Denim DIY: Pastel Shorts in 7 Steps

By Nubia of Nubia’s Nonsense

It’s been burning hot in NYC and a popular trend this Summer is colored denim. With the scorching hot weather, I have to be honest… I find it hard to wear denim at all! However, being the denim lover that I am, I can’t just NOT wear it–that would be madness! It was time to get a bit creative. I looked through my closet and decided I was missing a pair of purple pastel jean shorts. The discovery sparked a D.I.Y project that you can replicate in 7 easy steps.

What You’ll Need

Step 1: If you used full length jeans like I did, figure out where you want to cut them. I didn’t want mine to be too long or too short, so I cut them somewhere in between. I shortened the denim freehand, cutting the jeans as straight as possible.

Step 2: Take a look at what you’re working with after the jeans have become shorts. I ended up with zig-zag edges and that’s ok. T’was all part of my master plan. I wanted to make the denim distressed.

Step 3: Take the hem of the shorts and rub it aggressively against the cheese grater.

Step 4: Place your bucket in the bath tub. (I recommend the bath tub to avoid a mess.) Fill it with hot water and add the dye. Once the dye has diluted in the water, put the shorts in the bucket for 3-10 minutes, depending on how dark you want your shorts. I was going for a light purple, so I only left min in for 3 minutes.

Step 5: Once you’ve removed the shorts, dump out the dye and keep some hot water running so your tub doesn’t stain. If your shorts come out darker than you want them to, you can lighten them by running some hot water over them.

Step 6: Place the denim somewhere it can dry. As a New Yorker living in an apartment that doesn’t allow washers or dryers, I naturally chose my fire escape.

Step 7: Wear them out and look FAB!

*Tip: Avoid drying them outside when rain in the forecast. It drizzled while my shorts were drying and since I wasn’t home, they got a few tiny spots on them. Besides that, the project was a great success!

It was incredibly easy, so grab a pair of jeans and start dying!



  1. August 2, 2011 / 9:47 pm

    I love DIY projects! This looks so easy to do and I love the outcome…very cute 🙂

  2. August 3, 2011 / 12:40 am

    Great job! I recently discovered the easy and fun world of fabric dye!

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