7 Simple Steps To Get Perfect Denim Cutoffs

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The only thing cooler than a perfectly destroyed pair of cutoffs is not having to spend a dime on a perfectly destroyed pair of cutoffs. The summer wardrobe essential can be created out of thin air—well, almost—by making them yourself. Since premium denim often comes with a hefty price tag, chances are you have a stack of jeans you don’t wear—but refuse to give away. Use this weekend to resurrect your dusty denim by converting them into shorts you can wear immediately. Here, our easy step-by-step guide.

DIY Cutoff Jean Shorts

Photo: @joesjeans

Step 1: Gather Jeans You Don't Wear

Select jeans that are as close to 100% cotton as possible because stretchy denim won't fray at the edges.

All jeans courtesy of Citizens of Humanity.

Step 2: Assemble Supplies

You'll need a pair of sharp scissors, a seam ripper, measuring tape and chalk.

Step 3: Mark Denim With Chalk Lines

Measure three inches down from the inseam then draw a chalk line straight across the leg.

Step 4: Check Your Work

Check to make sure the lines are even by measuring from the outer waistband to the line on each side (they should be exactly the same). Keep in mind the fray will shorten the length by approximately a quarter of an inch.

Step 5: Make Cuts

Start by cutting only the top layer of the leg. The bottom piece should be cut separately to avoid shifting the fabric and accidentally cutting too much off the back.

Step 6: Rip Seams & Edges

Use a seam ripper to remove the zigzag stitches on the outer edges where the seams meet. For extra fraying, make small incisions with the seam ripper every half inch along the cut line.

Step 7: Run Through Washer & Dryer

The key to roughing up the edges is getting the denim wet and giving it a tumble in the dryer. Voila! Now go take your new cutoffs for a spin!