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How To Make The Perfect Cut-Offs From An Old Pair of Jeans

There are few things that are more upsetting than finding a hole in your favorite pair of jeans. You know, the pair that fits just right and goes with everything? It’s a tragedy, I tell ya! But don’t get rid of those pants just yet! You can give those jeans a second chance at life by turning them into cut-offs. Not necessarily Daisy Duke-style cut-offs (unless that’s your thing!) but a pair of stylish, cuffed denim shorts.

The whole process takes only a few minutes to complete, and all you need is a pair of scissors, a needle, and some thread. And of course, your trusty pair of jeans.

Related:  How To Hem Jeans

Selecting the Perfect Pants

If you don’t already have a pair of pants you’d like to use, hit the thrift shop! Search for a pair of jeans that fits well through your hips and thighs. It doesn’t matter how long they are, since you’ll be cutting off a lot of the leg anyway.

If anything, you want the pants to be just a little baggy, rather than skin-tight. They make for more flattering shorts.

Don’t use “jeggings” or any other type of jean that has a lot of stretch. You want there to be a little bit of give, but not too much.

Making the Cut

Once you’ve chosen your pants, it’s time to get to work! Measure your preferred length of shorts at the inseam. Shorter shorts have a 3″ inseam, medium-length shorts have a 5″ inseam, and longer shorts have a 7″ inseam. Having a 9″ inseam will create shorts that are about knee-length.

Take your preferred measurement and add 2 inches to the length, to allow for a cuff. (Cuffing your cut-offs not only looks nice, but it also makes it easy to cover up any mistakes such as a less-than-straight cut or the legs being uneven.)

Mark off where you are going to cut the jeans using a piece of chalk. It rubs right off when you’re done!

Now it’s time to cut the legs off. If you use pinking shears, you won’t have to worry as much about the cut edges fraying.

Cut off one leg and then fold the jeans over and use that cut as a guide for the other leg to ensure they are the same length.

“Cuff ‘Em, Boys”

After your cut has been made, fold the cut end of each pant leg up about one inch.

Iron the fold in, then fold each leg up once more, and iron in the fold again. Adjust as you go to make sure the legs line up and the cuffs look similar.

To keep the cuff in place, I like to add a couple of stitches to the sides and back of each cuff. That way, the cuff won’t unfold itself when you sit down, or in the wash. I just used a needle and thread to hand-sew my stitches, but you could always use a sewing machine if you prefer.

There you have it! You’ve successfully transformed your old pair of pants into a stylish pair of shorts you’ll want to wear all summer long. Enjoy! 🙂


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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