DIY Distressed Shorts

by Sam P. | July 30th, 2015 | DIY, Fashion

distressed shorts diy (400x400)

The distressed and undone look is so in, but so expensive.  And of course it does seem redundant to buy shorts or pants that already have holes in them for more than the ones without holes.  It seems far smarter to me to buy a cheap pair of shorts or jeans and distress them yourself.  It is quick and easy.  Plus, it only requires a pair of scissors, tweezers, and a few other optional supplies.  These shorts look great at parties, concerts, or just hanging around.


  • Old shorts or jeans
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Nail file or pumice stone
  • Bleach and tooth brush (optional)


  1. If you have jeans and you want to make them into shorts, just simply cut them to about a 1/4 inch longer than you want them to be.
  2. Use the nail file or pumice stone to soften the edge.
  3. If you want to give them a more acid wash distressed look because they are too dark, use the bleach and an old tooth brush and brush the bleach on sporadically.  You can also dip the toothbrush in and rub the bristles above the jeans with your finger to spray the bleach.
  4. Let the shorts sit for a couple minutes and then put them through the washer and dryer.
  5. To create ripped, falling apart holes, cut a few slits in your shorts.  Make sure there is at least one set of slits that are less than an inch apart.
  6. Using the tweezers, pull at the seams to make them fray.
  7. For the cuts that are next to each other, gently use the tweezers to pull the vertical blue strings out, leaving just the horizontal white strings still connected between the slits.  This gives more of a less homemade look because it is how the holes typically look if you buy ore ripped jeans.
  8. Use the pumice stone or nail file and soften the slits a bit more and give them a more worn look.
  9. Put your shorts in the dryer for a couple minutes to help with the fraying process, but to also let the fabric settle.

This DIY is quick and easy.  Even better, there is no sewing required whatsoever.  This is a great DIY for a pair of high-waisted jeans that are too short, but still fit on the top.  Transform them into fabulous, brand new, distressed high-waisted shorts.  I guarantee you will wear them everywhere, the beach, concerts, parties, festivals, everywhere.

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