Summer is nearly here which means that it’s time to get those legs in shape for warmer weather. Once you get them ready, you’ll need something to show off those legs, right? We have a great collection of summer shorts that you can make yourself which will give you the perfect way to show off those tan legs this season.
Many of these involve cut-off jeans which is the best, and easiest, way to make shorts. Of course, not all denim cut-offs are alike so we’ve taken the time to put together several different ways that you can make and wear those old cut-off jeans.
There are also ways to refashion your current cut-offs and other shorts and make them completely new again. Plus, we’ve added a section for shorts that you can sew yourself that are really easy and take just a little time to create. 1-15 are refashioning projects. 16-30 are for those cut-offs that we all love so much and 31-40 are easy sew (and no-sew) projects that you can make in a jiffy. Overall, there are 40 different shorts that you can create from this collection and all of them are easy and oh, so adorable.
Get ready for the summer of your life. Choose your favorite from the collection or make them all. You know you’ll want a cute pair of shorts for every day during the summer.
Summerize Your Old Jeans Bleach Them Yourself!
These jeans are so fun and so colorful. The Little Giggler gives you a step by step tutorial on how to bleach your jeans to a pastel color. If you just can’t find the color that you want or you simply want to be a bit creative you can use this tutorial to make a really cute pair of jeans. Note that you have to use chlorine bleach so you should be very careful when doing this project. Once you get the color bleached out you can use fabric dye in any color of your choice and make a really nice pair of colored jeans.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Thelittlegiggler
DIY Sequined Shorts
With about 2 yards of sequined fabric, you can create a beautiful pair of shorts that are perfect for nights on the town. These have an elastic waist which makes them great because you don’t have to sew in a zipper. They are very easy to make and you can create your own shorts pattern so there’s no need to purchase a pattern. Just make sure that you measure accurately so that they’ll fit properly when you finished sewing them. You can use fabric in any color although if you want something subtle, choose bronze or copper.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Apairandasparediy
Scarf Print Shorts
If you have an old scarf that you don’t use in the traditional way and you want a great pair of shorts, you can make yourself these adorable scarf print shorts. These are easy to make, probably because they have an elastic waist so you don’t really have to worry about putting in a zipper. You will need to sew them but it takes very little time. You don’t need to buy a shorts pattern at all, though. You can just use a pair of shorts that you have that fit well and base the pattern off of those.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Apairandasparediy
Lace Pocket Cut-Offs
Take an old pair of jeans that you picked up at that thrift store and turn them into elegant and sexy summer shorts with just a pair of scissors and some lace. Once you’ve cut the shorts into the length that you want, you can embellish the pockets with lace. This looks great even with the frayed edges although you could cuff them if you wanted. You just need lace wide enough to cover the pockets and you can sew it in place or use a good fabric glue that will hold up after a few washings.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Socreativethings
If you really want to create unique shorts from your old jeans, consider using spikes to embellish them. First, after you have cut them into the length that you want, think about dyeing them a bright neon color. Once the dye has dried, you can add the spikes to the pockets, belt loops or just anywhere you want them. Create a stunning design or just add a couple of spikes here and there. Be careful that you don’t put them somewhere they may cause a bit of damage in the future and you can use different sizes of spikes to make different designs.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Mrkate
Make Different Lengths of Denim Cut-Offs
When cutting off jeans to make shorts, you really have to think about the length that you want, whether or not you want the edges to fray and a host of other things. If you want knee shorts for instance, you have to be sure that you don’t cut off too much. It’s near impossible to sew those legs back on, you know. So, before you make the first cut, it’s important to choose the length that you want and once you’ve done that, you can make a number of different types and lengths of shorts.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Cottonandcurls
Distressed and Chained Cut-Offs
If you are planning to turn those jeans into distress cut-offs and you want something a bit unique and different, think about adding chains. You can add small chains to the holes that you make when you distress your shorts and this will give them a great unique look. Chains are really inexpensive, if you don’t already have a few on hand from broken jewelry and such and they are really easy to add to your shorts. You can do this with any color, although black denim looks really good with the distressed chain look.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Stylowi
