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DIY: Update Your Cutoffs

There’s no denying it, cutoffs are a wardrobe staple this time of year.  And with all the variations of color, fabric, textures, prints and more, there’s certainly no shortage to our selection.  But if you’re like me  and you’ve got a few pairs of old cutoffs from previous summers that could use a little makeover — or if you just want to give your cutoffs a little something special to make them stand out — today’s DIY is for you.  I spotted the image above on tumblr and got inspired to update a pair of cutoffs by adding some fun printed fabric!

What you need: a pair of cutoffs (I used these), fabric of your choice, scissors, a needle and thread

Start by cutting a piece of fabric that is large enough to cover one side of the shorts. Attach it with a few safety pins to keep it from moving around.

Start sewing the fabric to your shorts – I used the natural seams of the shorts as a guideline.

As you sew, you can trim off the excess fabric  as close to the stitches as possible.

And there you go! A “brand new” pair of cutoff shorts to wear all summer long :)

Shown here with the Without Reason Tee and Charlie Converse.

Be sure to check out our new DIY Projects category for more DIY Inspiration!

Photos by Julia.

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Jeline -April 25, 2012, 9:46AM

Great DIY! I might just do this. ♥ Thanks for sharing!!

Alexandra -April 25, 2012, 11:31AM

Nice! I’m definitely going to try this

Jess -April 25, 2012, 12:05PM

love this idea! can’t wait to give it a go :-)

Faith -April 25, 2012, 1:27PM

Now all I need are some jean cut-offs to sacrifice…


kupferfarben -April 25, 2012, 2:17PM

great! love the top cut offs!

Ivana -April 25, 2012, 4:39PM

great post! i’m definitely try something similar soon! =)

xoxo, Ivana

mel -April 25, 2012, 5:50PM

love this!

Corina -April 26, 2012, 8:49AM

I love this idea!!! I have so much fabric laying around from other projects… now I know what to do with it. I love how easy this is too!

Natalia -April 26, 2012, 6:34PM

I love this Idea! i’m always looking for new ways to update cutoffs. I have just done a tutorial for pom pom fringe shorts! Check it out!

Kayla -April 27, 2012, 7:15PM

:D love it!! thank you so much for giving a new idea for my cut off shorts!! and i might try it with some of my capris:)

Madeline -May 2, 2012, 11:09PM

this is actually my number one need to do for summer! i really need shorts, anyone know a cute place to get colored cutoffs to sacrafice?

nichole -May 7, 2012, 11:04AM

I’ve already made two pairs!!! Thanks so much I am loving this look! -May 18, 2012, 7:55AM


Pernille -May 24, 2012, 8:47AM

This is so awesome!

I am so gonna try this on my shorts :-D


Also, i’d love it if you’d check my blog out? – I just started writing on english, instead of my own language!

Hopefully you’ll have an nice day!


sarah -May 30, 2012, 1:16AM

does anyone know where can I find “free peopleish” fabric like this?
I love the floral & vintage look & would love to make my own!

Sydney -June 3, 2012, 9:58AM

very cool, I started doing it, but i had to stop because I almost sewed the pockets shut!…

Hannah -June 27, 2012, 11:16AM

This is awesome! Florals are so in!!! Totally going to try this! Thank you

Adele -July 13, 2012, 10:31AM

These are so awesome! Going to try this out soon!

Vintage Fascination -July 19, 2012, 1:09PM

Tried it..Loved it. I used ikat fabric instead of floral fabric.

Check out the results on my blog

maria -August 7, 2012, 1:21PM

Love the idea, I might try something similar with the capris I just bought.

Sierra -February 21, 2013, 12:47PM

This great! Thank you

Kennedy -March 3, 2013, 3:42AM

I love this idea! I have actually picked up some old shorts and fabric today from Joanne’s! I already made one pair of shorts and they look fabulous! Thank for the help.

Anonymous -July 2, 2013, 8:59PM

how does it work when you wash them? does the stitching easily keep dirt from going between the two fabrics?

michelle -July 24, 2013, 11:55PM

Wont the fabric fray?

Toko Lingerie -June 29, 2014, 12:06PM

Great DIY. I’m goint to try this too..

christina -July 16, 2014, 4:41PM

great tutorial! will it work with other denim things, like vests and jackets for example??

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