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As Seen on The Knot

Dre Does a DIY: Dip-Dyed Shorts

The fourth of July is almost here and to celebrate I'm bringing one of my most popular DIY's from my old college blog, to Dre Does! I can't believe it's been two years since I made these shorts but I absolutely loved them. I know with the World Cup currently underway and the 4th around the corner, many of you might like to learn how to make these ridiculously festive shorts! If you make them please be sure to take a picture and tag them on Instagram or Twitter with the #dredoes! Here's a finished shot of the shorts I made and tutorial on how to make your own. The whole project cost me less than $9!

I started with an over sized pair of shorts from a thrift store that I picked up for $2. I tried them on and marked them with a sharpie about a half inch lower than I wanted them to hit when finished. I cut them with sharp fabric scissors and tried them on to check for the length. You might have to take them on and off and make adjustments until they are the right length and straight. Then I took a fork and using the tines, I distressed the edges to give them a better 'cut-off' look. When you put them in the dryer later they will fluff up more and look better so keep that in mind when distressing! Make sure you leave that extra length for distressing so that they aren't too short in the end. I also snipped a little bit out on the front to look like there was a rip. I distressed the 'rip' also with a fork. Here's a picture of what they looked like after this step:

Now it's time to bleach! I bought a bottle of bleach at my local dollar store (total cost so far is $3). It's really important when using bleach that you are in a well ventilated room so make sure you're doing this either outside or all the windows are opened! There was nothing too specific about this step besides adding bleach to a container and adding some cold water too. Since I was trying to make stripes I dipped my shorts 2/3 of the way up from the bottom and hung them on the side of my bucket for about an hour. Depending on the denim quality your shorts might bleach really quickly or take a long time. Whatever the case may be, make sure you don't leave them overnight because the bleach can eat away and destroy the fabric. Once the shorts are white enough for your liking, wash them on cold in the washing machine. I noticed that the bleaching process continued a little bit into the washing and they came out a little whiter. Next I dried them in the dryer until completely dry. Now it's time to stud! I bought my silver pyramid studs at my local craft/hobby store for $1.50 a pouch and used 2 pouches for my shorts (total cost so far is $6). Depending on your denim it might be a little tricky to pop your studs through, but basically all you do is push the two sharp prongs through your fabric and push them towards each other until flat. I used the wooden handle of a kitchen knife after a few because it was starting to hurt my fingers. Be very careful with this part if you decide to use a knife! I studded the front pocket of my shorts and the back pockets. Here's a picture of what the shorts looked like this far:

Now it was time to add some red and it couldn't have been any easier. Going into this project I thought I was going to have to deal with the traditional tie-dye process including mixing powders and putting in squeeze bottles, etc. However I was pleasantly surprised when I found spray tie-dye bottles, already mixed, at my local craft/hobby store for only $2.50! (final cost of project is $8.50) They had a good amount of colors too so I definitely recommend it. All I did was have a friend hold them over the lawn outside and I sprayed red dye on the bottom third of the shorts. Then I just laid them out on the grass to dry in the sun for about half an hour. The back of the bottle said to then dry them in the dryer until completely dry to set the dye but this is going to be dependent on whatever dye you choose. I haven't washed mine since so I'm not sure how much they will fade but make sure you wash them alone if you decide to. And that's it! You now have your very own pair of dip-dyed, ombre shorts! Have fun experimenting with different colors and patterns! After all it's only going to set you back about $9 a pair!
I hope you enjoyed this DIY and are inspired to rock some festive shorts this holiday! Look for one more DIY on Friday from my old blog that you can use for celebrating!

Have a beautiful day,


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