Lace Hemmed Shorts
Take those old denim (or not denim) shorts and add a little new excitement by putting lace on the hem. This is such an easy way to refashion old shorts and make them look new again. You can sew on the lace or if you prefer not to sew, just use fabric glue. The lace gives your shorts a really elegant look and lace is so inexpensive that you can do several pairs in different styles or colors. These are dressed up enough to make them perfect for semi-dressy occasions and they’re great for casual events as well.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Bywilma
American Flag Shorts
This is a project that you can do with old denim shorts or just about any material that is solid in color. White shorts would be perfect so if you have an old pair of white denim, just turn them into a great flag. These are perfect for July 4th get-togethers and great for any summer event. You need fabric spray paint and some painter’s tape to get the look. Just tape off straight sections for the stripes and then create stars out of the tape to do the starry side. They really don’t take much time and they are the perfect shorts to wear for all of your Independence Day celebrations.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Ascotfriday
Leopard Print Shorts
You can do this great leopard print with whatever old shorts you have available, although orange would really make them look authentic. You need a leopard print stencil, which you can print online, a craft knife and black fabric paint or a fabric pen in black. You just create the stencil, cut out the sections and then lay the stencil on your shorts and fill in the spots with the fabric pen or paint. These are so easy and leopard prints are so wild that you’ll want to definitely try this one.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Cameoblog
Dip Dye Denim
You may love your denim shorts but if you’ve had them for years or you have several pairs, you might just want something a bit different. Dip dyeing them is a great way to refashion them into a new pair of shorts. The ombre look is really popular and you can pull it off easily with the right dyes and materials. You just dip your shorts into the dye and then of course, be sure to give them plenty of time to dry before you wear them. Ombre is also really cool because you can do them in different shades and you can do several pairs in different colors.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Honestlywtf
Fabric Paneled Shorts
Fabric panels are great for adding a different look to your old shorts. Plus, if they have holes or other imperfections, you can use the fabric to cover them up. This is a really good project for turning shorts that you couldn’t otherwise wear due to rips or stains into a new pair of shorts. You just choose the fabric that you want to use and then sew it onto the front panels of your shorts. It will completely change how they look and again, it will help you to save shorts that may have imperfections.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Freepeople
Daisy Denim Shorts
If you want to just change up the look of your denim shorts, you can turn them into adorable daisy shorts. You will need several white flower appliques which you can pick up at your local craft store and they’re really inexpensive. If you’re a really avid DIYer, you could just make the appliques yourself. Just cover your shorts with flowers and sew them on. You could actually use fabric glue if you wanted but sewing them on will make the flowers much more secure. Plus, it really doesn’t take that long depending on how many flowers you want to add.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Thisfashionismine
Indian Summer Shorts
You can add a bit of summer style to those old shorts with some colorful yarn and a bit of imagination. These Indian inspired summer shorts don’t require any sewing. You attach the colors with fabric glue. Even if you’ve never made a friendship bracelet in your life, you can create these shorts that actually use friendship bracelets as the colorful design. They are easy to do and require very few materials. If you aren’t really a fan of the chevron design, you can create any style that you want and using any colors of yarn that you may have available.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Look-what-i-made
DIY Silk and Lace Shorts
Take that old pair of silky shorts and make them super sexy with a bit of lace. You can use shorts of any material and any length to create this look. While lace on denim is a great look, satin and lace is really elegant and can be very easy to create. Just use fabric glue to attach lace of the same color as the shorts to the bottom hem. You could also sew the lace on if you want and it will probably last much longer if you do. If you have an old pair of silk or satin shorts, maybe some that went out of style a few years ago, this is a great way to update them and make them new again.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Project-twentytwo
Scalloped Edge Office Shorts
