fabric glue and slowly glue the folds down (see image seven). I suggest putting the glue on the 1/2" section because that will hold the best. Make sure you don't use too much glue, but do put glue all the way around; other wise there will be holes in your hem. Let it dry as you go, being careful not to undo what you've glued. When you're finished, repeat this step on the other leg (see a completed leg in image eight).

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Scalloped Hem (machine required)

Use a cup to draw the scalloped edge onto the shorts. Line the cup up to the very edge of the shorts and draw a half circle (I used a pen; you really need to be able to see the marks clearly-see image one and two). Go all the way around one leg. You may have to adjust the width of some of your half-circles to get the scallop to go all the way around the edge.

When you've finished marking both legs, use fabric scissors to carefully cut along the lines you drew (image three). Then, using the sewing machine, zigzag stitch around the edge of the shorts. Go very carefully as you'll need to move the shorts and re-position the sewing needle in order to get a clean stitch around the bottom (see image four).

NOTE: If the tension on your machine is too high, the scallops will curve up a little bit (like flower petals). If this happens, simply iron the shorts out when you need to. You may want to use one of the pant legs you discarded to test the tension. Remember, every fabric handles a machine differently!

And You're Finished!

Congratulations! You've just made a totally cute pair of shorts out of an old pair of jeans! Embellish the shorts to your liking and wear them with the confidence of knowing you made them yourself :)

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, bellatory.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://bellatory.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)