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4h00

take your jeans from winter to summer by making some awesome summer cut offs!
The weather is getting warmer now and what’s the funnest way to celebrate than but cutting up all your pants to make cutoffs? It’s really a win/win situation, you now have a wardrobe stuffed with summer goodness and next season once the cold weather creeps back in you will be forced to go shopping for new clothes because because of your total lack of long pants, really whats not to love about this summer time classic?
There are lots and lots of different ways to cut up and design a pair of cutoffs, really just let your imagination guide you. Use any color and type of fabric you have laying around then distress them and decoration them with studs, spikes, sequins and rhinestones. For this pair I posted above, I was really just trying to use up some of the left over craft supplies I have lying around, I used India ink to dye the shorts and left over black fabric from an old project from like a year ago, and some left over studs.
So even though I used india ink, it’s not really the right dye for fabric, because it’s really more like a paint. To get the right level of darkness, you need to dip your shorts and then let them to dry and then re-dip several times to get dark enough, and this can be really time consuming. So I recommend using a normal clothing dye that you can get at the grocery store and following the instructions in the package. Also be aware that 100% cotton fabric dyes the best while synthetic is very difficult to color, make sure to read your label before starting.

Posted by Reve Maxeville from Boissy-Saint-Léger, Île-de-France, France • Published See Reve Maxeville's 6 projects »
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  • How to decorate a pair of painted shorts. Dip Dyed Cut Offs - Step 1
    Step 1

    Here are the shorts I started out with, they were a pair I’ve only worn a couple of times because I found them to be a bit plain. If your starting with pants cut them off to about an inch longer than were you want them to be.

  • How to decorate a pair of painted shorts. Dip Dyed Cut Offs - Step 2
    Step 2

    I filled up a bucket in the bathtub with a bit of water and added my dye. A plastic bucket is easy to clean, don’t use a container that is important or that you don’t want stained. If you are using heat activated dyes in a metal pot, don’t use a food pot, you need to use a seperate pot just for dying fabric. Also try not to splash it around on the sides of the bucket, clean up any loose drops that could stain your shorts. And also try not to get any in your bathtub, it can stain your tub, you can lay down a garbage bag if you like to protect your tub.

  • How to decorate a pair of painted shorts. Dip Dyed Cut Offs - Step 3
    Step 3

    Starting with dry shorts, you don’t need to pre-dampen, very carefully dip your shorts in, use a stick or the back of a long skinny paint brush to help guide your fabric into the dye. Any splashes can leave a mark on your shorts so try not to touch the sides of the bucket. Leave for however long your dye instructions indicate.

  • How to decorate a pair of painted shorts. Dip Dyed Cut Offs - Step 4
    Step 4

    Hang to dry, and be careful to not move the jeans around, it can stain undyed parts of the shorts and ruin the nice job you just did. Make sure to place a garbage bag and or a rag under the shorts to catch the excess dye that drips off. Leave to dry completely, you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process.
    **Make sure to follow the instructions for the type of dye your using carefully, if you dye instructions says you need to rinse your fabric to get rid of excess dye make sure to do that before continuing or else you hands will get coverd in dye and you will stain your fabric.**
    Mine was fine so I just continued on once the shorts where entirely dry.

  • How to decorate a pair of painted shorts. Dip Dyed Cut Offs - Step 5
    Step 5

    Now, cut the edge of your shorts to the style you want, here I angled the edges up a little bit, and I just unsewed the hem at the crotch and cut off the extra fabric.

  • How to decorate a pair of painted shorts. Dip Dyed Cut Offs - Step 6
    Step 6

    Now you have to fray the edges of both legs up about 1 cm, use small scissors or a thread ripper to help you pull away the threads, trim any stray threads as you go so it’s all the same length.

  • How to decorate a pair of painted shorts. Dip Dyed Cut Offs - Step 7
    Step 7

    Lay some fabric on top and cut it to the design you want, then pin onto the jeans.
    I angled the fabric on both halves to create a chevron with the stripes, I also followed the edge of the waist band and just above the frayed edge and then cut away the fabric where the back pockets are.
    Pin down all your fabric along all your edges so that the fabric lies flat and there is no buckling.

  • How to decorate a pair of painted shorts. Dip Dyed Cut Offs - Step 8
    Step 8

    You can machine sew your material if you want, I choose to hand sew because I like the look. If you choose to hand sew, use a doubled thread in a coordinating color, and do a medium sized running stitch and back stitch every so often to fix the thread.

  • How to decorate a pair of painted shorts. Dip Dyed Cut Offs - Step 9
    Step 9

    I also did the pocket in the front with a small patch of the same fabric. I did this the same way as the back, I cut out a bit of fabric and pushed the bottom into the pocket, pinned it down and then trimmed off the excess and hand sewed it around the edge.

  • How to decorate a pair of painted shorts. Dip Dyed Cut Offs - Step 10
    Step 10

    Now it’s time for some distressing, check out my tutorial here on how to distress denim, I distressed the shorts on both the front thighs and the pockets on the back.

  • How to decorate a pair of painted shorts. Dip Dyed Cut Offs - Step 11
    Step 11

    I patched the back of the distressed area with the same fabric, you don’t have to do this part if you don’t want to it’s just if you don’t want to have anyone see your underwear through the ripped parts. Above you can see the patches of fabric I cut out and that are ready to pin into the inside and then sewn, again follow my distressed denim tutorial to see how to do this.

  • How to decorate a pair of painted shorts. Dip Dyed Cut Offs - Step 12
    Step 12

    Now decorate with studs and spikes, if you need some inspiration just type in “studded cutoffs” into Google and an oddle of different styles will come up.

  • How to decorate a pair of painted shorts. Dip Dyed Cut Offs - Step 13
    Step 13

    Have fun and if you do any awesome cutoffs of your own this summer I’d love to see them, leave me the link to your post

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Comments

Judy
Judy · Berkeley, California, US · 37 projects
Cute Happy You are so creative!
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