5 Ways to DIY Summer Shorts

Make your own summer shortsSide note: I used to HATE wearing shorts. Up until last year I think I had one pair of knee-length cut-off hipster-riding-a-bike shorts. I think moving back to the super humid Midwest two years ago was part of the transition. Also, I think just getting older and becoming more confident is part of it too (if I'm being honest here, and, I guess I am). Now I'm a shorts lover. I made a pair of southwestern style shorts early on this season and then I caught the shorts DIY bug. Here's five super simple ideas for making your own pair of summer shorts!How to make doilie shortsDoilie shortsDoily shorts. One part grandma and one part beach babe. Wait, does that even make sense? The idea behind these is simply to find a cute fabric or an applique to sew on to your shorts. All the shorts in this feature were thrifted and washed. Then I roughed up the bottom hem of these using scissors.Doilie shorts diy1. Supplies: doilies, needle & thread. 2. Simply sew doilies all along the hem of the shorts. Southwestern style shortsSouthwestern shortsThese southwestern shorts were created using the same technique. I got the southwestern fabric from a child's poncho I thrifted and cut to fit my shorts. I've washed my shorts a couple of times now and the southwestern ones do fray, which I think adds to the look. But keep in mind that un hemmed edges of any fabrics or appliques you use will fray as you wash them.How to make stripe shortsStriped shortsThese black and white shorts have a more mod feel, plus I love vertical lines. I like to pretend they make me look taller. 🙂Black and white shorts1. Supplies: contact paper, scissors, paint, paintbrush. 2. Begin by cutting long, thin strips of contact paper and apply them vertically all across the shorts. 3. Then, paint between each piece of contact paper. Let them dry over night and remove the contact paper. Fringe shortsCream fringe shortsThis is a fun way to add some texture to your shorts. You could add fabric to look like flowers or polka dots; we added fringe. I wanted the delicate fringe to mimic feathers. I love how these turned out, but I will say that these are hand-wash only since they could easily be damaged in the washing machine.White fringe shorts1. Supplies: Sheer fabric, scissors, sewing machine. 2. Begin by cutting out strips of fabric and sewing them in layers onto the shorts. 3. Then, take scissors and fringe each layer, creating a feather like look!How to make bleached shortsBleached shortsI love the look of these ombre bleached shorts. These are inspired from I Spy DIYOmbre bleached shorts1. Supplies: shorts, bleach, bucket, white vinegar, shorts hanger, and water. 2. Begin by filling a bucket with two parts water one part bleach. Place shorts into the bucket as far down as you would like to begin the bleaching process. Depending on how dramatic you would like the bleaching effect to be, leave them in the bucket for 5-30 minutes. Five being the minimal bleaching and thirty being the longest. Depending in the material, you might have to re-dip them multiple times to get the right effect. 3. Next, to stop the bleaching process dip the shorts into a bucket of two parts water one part white vinegar. Be sure you use white vinegar and not regular vinegar, since regular can create a very harmful chemical when mixed with bleach. Let them dry, and then hand wash them or wash them alone in the washing machine and dry them in the dryer. 

Have fun making your own summer shorts this season! Emma

  • Hello there gorgeous! Just wanted you to know this was featured right here -> http://www.dreamingofbutterflies.co/10-easy-magical-cheap-summer-diys-every-girl-needs-try/

  • This is really cool! I love love love the fringe shorts! Trying this ASAP!
    ~ Jillian

    Buenísimas ideas!
    Gracias por compartirlas
    Un beso

  • This diy makes me wish i had more time to make all the diys before i am going to Italy! Sad part is that i dont have the time. Well i still have the dip dye shorts and the USA flag shorts, home made! haha.

    I love the DIY, you’ve made! It’s awesome!



  • Where are the shoes you’re wearing in the ombre shorts from? I love them!

  • Nice Article. Thanks for your sharing. I like it very much.
    Friend Link: http://www.shoeshop-online.com

  • I’m amazed! Thank you for sharing!

  • wow, i absolutely love these. great diy!


  • Love these summer trends. Especially the lacy shorts. This chic casual look is my favorite trend that is in. http://www.mykitsch.com/hair-ties/ has really beautiful hair ties that also are great trendy arm candy. I always layer them with my casual cut off “look”.

  • It it necessary to put the bleached ones in the dryer, or could they be left out to dry?

  • Would it make a difference if you let them hang to dry, or is it a must to put them in a dryer?

