How to Turn Pants Into Shorts

If your child's growth spurt has resulted in some "high-waters" that are now too short or you have a bunch of pants with holes in the knees, turn them into some cute shorts. You could just cut them off and hem the bottom, or even leave the raw edge and let them fray, but a pop of color with a fabric cuff gives them a new look.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Things You'll Need

  • Too-short pair of pants
  • Shorts that fit well
  • Washable marking pen
  • Sharp scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • 1/8 to 1/4 yard of coordinating fabric for the cuff
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron and ironing board
  • 4 buttons
  • Needle and thread
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 1

Place the shorts that fit over the top of the pants that are too short. Use a washable marking pen to mark the newly desired length on the pants.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 2

Cut along the marked line with a pair of sharp scissors. Repeat this process on the other pants leg.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 3

To determine how much fabric length to cut for the fabric cuff, use the measuring tape to measure across the raw edge on the bottom of the pants where you cut. Multiply this number by 2 and add an inch for a seam allowance. For example, if the width is 6 inches, then 6x2=12+1=13, and the length of the fabric piece for the cuff would be 13 inches.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 4

Cut two pieces of fabric that are 3 1/2 inches wide by the length you determined for your cuff. For example, if your determined length was 13 inches, then your fabric pieces will be 3 1/2 inches by 13 inches.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 5

Fold the two fabric cuff pieces in half so the right sides are together. Pin along the short sides.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 6

Sew the short sides together with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Be sure to remove the pins as you sew.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 7

Press the seams open with an iron.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 8

On the long side of the fabric cuff, fold 1/4 inch toward the wrong side and press. Fold 1/4 inch again and press so the raw edge is enclosed. Repeat this on the other fabric cuff piece.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 9

Sew along the pressed edges on both fabric cuff pieces.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 10

Place the sewn edge of the fabric cuff toward the raw edge of the shorts.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 11

Slide the fabric cuff piece inside the shorts leg so the raw edges are together. The right side of the fabric cuff piece will be against the wrong side of the shorts.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 12

Pin and sew in place along the raw edges with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 13

Pull the fabric cuff pieces out of the legs of the shorts.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 14

Fold the fabric cuff pieces up over the bottom of the shorts so the raw edges are now inside the cuff.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 15

Use a needle and thread to attach the buttons onto the inner and outer sides of the shorts. Sew through both the cuff and the shorts. This will hold the cuffs in place.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)

So the next time your child sprouts up and leaves you with a pile of pants that are too short, grab a bunch of colorful fabrics, start cutting and create some fun shorts perfect for warm weather days.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)
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