Those rips and frays are okay nowadays! Destroyed denim has been very popular on the fashion scene. This DIY is very simple and can turn those unwanted mom jeans into adorable shorts! All you will need is a pair of jeans or jean shorts, scissors, an X-Acto knife, and if you want them to be ombre then bleach, a bucket, and gloves. I actually made this for my dear friend Natalie’s birthday vacation. So you will see her modeling them at the end. Afterwards you could stick studs through the fabric or hot-glue them for your own unique affect. Let’s begin!
If you are using jean pants, then put them on and make a marker with white crayon or pencil where you want to cut and slice them. Using another pair of shorts as a guide will help you get the angles correct. Start by cutting at a longer length in case you want them shorter. This will insure they won’t be too short! For the shape of mine, I cut them diagonally so they were higher on the sides (I like the look it gives when they are on). I also made the back slightly longer and rounded that way there is more coverage and they are more comfortable (I don’t like anything showing)!
Open a pair of scissors part way and run them back and forth along the bottom edge of the shorts. White threads should start to appear. Do this repeatedly on the back and front until lots of white threads are hanging down. Keep in mind that more will appear and they will be perfect after washing.
To begin, start by finding a picture of a pair of shorts that you want to base your rips off of. You definitely don’t have to do this, but it will help to give you a little more guidance. Fold a magazine, and place it inside of the shorts when you are using the X-Acto knife. To prep the shorts for distressing, apply an X-Acto knife’s blade at medium pressure diagonally across the areas of the shorts you want to distress. Make sure the entire area has been scored by your X-Acto knife.
To rip/destroy the shorts, take the X-Acto knife, and again applying medium pressure, run the blade repeatedly straight across the area you want to distress. This is going to take a little while, but as you continue to swipe the fabric with the blade, white threads will begin to show and little clumps of blue will form. Repeat this in all sections you have scored and want distressed.
Very gently separate the clumps of white threads by pulling them apart with your fingers (thread by thread). Be very careful, as you don’t want to rip the threads (they should be still attached on both sides), but you want to separate them from the blue material. This will help to define the distressed/ripped areas.
If you would like them to be light wash (like mine), put on gloves to protect your hands, fill up a large bucket with warm water, and and pour around a cup of bleach into it (depending on how much water you use, it could be different amounts. I put in too little at first and had to add a lot more. Go slow to find your correct amount.) Submerge the shorts fully in the water and let them sit, stirring often with a wooden spoon. If they are not lightening after 5-10 minutes add more bleach (1/4 cup at a time). Continue to stir and let them soak until they have lightened to your desired color (a note: they will be even lighter after you wash them). If you want to dip-dye them, then just dip the ends of the shorts into the bucket for several minutes. Or fill bleach into a spray bottle and spray the ends of the shorts and let it sit overnight.
Your dip-dye should look like this afterwards. Rinse well or hand wash the shorts in the sink to get the excess bleach out. Wash them again in a wash machine. I would recommend washing them alone if you want to be on the safe side, though because I hand washed them first, I was able to wash them with a dark load of laundry. Dry them completely in the dryer. This will help to soften the shorts and define/fluff the rips.
I decided not to dip-dye just because of the timing. But here is Natalie’s darling shorts. I used high waisted jeans and just cut them and completed this process. Good luck!