How to Cut Jeans into Frayed Shorts from Your Best Jeans Pair: 2022

We all love innovative clothing ideas from old and used pieces of clothes. I always attempt to arrive with new and exclusive DIY crafts out of the old closet from the wardrobe. Inevitably, critical measurements and sewing machines including a difficult method that makes more efforts are prohibited from my articles. Most of the time we think, a quick and simple project might be a long day hassle only because of skills and tools. But believe me, when you ask me how to cut jeans into frayed shorts? I’ll say cutting jeans into long shorts is a pretty amazing and easy project for beginners.

How to Cut Jeans into Frayed Shorts
Cut Jeans into Frayed Shorts

When someone is bored with the old jeans and wants to try something new that would be fashionable and stunning frayed shorts. But, you don’t need to head to the store for a new one. Here, I’ll give you all the tricks and tips that are perceived from different resources to make distressed jeans from your old piece. So, acquire all the accumulated methods within this article and give a fabulous look to your old jeans by ripping, distressing, and fraying step by step.

The fact is that I tried all these techniques into an old pair of jeans for frayed shorts this summer and get better results with lots of inspirational compliments from well-wishers and friends on the last holiday. Truly this is interesting. Still, I can’t believe that it turned into a great shape and obviously done by me. Keep reading the below sections and turn them into cute shorts with less effort.

Which Jeans Pair Should I Choose for Fraying?


In my case, I always select from the used denim for DIY projects. While you are searching for the unique and perfect pair of denim shorts but can’t find the source that can fulfill your fashion demands, and style this summer; perhaps it’s the perfect time to head to the closet.  Definitely, you’ll find used denim and that is going to be a part of this project.  

On the other hand, low-slung slouchy jeans (oversized or that can be started with off white boyfriend denim), Relaxed high-waisted jeans (it can be your mom jeans), fitted high-waisted jeans (that can be a retro type or big-butt jeans), mid-rise straight leg (regular jeans); here I selected Levi’s 501s zero stretch skinny jeans. Let’s get started with this project by the cut off the bottom of the jeans.

The polyester and nylon fabrics are hefty to make fray or even they are not suitable at all. Go with linen, cotton, or denim for the best fray shorts bottoms. In the store, if you check the frayed shorts you’ll find the most regular reference of denim. Let’s get started with an easy and quick project about how to cut jeans into frayed shorts.

Tools Required for the Entire Projects

  • A pair of denim/jeans that is going to be shorts
  • Chalk or Powder
  • Stainless steel scale or ruler
  • Sharp scissor (Suitable for fabric cutting)
  • Razor
  • Sandpaper
  • Tweezers
  • Seam ripper
  • Measurement tape
  • Cardboard or plyboard
  • Fabric Marker

How to Cut Jeans at Bottom?

These are the most important steps before making a frayed short. So, it’s very important to select a specific style before you snip into the final shape. You must consider some points here that will accomplish a better result after washing when all frays should be removed. To be specific, the main points are fittings (how much baggy or tight they are), rise, length of inseam, angle of cutting, and how much length you frayed or hemmed edge.

For me, I would like to cut off frayed shorts out of my old jeans. So, I have to cut the maximum portions from both legs. Once you snipped the extra length it will be handier for entire projects. Let’s see get how to cut mid-rise jeans into shorts within a few minutes.

  • First, cut the jeans from the knee-length without any measurement using a fabric scissor. 
  • Now, wear it to check the final measurement and put a pilot mark by a white marker or eyeliner which will indicate the exact cutting point. However, putting this mark from the inseam is easier and perfect for the final length. Because too much short in inseam could be a drawback in cut off shorts. Remember, if you want to make a cuffed hem you must allow the extra measurements. Here, I take 6.35 cm length from inseam that includes 5.08 cm final length and rest of the length for fraying extra or loose thread.
  • Lay off the half snipped jeans over a flat surface.
  • Put another mark on the other side (along the side seam) of the pilot mark you have at the same leg and that should be 1 or 2 inches diagonal or above against the elementary point on the inseam.  This will give you the sharp and most flattering edge with a smooth hemline with the fray. I mark it at 3.81cm above.
  • Use the scale and connect both sides with chalk or white powder. You can also use the ruler for the straight lines.
  • Take the length measurement from the inseam and waistline. This measurement will guide where you should put the accurate mark for the symmetrical piece. On the other hand, you can also fold the shorts in half for the same size and shape.

Place the scale over the primary point across the leg and put a mark along the side seam. Now, this point is pretty obvious because you know the exact point from where you must take the upward measurement.

DIY Tips

Method of How to Cut Jeans into Frayed Shorts?