If you are lucky enough to be allowed to wear shorts to the office, this is a great project. These scalloped edge shorts are very professional looking and they require absolutely no sewing. You can make them from a pair of existing shorts or refashion those dress pants into something that you can wear during the summer. Throw a nice pair of leggings with them and they’re perfect for the office. You just have to cut the scalloped edging in with a sharp pair of scissors and make sure that you take care of fraying.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Candimandi
So what do old shorts and those old doilies that you have laying around the house have in common? A great pair of summer shorts if you put them together. This is such an easy way to make a great pair of shorts. You just take those old shorts and sew doilies into the hem, on the pockets or just wherever you want them. If you are keen on crocheting, you could actually make doilies just for this project but if not, you could simply use whatever you have on hand. Doilies are really inexpensive, too. Note that you do have to use fabric doilies and not those super cheap paper ones.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Abeautifulmess
Rainbow Tie Dyed Shorts
Tie dyeing is such a wonderful way to refashion old clothing. Instead of throwing something out because it’s outdated, you can simply re-date it by tie dyeing. These rainbow tie dyed shorts are amazing and really simply to create. Just choose the colors that you want to use and follow normal tie dyeing procedures. You can do these in so many different color variations that you could have several different pairs for different days. Plus, they nearly as much fun to make as they are to wear and they look great with just about anything.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Collegefashion
DIY Spotted Shorts
These shorts are sort of in a leopard print but you could actually do them in any spotted design that you want. You just take those old shorts and add some fabric paint in the colors that you prefer and make yourself a great new pair of shorts. You can use any design from zebra or cheetah to something not even animal related if you want. They are easy to make, require no stencils and best of all, they’ll help you to turn those shorts that you never wear into something completely new and exciting for summer.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Mrkate
Lace Covered Shorts
If you are a big fan of lace, you can create beautiful shorts by completely covering them in lace. You just have to choose the color and width of lace that you want to use. Pin the lace all the way around your shorts, ensuring that you have covered them completely. Then just sew the lace into place. You can do matching colors like white on white or if you want to really have something different, choose contrasting colors. Put white lace on black shorts or neon colored lace on white shorts. Just imagine the different styles that you can create with this project.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Sincerelykinsey
DIY Watermelon Shorts
If you really want to dye those old shorts but you just really aren’t into the tie dye look, why not turn them into adorable watermelons? This is a really simple way to refashion old shorts although it looks much more complicated than it actually is. You’ll need the fabric dye to make the green and pink colors but the “seeds” can actually be drawn in with a black fabric pen. These are really great because they are so colorful and what screams summer more than watermelon? Plus, you can refashion your shorts for less than $10.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Thescienceofhappy
DIY Dipped Bleach Shorts
If you really want to dip those shorts to change how they look but you don’t really want to spend money on fabric dyes, you can just dip them in bleach. You’ll want to be careful not to leave them in the bleach for too long and be sure that you are working outdoors or in a room that offers really good ventilation. You basically just dip your shorts in the bleach which gives them a great two-toned look and one that takes just a few minutes to create.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Made2style
Cuffed Denim Cut-Off Shorts
Sometimes you really just don’t want your denim cut-offs to fray. These cuffed shorts are great for when you can’t stand those frays tickling your legs. You cut off the shorts in about the same way as you would for any other type of jeans shorts but then instead of fraying the edges, cuff them up about ¼ to ½ an inch. You can sew the cuffs in place if you want or use fabric glue to keep them from creeping down. Cuffed cut-offs are really easy to make and take about the same time as regular cut-offs that have frayed edges.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Adventuresindressmaking
Tribal Print Cut-Offs
These cut-offs have a great tribal print and they are distressed just a bit which make them look even more interesting. You’ll need an old pair of jeans to cut off, some permanent markers and a bit of bleach. For the distressed look, you’ll want to make some small cuts throughout the shorts once you’ve removed the legs and then run them through the washer to make them a bit worn. Then you just bleach them out a bit on the bottom and draw in your tribal print with a permanent marker. You can also use a black fabric pen to draw in the design that you want.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Madeinpretoria