  • Love this!!
    Going to try dip dying with bleach this weekend.
    Ayesha x


  • Emma I am in LOVE with your hair. It’s so long and I love the ombre!

    The black stripey shorts outfit is my favourite. Those shoes are to die for…


  • I love the shorts, but I really love that red gingham shirt. I’ve been searching all over. Where is it from?

    Thanks in advance!

  • Love the omber one – I feel the urge to go buy a pair of denim shorts and a can of bleach!

  • I love these shorts, specially the doily shorts. I did something similar recently, I added some vintage dollies to a denim jacket.


  • This post is GREAT!!! I DIY shorts too! Your ideas are perfect. Have to try them 🙂

  • these are fantastic! as if i needed a reason to go thrifting, now I have a few more.

  • This is totally on my DIY to do list! I’ve been wanting to do ombre shorts since March, just couldn’t find the time to do it. This is really inspiring my creative juices. Thanks for the great DIY ideas! 🙂

    Renee J.

  • I love the bleached shorts! The southwest pockets are cute too.

    Sarah x


  • all of these ideas are so good! i used to have shorts-phobia too until last summer so i definitely understand where you’re coming from.

  • This is such a good idea! I love the southwestern ones made from the poncho best! 🙂

  • Great looks! Definitely going to try the striped ones 🙂


    neha made

  • So cute! Definitely doing the black and white striped ones! And I completely resonate with not wearing shorts when I was younger. I was a bit self conscious of my legs but now I barely go a day in the summer without them! thanks for the fun ideas!

  • I love all of these ideas! I think I’m going to try the doily ones : )


  • I think I’m going to try the doily ones!


  • Lindas ótimas imagens, adoreio os shorts

    Visite o meu blog www.tucafashion.blogspot.com

  • I don’t even know which of these I like most- they are ALL adorable! Thanks for sharing, and you definitely deserve the higher confidence because you look amazing!
    Hope you’re having a wonderful day!
    xo Hannah

  • I recently DIYed my own pair of shorts! I took an old white pair that had gotten stained and dyed them this awesome teal color. Great post!

  • Now I HAVE to try the stripped ones. So clever, these ideas! 🙂
    I just recently did a summer shorts makeover as well by adding zippers at the sides of my shorts (which were made from old jeans) here – http://rethinkborders.blogspot.com/2012/07/today-i-played-with-old-pair-of-jeans.html.

    I love how the possibilities are endless! 🙂

  • Love the last idea! I got myself two pairs of cheap H&M jeans shorts lately, so I’m gonna try this out soon! 🙂


  • This is awesome. I always get the best ideas from this site!

  • Such a sweet way to spice up those shorts.


  • i ADORE the doily ones (of course!) but the stripe ones are super cute too. ♥

  • I think the bleached shorts look amazing. I have a little shorts phobia myself because I have zero tan and my legs are just white and ugly 🙁

  • My daughter will love this– too cute!


  • clever ideas! Baffles me how you are able to do all these diys and blog posts!

  • I love the dip dye ones! I feel like you could easily create ombre shorts this way!

    xoxo Sarah

  • Love this post! My favorites are the last shorts and the one with the fabric of the poncho! Lovely.


  • This is so awesome! I am going to try making a couple of these with some old shorts. Thanks so much for the ideas. =)


  • Wow! These are such brilliant ideas for shorts! I must give them a go – I like the doily idea best!



  • I have got to try these! You girls are geniuses!

    xo Sarah

  • These are FANTASTIC ideas!! Can’t wait to try them!

    xoxo Kate

  • I don’t think it matters if you mix white vinegar or regular vinegar with bleach, they both contain acetic acid which will produce poisonous chlorine gas when reacting with chlorine bleach. A better way to neutralize bleach is to mix with hydrogen peroxide, the reaction yields oxygen, water, and salt, all harmless. Hydrogen peroxide is super cheap too.

  • The doily shorts are great! I pick up tons of those(just because there so cute)at local thrift stores but then I never know what to do with them.

  • Q: I love the shoes in the stripe photo very very much (: where are they from?
    A: Jessica Simpson Collection 🙂

  • I love the shoes in the stripe photo very very much (: where are they from?

  • I love the delicate fringe shorts! I think I may need to spice up a dress of mine ;).

  • OMG! I might have to make me some black and white shorts! Love them! I actually started wearing shorts recently too. I totally get what you’re saying 🙂

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