One Way to Recycle your Old Clothes into Something New

Jodi Benson
by Jodi Benson


Clothes shopping is a costly outing, especially for anything made out of denim. However, if you take some of those old clothes that might still have a bit of life left in them and modify them into something new, you could end up with your new favorite article of clothing. One example of this is transitioning a holey pair of jeans into a cuffed pair of denim shorts. Here’s a quick and easy method to do this.

Supply List

This simple no sewing method of converting your old jeans into new shorts requires a few simple supplies that you probably already have lying around the house; so gather these things image2together and get started on your new jeans shorts.

  1. An Old Pair of Jeans
  2. Sharp Scissors
  3. Measuring Tape
  4. Chalk
  5. Iron
  6. Fabric Glue

Measure and Cut

When measuring and cutting the length of your new shorts do one leg at a time. Trying to cut both legs at once could end up with different length legs. The ideal mid-thigh length is approximately 15” to 20 “. With jeans laying on a flat surface measure from waist band to the length that you want and mark that point on the jeans with your chalk. Mark both seams and then draw a straight line connecting them.

image3Once you have the first leg measured and marked, fold the jeans in half so that the two legs lay on top of one another and carry over the marks from the first leg to the second leg; make sure your jeans are even and flat before carrying over the measurement markings.


After you have both legs marked you can now cut the legs off of your jeans, remembering to cut as straight as possible as well as only one leg at a time. It is a good idea at this point to try them on to see that the legs match up and determine how large of a cuff that you would like.


Making a Cuff and Finishing the Shorts

You are now ready to roll your cuffs onto your shorts. Make sure to roll both legs so that the cuffs are the same height and the legs are the same length. Once they are rolled using your iron that has been preheated to the hottest setting, iron the cuffs into place. Press down hard to really set the crease.


When you have your shorts at the length you want with a solid crease in your cuff, it is time to use the fabric glue. Take the fabric glue and run a bead along the inside of the cuff on each leg then with one hand in the leg opening so as not to glue the leg together, press the cuff with the other hand and lock the glued cuff in place. You do not have to use fabric glue if you do not want to create a permanent cuff, however it is a good idea to avoid fraying during the wash.