Flowery Tie Dyed Cut-Offs
Cut off those old blue jeans and then turn them into beautiful pink flowers with a bit of tie dyeing. You can actually use blue denim for this and it will come out wonderfully pink – or whatever color you prefer when you are doing it. This tie dyeing method makes it look like Hawaiian flowers all over your shorts so if you are into the tropical look, this is a great way to turn those old jeans into beautiful shorts that you will love wearing all summer. Plus, how you place the rubber bands will affect the design so do a few pairs and have different designs on each of them.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Thesignaturebow
New Jeans Into Worn Cut-Offs
You can turn the newest pair of jeans into a great pair of worn looking cut-off shorts with just a little work and you don’t actually have to wear them for years to get this look. You just cut them off wherever you want them – shorter for daisy dukes and longer for knee shorts – and then run them through the washer with just a little bleach. You can also poke holes with scissors if you want them to look even more worn but if you are just looking to make them a bit lighter, the bleach in the washer will do the trick.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Cellajane
You can really make those old jeans look great as studded cut-offs. You just have to take an old pair of jeans and cut to make them however short you want. Then take super glue or fabric glue and just add studs to wherever you want. You can stud the pockets, hem or wherever you feel like they would look best. You only need about an hour to create these and they cost little compared to buying studded shorts in the stores. Plus, you can do the design any way you want it so they’ll be totally unique.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Clonesnclowns
Scalloped Denim Cut-Offs
Take those old jeans that you never wear any longer (or the cheap ones you found at the thrift store) and turn them into elegant scalloped cut-offs. You will need to develop a stencil for your scalloped edge but you can do this with a piece of printer paper and a marker. Use that stencil to mark off where you want the scalloped edge to be on the shorts. Then just cut. You can do this with any denim jeans and it’s a great project for those old jeans that have the knees out if you want to turn them into something that is completely wearable again.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Pineneedlecollective
Distressed Denim Cut-Offs
Distressed jeans are such a fashion fad, not to mention that they’re normally pretty expensive if you buy name brands. Instead of doing that, take an old pair of jeans and turn them into these great distressed shorts. Believe it or not, there is a bit of work involved to make a good pair of distressed shorts but it’s demolition work so to speak so it’s a lot of fun work. You will need to cut off your jeans to whatever length you want them to be and then get to work “tearing them up”.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Swellmayde
Galaxy Jeans Cut-Offs
If you are planning to make a pair of cut-offs and you want something a bit unique and different from those normal jeans shorts, these galaxy cut-offs are perfect. These are so fabulous and unique that you are sure to get loads of attention while wearing them. You begin of course, with a pair of jeans. Cut them into shorts. For a true galaxy look, you may want to begin with black jeans. You’ll need some fabric paint and a sponge to create the look which is perfect for star gazing on those warm summer evenings.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – 2ndfunniestthing
DIY Starry Night Cut-Offs
An old pair of jeans, some stencils and some white fabric paint will help you to create these amazing starry shorts that are perfect for summer. You will need to cut out some star shapes or get a star shaped stencil and then make sure that you secure it well to your shorts once you’ve cut them from your old jeans. Just dab white fabric paint with a sponge onto the fabric and then allow it to dry. Voila, you have a wonderful pair of starry night shorts. Add some red stripes and you could almost call these flag shorts.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Lipglossandmisskara
Vintage Frayed Denim Cut-Offs
Ah, those days of summer when every girl was wearing frayed denim cut-offs. If you don’t have your own pair of these vintage looking shorts, you can easily make them yourself. The key is in making sure that you get that frayed edge. You can do this in a number of ways and a razor is a really effective method for making the frayed edges. You do have to make sure that you get the length right when you cut because if you cut too short, fraying will make them even shorter and you certainly don’t want that.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Mom
Distressed with Fabric Panels
