How to Make Distressed Denim Shorts! How to bleach Jeans!

23 Apr

A couple weeks ago, I showed you how to turn your boot leg and wide leg jeans into skinny jeans. I mentioned that its best if the jeans have stretch in them, since that will be most comfortable. Well, Spring is here, so now I’ll show you what to do with the jeans that don’t have stretch in them. And even if they have a little stretch, this will work also.

Denim shorts are a staple for Spring and Summer, why not make yours the way you want AND save some money AND recycle! I’m all about it, plus I have a ton of fun experimenting!



What you need:


Seam Ripper

Measuring tape

Bleach (Optional)

Studs (Optional)

Start off by measuring the inseam you want. I usually use 3″ So that I can cuff them up about an inch. Check out some shorts you have now for an idea on the inseam you like. Once you decide the length, cut straight across to the outer seam. Make sure both sides are even.

Use the seam ripper to fray the hem a bit.

To make holes and leave white threads, make slits straight across horizontally. They can be any length you want. I usually do mine about 3 inches wide. After you cut the slits about 1/2 inch apart, pull out the blue threads that run vertically. You can use your fingers, tweezers or any tool that works best for you.

After you’ve made all your holes, you can stop here and wash and dry, which will fluff up your frayed edges… Or you can get funky and start bleaching!

One of my favorite techniques is to splatter and drizzle bleach to create a spotted, blochy, abstract pattern. Just set the shorts on a surface that is ok to bleach, and drizzle away! Dilute bleach with water to get a less white, and more of a faded look like the lower right pair in the above photo.




By the way, I did these just for the video.. they are actually too small for me so I have them up for sale on eBay here, starting at 99 cents!!ย 

My other favorite is to ombre. To do this, you use a pitcher or a bowl, fill it with bleach and put in your shorts, only as far in as you want the bleach to go. Also, consider that the liquid will creep up the fabric a bit, even if its not immersed in the liquid. To get a less harsh white, dilute the bleach with water. Or buy unconcentrated bleach. ย Let the bleach sit about 30 mins to an hour. Then wash and dry.

IMG_4650 IMG_4649

Take it up a notch and stud out your jean shorts! I didn’t include how to install the studs in the video, but it’s a fairly easy process. Maybe a good topic for next video!


Enjoy being creative and bringing new life into your old jeans! Don’t forget to hashtag #StyleWhys after you try this and post your photos on FB, IG, Twitter and everywhere else so I can check out your work!




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