Shorts can be redesigned by different methods and a frayed short is one of them.  We often include some other effects and styles to make it more attractive and fashionable as the best summer cut-off shorts from previous denim.  In that case, you may want to distress or rip your shorts with a frayed effect.

All these words are mostly used interchangeably in terms of fashion clothing but they are identical and indicates separate methods and technique. Exactly, ripping stands for making holes or appearing tears on denim, fraying implies where loose threads are pulling out from the cutting edge, hole or hems. Besides, distressing is pretty simple that represents your shorts or denim as old or worn. In this article, I will make your shorts more valuable for this summer. Stick with me and try yourself with your old denim that will be worthy for your next transformation.

Fraying refers to the thread off from the edge or holes using tweezers. But, while we start creating frayed shorts we never stick with a specific method in an individual place. Rather, you would like to make tiny holes or tears in the pocket area that will reflect more professional touch on your frayed shorts. Besides, it could be a special fashionable frayed short by giving it extra distress effects to the entire area. In this matter, you must maintain the distressed quality for matching with the fray.

Method-1: Fraying by a Razor

Step-1 Lay off the Shorts on Flat Surface

The shorts you are going to fray may not require any pressing, but you must select a flat surface for making the entire process easy and comfortable. In that sense, I prefer to work on a flat surface like a table or a kitchen countertop. Besides, if you’re comfortable on the floor, you can also do this because the table isn’t required here but only the flat surface is recommended to make an easy workstation.

  • Here, you can point out all the area whether you want to fray with a white marker. If you preplan and think about how to distress shorts, a better result will come out finally. Normally, I don’t do this because I know what is going to happen- you don’t need to do this when you are with me.

Step-2 Place a Cardboard inside the Shorts

Now, grab cardboard and cut it that fits inside the shorts perfectly. Cardboard is perfect for this project as it’s hard and you can resize it as you need by straight razor. Once you’ve prepared the cardboard take it and put it inside the shorts whether you’d like to work on it.  The objective of this cardboard is obvious because we’d never like to destroy the opposite side where we are using straight razors or other sharp tools.

  • A rotary mat is also usable in this project. So, you can use a rotary mat instead if you have one.
  • Take out the cardboard after finishing each area and put it again inside the new area of destruction (tears and holes) of your shorts. Don’t use any sharp object without protecting the opposite side by sliding cardboard inside otherwise your desire result will never come out.

Step-3 Make Holes Using a Straight Razor in Different Place Very Carefully

This is the first fraying touch on the shorts’ body. For this, I would like to make some small holes in the front area. To do this, take a straight razor and push it down to get a sharp straight cut line. Make sure enough pressure is given on each hole and your cardboard is also placed under the cutting area.

  • I make three holes step by step from the left to right side and one inch below each cut line. To be specific, at first I make an initial hole at the left side and just 5 inches above from the bottom opening. After that, I make the middle hole just 1inch apart and below the initial cut. The third one is also created by the same instruction. Here, you can make your own choice.
  • Press down with pressure to ensure a perfect and straight cut.
  • Here, you don’t need to stick with the given place of holes you can make it anywhere in the shorts.  The hole placement exactly depends on you. You can put it near the bottom opening of the backside or front side, on the pockets, or under the butt of shorts for a nice and elegant distressed look.

Step-4 Take a Disposal Razor and Scrape it across the waist and Other Places to Make it More Distress

This step is used to make more professional frayed looks to your shorts. In that case, take a disposable razor and place it in the exact position you want to fray. Now start rubbing it slowly on the surface of shorts. Increase the rubbing speed and make it back and forth continuously which will scuff the surface and appears some frays.

  • It is an easy step to make the frayed shorts with distress effect within less effort. There is no limitation for distress. Go to the waistline or places that were previously cut on the shorts and rub the disposable razor.
  • The pocket hem is also a decent area that could be a great place for distress. Fray the bottom hem thread and your frayed shorts is ready to wear.

Method-2 Fraying by Sandpaper

Step-1 Place the Shorts on a Flat Surface and Mark all the Points where you’d Love to Cut

When you have a plan to make a genuine hole on the shorts, grab a fabric marker, and identify all the areas you’ve selected before. Either use s chalk to mark narrow and short lines whatever the place is. Don’t select any area that will make your fashion worst. Remember to make holes near the bottom hems, in pockets, or under the butt that are still wearable.

  • This step will make your next process easier because the earlier placement of holes helps you to identify the places that are going to cut. On the other hand, it will help you to organize holes more precisely.
  • On the other sense, it can determine how to distress frayed shorts accurately without any disaster. Use any kind of cutting sequence as like make 2 or 3 holes closely or 2 holes closely with mega holes just above.

