How to Recycle Pants into Shorts

Make those worn out pants into shorts with just a few steps | Frugal Family Home

My kids can wear out the knees in their pants faster than they can out grow them. I don’t know if it’s because we love to live on the floor or if it’s just the pants I purchase. But the knees will almost always wear out before they outgrow their pants.

Since my son just can’t tolerate a patch on his pants. He’s just funny that way. I take his worn out pants and turn them into shorts for the summer. It’s not hard at all to do and it saves me money on purchasing new clothes.

I not only use this for my kids pants, but I will often alter pants I find at the thrift store for myself. I can often find capri pants at the thrift stores but shorts can be harder to come by. When I can’t find any shorts, I will purchase capri pants and shorten them into shorts for myself. Keeps me from having to pay full price for shorts for myself. 🙂

How to Hem Pants into Shorts

How to hem kids pants into shorts | Frugal Family Home

Step One, cut the pants right above the hole, straight across. Or to 1 inch longer in length than you want to shorts to be. Then cut the other pant leg the same length. You can measure up from the bottom of the leg to get them the same length. I find I can fold the pants in half and cut the second pant leg off easily that way.

Hemming pants into shorts is easy to do it just takes a few steps | Frugal Family Home

Step Two, Turn the pants inside out and then measure up from the cut edge of the pant leg. Measure an inch and then fold it up. I like to press it with an iron to hold it in place.

How to hem pants into shorts | Frugal Family Home

Step Three, Now roll the bottom edge of the pant leg under about a half an inch. Do this all the way around  Press with an iron to hold it in place or use pins like I did above. This will tuck the cut edge under the area to be sewed and you won’t have to worry about the fabric unraveling.

Just a few steps and basic sewing skills are all that is needed to hem pants into shorts | Frugal Family Home

Step Four, With a straight stitch sew, close to the folded upper edge, all the way around the pant leg. Try to sew as straight as you can. I know, I always waver a little and it’s not really noticeable. But try to stay even all the way around, it will just look nicer.

Step Five, Turn the pants right side out and you now have a pair of shorts recycled out of a pair of pants.

I usually keep the little scraps of pant legs to use in other projects, especially if it’s jean material. I made quilt for my son out of our old jeans and it turned out really nice.

How do you recycle damaged pants?


See all the posts in this series, 

31 Days of Frugal Homemaking Tips, Tutorials and Encouragement

2 thoughts on “How to Recycle Pants into Shorts”

  1. I love how you do this, Shelly! At the moment, when my older son outgrows his shorts, we hand them down to another child. If clothes get holes worn into them, my kids usually love them so much that they don’t even mind. They’ll wear them until I finally make them mysteriously disappear. 🙂

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