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How to Cut Jeans Into Shorts and Make Them Fray on the Pockets

by Pamela Simmons, studioD

You could go to the store and pay cash for a pair of frayed denim shorts -- or you can make them yourself in your own home. Distressed denim cutoffs with frayed pockets are an ideal summertime staple that will keep you comfortable and stylish. With just a few tools and a few minutes, you can create your own distressed cutoffs.

Put your jeans on to decide how short you’d like them to be. Once you’ve settled on a length, measure down both sides either leg, starting at the inseam and working your way down. Mark the length with chalk on both side of one pant leg.

Take your pants off. You should now have a chalk mark on both sides of one of your pant legs. Lay your measuring tape so it sits right under each chalk mark. Draw a line with your chalk so that your two markings now connect.

Cut along your chalk line.

Fold your jeans in half. Using your chalk, trace the line of your cutoff pant leg onto your other pant leg.

Cut along your marked line. Both pant legs should now be cut off.

Try your jeans on and check the length. If they seem too long, measure, mark and cut them again.

Rub a cheese grater over the pocket of your jeans to create a drastic fray. If you want something softer, swap out your cheese grater for sandpaper.

Put your jeans in the washing machine to fray the ends.

Items you will need
  •  Jeans
  •  Tape measure
  •  Scissors
  •  Chalk
  •  Cheese grater
  •  Sandpaper


  • Use a pair of jeans with a loose fit to create a more relaxed and comfortable pair of shorts.

About the Author

Pamela Simmons has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles on fashion, beauty and other topics have appeared on Denim Therapy and other websites. Simmons serves as an editor and public relations manager for CHIC.TV. She holds a Bachelor of Science in international affairs from Georgia Tech and a Master of Business Administration from Mercer University.

Photo Credits

  • Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images