Because sunny spring days are slowly creeping towards us, I wanted to do a tutorial on how to make some high-waisted jean shorts.

A few weeks ago, I was shopping in Portland and saw a super cute pair of high-waisted Levi shorts… and then I looked at the price tag and cringed—60 bucks for a pair!

I knew I could make some that were just as cute for much less money. I found a perfect pair of high-waisted jeans for a fraction of the price and set out to make my shorts.

Here’s how you can make some of your own:

What you need:

  • One pair of high-waisted “mom” jeans
  • Scissors (preferably fabric scissors)
  • Sharpie/Pencil
  • Optional: fabric for pockets, studs, bleach & a spray bottle (I’ll explain later)


  1. Put on your jeans & mark how far you want them to go with the pencil or sharpie. *Remember: you can always cut more off, so start a little longer than you want. Also, if you want them to be cuffed like mine, mark them 2 or 3 inches longer.
  2. Take off the jeans and cut away! To make sure you aren’t mooning the world in your new jeans, cut them at a diagonal, so the back is longer than the front.
  3. I wanted them to be cuffed for mine, so I cuffed them while they were on, pinned them, and sewed a couple of stitches on the outside hemline so they wouldn’t un-cuff.
    diy high waisted jean shorts
  4. This is the step where you get to be creative! Try finding a cute floral or tribal fabric and adding it to the back pockets, adding studs for a grungy look, or using a spray bottle and bleach to make them a retro acid wash (wet the jeans, wring out the extra water, spray on the bleach, let sit for 10 minutes, and then wash them in the washing machine).
    diy distressed high waisted jean shorts
  5. Voila!
    how to diy high waisted jean shorts

Now you have awesome high-waisted shorts for a fraction of the price of ones from the store. My favorite parts? Because you made them, no one will have the same ones, AND this is a super sustainable practice!

Stay tuned for more DIY projects!

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