Upgrade Your Basic Cutoffs with This Half & Half Striped Denim Shorts DIY

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DIY Half & Half Striped Denim Shorts

Now that it’s heating up, it’s time to break out those denim shorts. Just like their long-legged sibling, denim shorts pair well with practically everything in your closet. This season, why not add some edginess to this summer essential? This DIY shows you how to add eye-catching stripes with just a few supplies. You can even re-purpose an old, worn in pair of jeans to make this project!

Supplies for the Half & Half Striped Denim Shorts


– Denim shorts *
– White fabric paint
– Masking tape
– Foam brush

* To turn a pair of jeans into denim shorts: Try on the jeans and use chalk to mark where you want to cut off the legs. Using fabric scissors, cut off one side. Fold in half and use the first cut off side as a guide for other. Throw in the wash for one cycle to naturally fray the edges.

Horizontal strips of masking tape on frontside of denim shorts

1. On one leg, horizontally add strips of masking tape.

Masking tape in vertical and horizontal stripes on denim shorts

2. On the opposite leg, vertically add strips of masking tape.

White fabric paint between strips of horizontal masking tape

3. Using a foam brush, apply fabric paint onto the pant leg, directly over the tape. I’d recommend painting in the same direction as the tape, to limit the amount of paint that sneaks underneath. For example, I applied the paint using horizontal brush strokes in the above photo.

Paint stripes onto a denim shorts using strips of masking tape

4. Repeat on the opposite leg.

White stripes on denim shorts

5. Once the paint is completely dry, peel away the tape to reveal your stripes.

The edge of a foam brush can be used to create thin stripes

6. Optional: Dip the edge of the foam brush into paint and freehand thin lines in between the thick stripes.

Thick and thin white stripes on denim shorts

7. Repeat in between the remaining stripes.

The opposite stripes create an interesting, unique visual. Try playing around with different colors and stripe widths. Neons and pastels would look amazing for the season!

Photo credits: Kirsten Nunez

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