Tuesday, July 10, 2012

DIY pink-dyed cutoffs

I've seen colored jean shorts all over pinterest and I've been wanting to make some for the longest time, so I finally bought the supplies and did it! This was my inspiration picture.
ps. And a bonus, this whole project cost me less than $10, while ones you find in stores are $30+!!!

You will need:
♥fabric dye
♥an old pair of jeans
♥a bucket

I used the Rit liquid dye. I was originally going to do a light aqua, but when I went to the store to buy the dye, they were out of a lot of the colors. So instead I chose "petal pink". 

I bought an inexpensive pair of jeans from the thrift store to use for this project. Check your closet first though and see if you have an old pair of jeans/jean shorts to use. I wanted to make shorts, so I cut the legs off, but this would also work if you left them as jeans.To keep the shorts from unraveling, I sewed around the legs, 1/2 inch above where I cut them. I wanted them to fray, so I didn't hem them.

Next, bleach the jeans. I did all of this outside on the driveway so I wouldn't stain anything. I followed these instructions for bleaching. Mix 2 parts water with 1 part bleach and soak the jeans until they are white. (Make sure you wear rubber gloves the entire time!) The website I followed said to leave them in for about 30 minutes, but mine took about an hour to get them to the white I wanted. Just keep checking on them as they soak. After they are done, wring them out and transfer to a new bucket to soak in a mixture of 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar for 5 minutes to stop them from bleaching.

After that, I rinsed the shorts out really well with the hose because we have a septic system, which means we can't use bleach in the washer or let it go down the drain in the sink. Once I made sure they were rinsed well, I washed and dried them. I don't know if this is necessary, or if you can just go straight to dyeing them, but I didn't want to take any chances.

I almost kept them white, because I really liked how they looked, but I also really wanted to see them pink. I think I'll do this project again with a new pair of jeans and just bleach them white and not dye them.

***Note: As you can see in the picture, the threads did not bleach. I'm not sure if it is because of their material (maybe they're polyester?) or what, but it didn't make a huge difference in the end.

Then it was time to make them pink! I followed the directions on the bottle of dye, and mixed about 3 gallons of hot water with half the bottle of dye in a bucket. The only thing I didn't do was add a cup of salt. I'm not sure what exactly the salt does, but leaving it out didn't affect the dyeing process (that I know of). I wanted light pink jeans, so I put them in the dye for about 30 seconds. The bottle said to leave them for around 30 minutes, (I know! That's a big difference from 30 seconds!) but I wanted my jeans to look faded, not fully saturated with color. After dyeing, I washed and dried them again.

I'm pretty happy with the result. They turned a slightly different color pink then I wanted, (I was going for a soft, ballet pink, and they ended up being a bit brighter), but they are still cute. The only negative is they seemed to be bigger after the bleaching and dyeing process. They already were a bigger size than I wear (they were the smallest I could find at the thrift store), but now I have to wear a belt with them or they'll fall down. Other then that, I really like them!

I thought about adding studs to them (like in the inspiration picture), and I still might, but I kind of like them just plain. I definitely want to try this project again with other colors, so maybe I'll just save the studs for another pair of jeans.

Let me know if you make a pair, I'd like to see! ♥


  1. Wow! Those are super cute and the way you do it it sounds super easy!I think that I should definitely try that. When you mentioned that they got bigger during the process I thought of when I made my "watermark tee". It fit when I bought it but now it is big on me. I thought it was because I hade to put a cutting board inside it but apparently it wasn't just that if your shorts did it too. Maybe for dying I should buy things a little small.

  2. It is super easy! It does take some time, since you have a lot of waiting to do while making these, but just set aside an afternoon one day to make them!

    I thought the bleaching made the shorts bigger since bleach does sort of destroy the fabric, but if you shirt got bigger from just dyeing it, maybe it is the dye. I might do some more research on that before I dye other things. But that is a good idea to buy things slightly smaller so they will fit properly after the whole bleaching/dyeing process.