d.i.y. Patriotic Flag Shorts

What better time to show off your American spirit than on the 4th of July? And an even better time for D.I.Y. projects! I found a pair of denim flag shorts while browsing around on pinterest and figured i’d give them a try.


  • one pair of denim shorts or jeans
  • Scissors
  • Red, white, and blue fabric paint (I used small bottles of puffy paint from Walmart for 97 cents each)
  • Assorted paint brushes
  • a white colored pencil
  • Cardboard and an exacto knife (optional) or a star- shaped stencil (optional)
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine (optional)
1. I went to the Goodwill and bought a pair of jeans in my size for $4.

2. I then took a pair of shorts that were a good length and placed them on top of the jeans. Draw a line on the jeans that is about an inch longer than the length you want your shorts to be.

2. Fold the jeans in half and cut along the line you drew. At this point my shorts were a little longer than I wanted them to be because I wanted to roll up the bottom (like my original pair of shorts). I also wanted to fray the shorts a little. I tried on the new shorts and rolled them up to the desired length to make sure that they weren’t too long. If you don’t want yours rolled up, cut them off closer to the desired length and save about half an inch for the frayed edges.

3. To fray the edges, unroll the bottom legs of the shorts (if you rolled them), then simply pull the white threads at the bottom of the shorts until they either come out or as far as you can pull them. Once you put them in the washing machine they will fray on their own after this step.
4. Wash your shorts after step 3 and put them in the dryer. When they come out of the dryer they will have frayed on their own! If you want more fraying, pull more of the white threads.
5. Once your shorts are clean, mark where you want your stripes to be with a white pencil. I didn’t measure my stripes, but I wanted them to be about the same width. If you are a perfectionist and want your stripes to be the exact same width you may want to use a ruler. I, however, hate using rulers and just eye-balled it until they were about the same width.
6. Now the fun part starts! Put an old towel under your shorts in case things get messy. Then grab a small paint brush and paint on your stripes! I started with the red striped first, then the white stripes making sure you let each layer dry a little before moving on to the next (a hair dryer will speed up this process). For the white stripes I used two coats of paint.Then I painted the other side blue and the tiny pocket in the corner red. 

7. Then it was time for the stars! I made my own stencil using some cardboard and an exacto- knife, but you could free hand it if you’re good at that sort of thing.

If you do use a stencil, use a small amount of paint to start off. Using too much paint will seep under the stencil and you will have a blob instead of a star. I suggest practicing making stars on scrap fabric or the legs of the jeans that you cut off earlier.
8. Then I painted the back.
9. I rolled up the legs of my short once so that the frayed edge was facing upwards. then I put a few small stitches on the sides of the shorts so that the roll would stay.
10. Finished!!

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