3 DIY Shorts: Sharpie, Americana, and Dip-Dye

There may not be a four-word phrase more satisfying and full of pride than “I made it myself.” So, let’s take trend-setting to the next level and do some trend-making. These three DIY shorts are a great way to personalize your summer style and earn some major bragging rights.

DIY Sharpie
What you’ll need:
          – A set of Sharpies, including all your favorite colors
          – A pair of denim shorts (we recommend a pair with white stitching)



Creating a Sharpie shorts masterpiece is super fun and surprisingly easy. The most important tip is to begin with a plan. Choose symbols and/or patterns that speak to you, then decide how and where you plan to add them to the short. Go all out with an all-over design, or concentrate your handiwork to focal points like the back pockets, hemlines, and stitching. If you’re unsure about your concept, draw your ideas out on scratch paper until you’ve created a design you love. Then, unleash your inner da Vinci!


Once your creation is complete, allow a few minutes for the ink to dry. Then, heat-set the design by ironing the shorts or running them through the dryer. After that, they’re ready to wear! Just don’t forget – when it comes time to throw them in laundry, cold water will keep the artwork looking fresh longer.


DIY Americana


What you’ll need:
          – A pair of denim shorts (for added fun, choose colored denim)
          – Spray paint in contrasting color(s) to the shorts
          – Stencils
          – Masking tape



One of our favorite things about this project is that you can experiment before making anything permanent. Play with different layouts until you find the one that feels just right. You can even create your own custom stencils by cutting out star shapes on card stock or building star silhouettes with masking tape.


When setting up your final design, remember to tightly secure the stencils so that the flow of paint can’t sneak beneath. As you spray paint, be patient and take it slow. Use light passes of spray over the design area, adding layers until you’ve created the opacity you desire. If you’re feeling ambitious, this technique can also be used to create an ombre effect. Once you’ve finished applying the paint, wait at least 10 minutes for everything to dry before removing the stencils/tape. And, viola!


DIY Dip Dye


What you’ll need:
          – A pair of denim shorts (we recommend a medium wash)
          – Bleach
          – Water



This project only takes minutes, but the finished product makes a big impact! Remember – because you’re working with bleach, you’ll need to be extremely careful. Start by mixing the bleach solution in an old container. Two parts water and one part bleach will do the trick. You can also add a small amount of laundry detergent to help prevent yellowing.


Once you’ve mixed up the solution, hold the shorts by the waist so they can be dunked bottom-first into the solution. For the first dip, you’ll want to submerge the shorts up to the pocket openings for about 20 seconds. Then, wring out the shorts and place them on a safe, clean surface to dry. After drying, you’ll dip the shorts a second and final time. For the last dip, only submerge the shorts half the distance you did the first time, but for the same amount of time (20 seconds). Then, wring out the excess solution and let them dry again. Be sure to carefully clean up the solution and any surfaces contacted by the damp shorts. Wash the dried shorts before wearing to remove any excess bleach residue. Then, they’ll be ready to impress!


Did one of these styles spark your imagination? Scratch the creative itch and show us your take on DIY fashion!