Ok, so you’ve decided to turn those old jeans into denim cut-offs and you want the distress look. Now, think about adding a bit of embellishment by attaching fabric panels to your distressed cut-offs. You can use any fabric that you want and you just have to sew it onto the sides to create a completely new look from your old denim. This is also a great way to turn jeans that may be just a bit too small into a great pair of cut-offs that you can wear comfortably. Just remove the side panels and add fabric to make them a bit larger.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Brit
Victorian Print Shorts
If you want something a bit unique and a pair of shorts that are elegant enough to be considered “dressy” attire, this Victorian print idea is great. You just need about a yard of fabric with a Victorian print on it. You can make these shorts easily using a pair that you already have on hand. You just make the appropriate cuts in the pattern and you can add a side zipper to give them that great tailored look. Cuff the legs and you won’t even have to sew in the hem if you don’t want to. Just make sure that you use fabric glue to keep the cuffs in place.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Trashtocouture
Cute Sleep Shorts
If you love sleeping in shorts, you can create an amazing pair of sleep shorts using shorts that you already have on hand or pants. You can just fold your sleep pants in half to get them short enough for sleep shorts. Choose fabric that is comfortable for overnight and then just sew them together once you have everything ready. This is such an easy project that you can create loads of sleeping shorts so you’ll have a new pair every night. Plus, they’re so easy to create that you may just want to make a few pairs as gifts for others.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Prudentbaby
Floral Everyday Shorts with Pockets
Whether you choose the floral fabric or not, these shorts are great and they are very easy to make. They have pockets which makes them really great for every day. These also have an elastic waist so they are super comfortable and you can turn out a pair in just a couple of hours if you are used to using your sewing machine. Even the pockets don’t make this a difficult project. They are very easy to create and you can make several pairs depending on how much fabric you have on hand.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Cottonandcurls
DIY Knicker Type Shorts
Make your own knickers with this great knicker shorts project. If you like the look of knickers, this is the perfect summer shorts project for you. These are a bit shorter than average DIY shorts and you can do them in a number of different fabrics and colors. They fit really well and look great with heels and leggings. If you want something a bit different, a bit shorter and a bit easy to make, these knickers are great. They have an elastic waist but if you wanted you do these with a side or back zipper and they would still look amazing.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Pineneedlecollective
Easy Sew Shorts with Pattern
These patterned shorts are very colorful and are very easy to make. There is a pattern on the instructions so you don’t even have to buy one or use your old shorts as a measuring guide. You can do these with a zipper or use an elastic waistband, whatever you prefer. They fit perfectly and are in a very flattering style. You could hem these or just cuff them if you prefer them that way. If you want them a bit dressier, you can add a slight cuff at the bottom and they’ll be perfect for semi-dressy events this summer.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Planb.annaevers
DIY High Waisted Shorts
If you prefer shorts that have a higher waist, this is a good project for you and it’s one that takes very little time to finish. With an elastic waist band, these are really comfortable and how high the waist goes really depends on what you want. You don’t have to do a high waist band but if you prefer one, these are the perfect shorts. You just need about a yard of fabric and you can use any fabric that you may have left over from other DIY projects. It’s an easy pattern to follow. So easy in fact that you may find yourself making several pairs before summer is over.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Atlofysabel
Embroidery Thread Shorts
These great denim shorts are embellished with embroidery thread. While the denim shorts are already made, this is still a sewing project when you consider the embroidery thread that is used. You simply choose the color or colors that you want to use and then embroider the sides of your shorts on the seams. You can do different patterns and designs if you want or just use a traditional stitch. It’s all up to you. However you do them, these are really beautiful and colorful and super easy to make.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Thefirstlime
Fabric Panel Shorts
Take an old pair of shorts, or one that you have just recently made, and add a panel of fabric in your favorite design or a whimsical cartoon character. This is a really neat and easy project that actually doesn’t require any sewing. You can use fabric glue to keep the panel in place through years of wear and tear. Make sure that you cut your fabric properly. If you need to go around belt loops or pockets for instance, be sure to make allowances. These are super cute for summer and they’re so easy to make that you’ll definitely want more than one pair.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Tattooedmartha