Today I’m sharing one a quick 15 minute project that will help you beat the heat. The best part is it’s free!

The last few weeks have brought really warm temperatures. I’m talking like 100 degree forecasts for like 14 days in a row. I’m used to warm summers and all but we had an incredibly wet and cold month of May so going from 60 degrees to 98 degrees was a bit of a shock. I went from wearing long pants and jackets to realizing I have no clothes in my closet for summer.

Looking into that closet I realized that this last spring when I did a major ‘minimalist’ clean I got rid of a lot of clothes that I had not worm for a while (or had worn out). That pile included all of my shorts because I spent last summer pregnant and couldn’t wear them. I was left in a bit of a pinch to endure this massive heat wave. So what did I do? I cut up my old pants into shorts.

Looking for a pair of shorts for me is worse than trying to find the right size of pants. I like my shorts modest in length and free of holes and pockets hanging out. It is rare to find a pair of shorts that I feel cover my long legs. Growing up we would always cut our pants off into shorts. I thought why not do that again?

There are a few ways to finish the edge of the shorts. I chose to hem mine for that ‘finished’ look. I didn’t want to bother with the fabric stringing after washing and I already have a pair that I just folded the hem up on. You can choose once you’ve cut yours to skip all of the sewing steps and just fold the shorts up 1″ and wear them. Or if you prefer to have a finished hem a few minutes and matching thread is all you need for these easy shorts.

Just follow these quick and easy steps and in 15 minutes you will have a new pair of shorts that you can wear all summer long! Try making a pair for your kiddos as well. We know they have plenty of pants with holes in the knee. Just snip, sew, and wear!

You will need:

  • old pair of jeans
  • tape
  • measuring tape
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • thread that matches the stitching of your shorts

Step 1: Mark the Desired Length

Wearing your jeans, decide on your desired length. Using several pieces of tape mark the area you want to cut. The tape will serve as marking your seam allowance. The top edge of the tape should be the desired finished length after you are done and the bottom edge of the tape will be where you cut.

Using a tape measure make sure that the line you will cut is the same distance from the bottom of the jeans all the way across. You can see in my picture that I measured up 19 1/2″ from the bottom of my pants on both the inseam and outer edge of the pants.


Step 2: Cut & Sew 

Once you have ensured your line is straight cut along the lower edge of the tape.

Repeat the process for the other pant leg by laying the cut off pant leg over the top, matching all seams, and cutting. Or you can measure up the same distance from the bottom of the pant leg and mark with tape and cut. 

Zig zag stich along raw edge of the pant leg. This will keep your shorts from fraying after being washed. Turn pants inside out. Next fold your pants up the width of the piece of tape.

Using thread that matches the color of the stitching in your pants sew along the edge of the pants in a straight line. I would recommend that your stitches be 3/8″-1/2″ from the edge of the fabric.  Secure your stitches by back stitching.

I love the finished hem on these shorts and I wear them all of the time! They are comfortable, don’t fray, and the best part is they were free!

These repurposed jeans into shorts have helped me keep cool this summer. What are some of the things you do to keep cool in the heat?




Here’s a little about me: I usually don’t buy things that I could make. I like to read and learn. I have dreams of being a mom, living in foreign countries, and trying new things. I take a ton of pictures. I collect rocks from the places I’ve been. I’m trying to learn French. I like to eat. I’m a Mormon.

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