In the 1980s, everyone owned a pair of those high-waisted jean shorts with cuffs on the bottom. It’s time to pull those out of the back of the closet and dust them off. They are back in style and just need a few tweaks before showing them off in the sun.
- Pair of jean shorts
- 1/2 cup of hot water
- Foam painting brush (smaller one is preferred)
- Gloves (if needed)
- Rit liquid dye (1/2 cup)
- 2 large zipper-lock plastic bags
- 1/4 cup salt
- X-Acto knife
Grab those jean shorts that have been hiding in the closet or pick some up at a local thrift shop. Slip them on and with a pen, mark one side of the shorts to the desired length. Remember, the sides will come up higher on the inside, where the inseam is located. Take the shorts off and lay them flat on a table.
Take a pair of sharp scissors and start cutting the bottom of the shorts where the pen mark is. Start at the outseam and angle the scissors downward toward the inseam.
Flip over the cut side of the jeans and line up the seams with the other leg. Use a pen to mark the other side and cut downwards. Both sides of the shorts should be cut to the same length.
To fringe the bottom of the shorts, take the scissors and open them about 1 inch. Scrape the bottom edge of one leg back and forth through the open scissors. The fabric should be in contact with the point where the blades intersect.
Flip the bottom edge up, and with your fingers pick the threads apart, creating a frayed look. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for fringe all the way around the bottom of each leg.
Pinch a sliver of the jean material in the middle of the pair of shorts and cut a line through the material with scissors. Make sure to have one hand on top and the other hand on the inside of the material so the pocket lining is not cut.
Flip the shorts inside out and either pick at the edges of the hole with the scissors or run the scissors across the top and bottom edges of the hole. Create as many holes as you want on the body of the shorts. Be careful not to cut too close to the crotch area.
Place a black garbage bag on a flat surface. Boil 1/2 cup of water; once it’s boiling, pour in a 1/2 cup of dye and 1/4 cup of salt. Stir for one minute. Fold in half two large plastic bags and put between each leg of the shorts to separate the front and back flaps so the dye does not bleed through.
Take the foam painting brush and dip into the dye mixture. Dab onto the bottom edges of the jeans and color 1 to 2 inches of the bottom of each leg and the fringe. This will create a dip-dyed look, adding summertime flair.
Remove the plastic bags and hang up the shorts to dry.
Be creative and add some embellishments such as spikes, snap-on jewels or buttons to the pockets to add personality. For snap-on hardware, make a small hole in the seam of the pocket with the X-Acto knife, push the jewel top through the front and clasp the back on tight.
Try out your new jean shorts to the beach as a bathing suit cover-up or pair with a flowy top for a casual look for daytime.