Step-2 Take Scissors and Cut the Mark Holes in Shorts

If you’d like to make a real hole on your frayed shorts grab a sharp scissor that is suitable for fabric cutting and start snipping in the marked area. Cut the straight line according to the marker line very carefully to make a small hole. If you’d like to create big holes make a square cutout. You don’t require any hole if you just want to make distress shorts without any snipping effects.  

  • The thread at the edge of each hole gives a real and actual vibe of frayed shorts that is available in the store. I’m not pushing you to do this, it’s your choice.

Step-3 Now Grab a Piece of Sandpaper and Rub it Over the Shorts Firmly to Make it Distress

If you want to make your shorts feel smoother and softer, take a small piece of sandpaper and rub it firmly all over the shorts. It will put an elegant distress look all over the shorts. Keep watching after each moment to observe the effects and appearance of distress while simultaneously rubbing the surface. If you are satisfied with the applied effect move on to the next area.  

  • The distress look and hole depends on the grain of your sandpaper. If you’d like to appear holes, coarser or higher grain sandpaper can help you instead and also can save lots of time. On the other hand, if you don’t like to create holes, select finer grain paper.

Step-4 Rub the Holes you cut Before Using Sandpaper

Take a piece of sandpaper and rub constantly over the cut holes to make the loose threads weak and it will pop out automatically. This step can create a big hole so rub it precisely to avoid such potential.

  • Remember that the coarser the sandpaper is the holes will wider after a small amount of rub on your snipped that have already been made.
  • Again, the effects depend on your choice, check it frequently, and stop when you want to stop.
  • The final distress look will be soft and smooth and that should be frayed.

Method-3 Fraying by a Tweezers

Step-1 Select Small Section to Avoid Large Holes over Time

The holes you created on the shorts will make them fray over time by popping out the threads from the edge. But, to make the process quickly picking out the threads from the jeans by seam rippers or tweezers is an effective and time-saving method. If you don’t want to make a large hole, you must avoid it from the very beginning, and you mustn’t cut the section more than 1-inch (2.54cm) large.

  • Don’t stick with only fraying hem unless on your shorts, go all the way around and make a small section to pick out the threads.

Step-2 Cut a Small Area in Your Shorts by a Scissor

Using tweezers and seam rippers for fraying or pulling threads (Snag) is a better tool that executes this sort of project more comfortably and spaciously. But first, you necessitate selecting the area to make a tiny cut in your shorts. Since the tweezers and seam rippers are used to pull out the threads, so a pre-cut is must be needed to open the edge you’d like to fray. Mark all the sections with a permanent marker and make them accurate as much as possible. Now, utilize a scissor to create a small cut on the straight line whether you’d love to fray.

  • If you desire to create a nice frayed consequence in shorts then cut a small line by using scissors. Here, you can further use pocket-size cardboard inside the pocket to use a straight razor.
  • While you’re only fraying the hem of shorts, expose all the loose threads from the bottom leg opening after cutting the long jeans into shorts.
  • A seam ripper is mostly used for picking out the threads from the pocket hem and waist accordingly. The ultimate choice is yours.

Step-3 Grab Tweezers or Seam Rippers and Thread off Individual Threads

Now, take a couple of tweezers or seam rippers to pluck out and reveal the loose threads as seen in your shorts. Use them carefully, and clutch a single thread every time to protrude out the threads from the fabric construction which gives you a great look after finishing.  On a jeans twill construction, lengthwise threads (white thread) are lighter than the horizontal indigo-dyed threads. So, they are obvious, and you can easily pick any threads to uproot. Here, I thread off the white string that isn’t recommended. On the other hand, in the case of other fabric construction, you must pull and pinch a small section that is to be frayed.

  • Pull out the threads as many as you like to be fray in your shorts. Remember that, after giving a wash it will provide more frayed effects on its own.
  • You will get more frayed effects after washing over time. And that is an essential and technical part you must consider about frayed shorts which are pretty obvious. And finally, you can invent a professional frayed short out of used jeans from your wardrobe where threads are slightly sticking out individually. 

Read More: How to Fix Stretched Elastic Waistband

Final Thoughts

If you are really want to make a definite and genuine frayed look short from used jeans, this summer could be a great time. Take a look at each section and read carefully to make the total process of creating frayed shorts more convenient. In my case, I always like to check more designs before a DIY of my own clothes or other stuff. Don’t miss the chance and gleam yourself out of old jeans this summer and grab all the peaceful comments from friends and colleagues.  Just acquire “How to Cut Jeans into Frayed Shorts” and enhance your clothing DIY knowledge and get all exclusive pieces from old collections.     

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button