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Denim DIY: Plain to Party Cut-Off Shorts

July 31, 2011

…in less than an hour, if you know exactly how much bleach to use! Check out my trial and error denim DIY below, using these $5 shorts I bought from a Brooklyn thrift shop. Original post on Denim Therapy.

We started out with a pair of bright blue shorts (with a bit of stretch) that hit just below the knee. We endeavored to give these run-of-the-mill bottoms a new life by turning them into a multi-color, semi-destroyed pair of cut-offs.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 1. Cut them to your preferred length. There are no definite measurements for this—it’s up to you if you want to show a bit of your behind or if you want to be more modest. Always try them on, and then mark them. Remember the fabric will rise up about 1/2″ once cut, depending on the fiber content. Cut them longer if you plan to cuff them up.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 2. Do a bit of destroying. You can always continue after you have finished bleaching them. Use a scissor, razor, or any rough/sharp edge. Separate fibers at the hem and slits you make in the denim (patience is a virtue). You will see an increase in fringe and loose threads after you wash them, so don’t worry if they look too clean cut at the beginning.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 3. Set up a bleaching station. You will need bleach, a bin of water and bleach (our ratio was 2/3 bleach, 1/3 water—but you’ll have to experiment to find your ideal mixture according to your denim’s wash, texture, and fiber content), protective gloves, and a toothbrush.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Be sure you’re doing this in a well-ventilated area, such as nearby an open window.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 4. Apply bleach with toothbrush. Flick, spray, splatter, and otherwise distribute the bleach how ever you please. We brushed ours downward from the seamline of the waistband, and then flicked some bleach at random on the fabric.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 5. Wait and watch! If the denim isn’t quite bleaching, add more.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 6. Repeat step 5 until you’re happy with your bleach-out! At this point, we added a towel to keep the bleach from hitting the wood base the denim was laying on.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 7. Once the front is dry, you can rinse and dry, or flip them over and do the same thing (quickly, because you don’t want the bleach to sit in the denim too long). By now you’ll have a good idea of how much bleach to use and how long to leave it.

We also added faux-pockets with bleach to our shorts, because the welt pockets weren’t doing it for us.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 8. Rinse thoroughly in hot water (don’t worry if some of the dye runs out of the shorts. It’s probably going to happen—just make sure there are no dishes in your sink). Hang them or lay them to dry somewhere with plenty of ventilation. Once they’re dry, you’re done!

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 9. Embellish! If you’re feeling extra creative, grab a patch or some studs, and decorate your shorts!

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

If you’re looking for a professional bleach job or dye job done by the pros, Denim Therapy offers incredible bleach/dye services that will turn your jeans into a dream.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 31, 2011 1:29 PM

    Oh my god, I love this. I have so many boring shorts that are in need or a serious make over. Thanks so much, I’ll definitely give this a go!

    • Mishka permalink*
      July 31, 2011 1:30 PM

      Awesome, would love to see your results too! I’ve been doing it to all my shorts ever since — it’s so easy and the change is so dramatic.

  2. August 6, 2011 2:11 PM

    Thank You Thank You! I’m doing this right now, and I lost my bookmarked tutorial. Yours proved so much better, and totally cute w/ the bleached back pockets. Thanks!
    Alex

    • Mishka permalink*
      August 7, 2011 4:16 PM

      You’re very welcome! Have fun with it.

  3. September 23, 2011 3:52 PM

    The pants are great!

    XoXo
    Plami

    http://www.fashionthrill.com/

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