How To Be Thrifty and Make Your Own Shorts

  These days it seems like things are getting more expensive and shorts just keep getting shorter. 🙄 Really. Has anyone tried to buy shorts in a retail setting recently? Than you all know exactly what I’m talking about. Not only that, but they are usually $20 or more. 

  What if I told you, you didn’t have to spend $20 on shorts. No, it’s completely possible. What if I also told you that you could have some awesome, high waisted, mom esque type shorts that are super flattering for under $10? Have I captured your attention? Okay.


  This is what I started out with. Some boring, nothing amazing to see here, high waisted jeans that I thrifted from Goodwill for only $5.99. Would you believe that the top picture came from these?! That is all I have invested in this pair of shorts: $5.99. Think of all the things you could get with the left over $14.01. No, no, I’ll wait. 


 It is possible to have some jean shorts that look great on you and don’t put a huge hole in your wallet. Here are some of my tips for thrifting and making your own shorts!

1. Go to your nearest thrift store.

  The farther away from the city and junkier it is, the better. I found these jeans at a thrift store kind of off the beaten path. My reasoning for this is that you will find older styles, ala high waisted jeans. Inner city thrift stores tend to have the latest trends, but if you go to ones further out and in surrounding areas, you’re likely to find some real retro gems.

2. Attack those racks.

 Seriously. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You think that whatever you’re looking for is just going to pop up off the clothing racks and magically find you?! No. So, search through every single thing. That’s how you find the cool stuff. ✌🏻

3. Go for your style and fit.

  Maybe you don’t want high waisted shorts, maybe you want low rise. Go for whatever jeans make you feel comfortable. Try on as many pairs as you can that you think you would like and make a selection. I tend to like a medium wash jean, but maybe you would rather have dark wash or acid wash. This is the easy part, so just have fun with it! I also like to go for jeans that don’t have a crazy, huge label on them.

4. You will Need Scissors, a Seam Ripper & Chalk/Pen

 This is literally all you will need to turn your jean pants 👖 into jean shorts, unless you want to really go all out and sew patches on, throw glitter on or do embellishments. Do your thing! 

  The seam ripper comes in very handy for putting holes wherever you want on your shorts and also distressing and fraying the edges to get that worn look. The chalk or a pen is great for marking off where you’re going to cut.

5. Try them on one last time. When cutting your jeans the first time, cut just barely over the knee.

 I like to try mine on, one last time, before I do any cutting. I also cut right at or barely above the knee. This way, I have plenty of room to work with. Make a mark with your chalk or pen also so you know where to cut.

6. Cut in a “V”.

  I’ve done several pairs of shorts now, and I’ve come to find that a “V” can be really flattering. I start at the outer sides of the jeans and cut in towards the middle, going at a slight downward angle. This especially looks good with high waisted shorts.

7. Just keep trimming!

  Your shorts may look long and awkward now, but it’s better to have too much fabric to work with than not enough! Now that you have your line going and you can see your shorts starting to take shape, you can trim on them. This may take several times of trying them on again and trimming before you get to a length that you like. If you intend on fraying the ends and putting holes towards the bottom of them, I reccomend stopping short just a little before you need to. 

  Fraying them will make them even shorter, so it’s better to have more room to play around with it! You can always cut them shorter still, but you can’t make them longer once they’ve been cut!

8. Holy Seam Ripper

 When you get your shorts exactly the way you want them, then you get to personalize them. I like to get my seam ripper and put a few holes on one of the back pockets as well as along the bottom edge of my shorts and sometimes one or two on the front. Do whatever you want! Pull some strings loose, gash some holes in. I’ve even heard of people sanding jeans, running them over with their car, splattering them with paint! You do you!


 With any luck, you’ll have some awesome shorts for this summer! What makes it even better is that they were made by you. They will be totally original, totally thrifted and you won’t have to spend all that hard earned cash buying some online or at a chain store. ✌🏻

 So get out there and get thrifting! If any of my followers decide to do their own shorts, I want to see pictures! ❤️

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