DIY American Flag Shorts

I don't know if I've ever expressed it here but I love the thrift store. Growing up, my parents were incredibly frugal and we lived modestly. So the thrift store was my own personal retail heaven as a kiddo. In my short 23 years, I have rarely bought new clothes out, and pretty much have gotten every piece of clothing I own from the thrift store (the big exception is long pants- I can find any that fit my long legs!)

I just believe so deeply in recycling, re-using and re-purposing that it's hard to resist second hand shops. I love how each piece has a story and when I wear whatever new treasures I brought home from the thrift store, I feel a little more connected to humanity. I wonder about the story of who wore this piece last, why did they give it away, where are they now.

So today, I want to share a DIY that I am so excited about...and it's just in time for the 4th of July!

I was at the thrift store the other day and found an awesome pair of "mom jeans". I was so excited because I LOVE high-waisted paints. I feel like they accentuate my body while making me feel super confident and give me the vintage look I adore. So when I found these jeans, my little 90s-lovin' heart jumped up and downed and said, "Can we please get them, please please please please please?!" I told my heart yes. Enjoy the below picture.

While I wish we all still rocked the 90s style, I decided to go ahead and turn these amazing pants into something more amazing...AMERICAN FLAG SHORTS!

You will need:

  • An awesome pair of thrifted denim jeans- lighter wash works better than darker + just make sure it fits in the waist...don't worry about length
  • Foam star stickers
  • Blue fabric paint spray
  • Red fabric paint spray
  • Scissors
  • Tape

1. Try on your jeans. See how they fit. Decide where you would like to cut them off and use a pen to make a small mark on the denim where you would like to make the cut!

TIP: Always cut the pants LONGER than you would like them. You can always cut off more!

2. Cut your jeans into shorts! This is definitely the most important step so spend a little extra time making sure you get the cut right. Feel free to cut, go back and re-cut, try them on and cut again. If you don't get it perfect at this step, it's okay! You can always go back and cut them shorter any time you like!

TIP: Use fabric scissors for an easier cut!

3. Use tape to create vertical lines on the right half of the zipper. Remember that the paint is going to go where the tape isn't, so the part of the denim that ISN'T covered by tape will be your red part. Try to get the lines as straight as you can, but feel free to get creative with the width between the stripes!

TIP: Painter's tape or masking tape works best. I didn't have any so I used scotch tape, which makes sense!

4. Spray the red fabric paint! Spray more times for a darker red. Only spray it once for a lighter, more vintage look.

TIP: Make sure you are wearing clothes you can get messy in, in case you accidentally spray some paint on yourself. It will come off your skin eventually, but it won't come off your clothes!

5. On the left side of the zipper, place your foam star stickers. You can do them in straight lines, or any pattern you want. I chose to do mine in a random pattern, with some smaller star foam stickers thrown in!

7. Spray the left side of the zipper with blue fabric paint! I also chose to splatter some blue fabric paint on this side for a more artsy look.

8. Let it dry overnight, or longer if necessary. Once dry, run your fingers along the bottom edges of the shorts to begin to fray the edges a bit for a more vintage, worn-in look.

There you have it, some awesome vintage high-waisted American flag shorts! I absolutely love these and think they are so fun to both make and wear! These are great for the 4th of July! Be sure to let me know if you make a pair so I can see a picture of your creation!