I recently thrifted a pair of shorts for $2 and did a quick no-sew fix to turn them into a closet staple piece! I have no skills, so hopefully this DIY shorts fix will be inspiring to the non-DIY-ers out there!

DIY Shorts Fix
All I needed was a pair of scissors for this DIY shorts fix!

DIY Shorts

Denim shorts are closet staples for me. I have 3 pairs – one long, one short, one folded – and I wear them ALL.THE.TIME.  On my recent trip to Alabama, I wore them almost every day. I am always on the lookout for more denim shorts since I know these ones will eventually surrender the fight and fall apart! That is why I recently thrifted a pair of shorts for $2 without trying them on.

DIY Shorts Fix
Merona brand shorts in good condition – nothing fancy but a reliable brand.
DIY Shorts Fix
$2 is a good price for a thrifted garment! These were mislabeled – not the first time I’ve found something in the men’s section.

As soon as I tried them on, I realized they were in need of a DIY shorts fix!

DIY Shorts Fix
The pockets on these shorts were like hip beacons: “LOOK HERE AT THE WIDEST PART OF MY BODY.”

I might not have bought these shorts had I tried them on first. Fortunately, upon closer examination, I realized that the pockets could be dealt with!

DIY Shorts Fix
The pocket flap was sewn on the inside but just tacked down on the sides…
DIY Shorts Fix
And the button could easily be removed!

The DIY Queen

Ha. I am so NOT a DIY person. I have attempted a few things in the past – distressing a vest, distressing shorts, distressing jeans, step-hem pants – within my limited skill set and have had relatively good success. When you start with a thrifted garment, there isn’t much to lose, money-wise. So, just like with my past projects, even if things went completely awry, I would only be out a couple bucks.

DIY Shorts Fix
Get ready to disappear, unflattering pockets!

I decided to undertake this DIY project on a whim (as per usual) while I was sitting by the pool, hence the bathing suit. I don’t normally stroll around in a swimsuit and shorts! I grabbed my scissors and went to work! All I did was:

  1. Lift the pocket flap and snip at the stitching on each side (which was surprisingly strong and took a bit of doing).
  2. Snipped off the button.
  3. Folded the pocket flap into the pocket.
DIY Shorts Fix
Post scissors surgery!
DIY Shorts Fix
If you look closely, you can see my DIY hack but I don’t think anyone will look that closely and even if they do, I could care less.
DIY Shorts Fix
Much better! The hips are still there but at least the pockets aren’t drawing attention to them.

Shorts Post-DIY Fix

After my poolside scissors sesh, I washed the shorts and ironed the pockets a bit so they would lay flat and then got dressed in real clothes!

DIY Shorts Fix
This is one of my shorter tops (that I scored for $1.25). Most of my tops would cover the pockets.
DIY Shorts Fix
Cute outfit for $3.25!
DIY Shorts Fix
I felt perfectly comfortable in my $2 DIY fixed shorts!

My DIY shorts fix is nothing earth-shattering. If I had sewing skills, I would remove the pocket flaps altogether but the results are good enough for me! The shorts themselves are not anything fashionista BUT they are practical for my life right now and will give my other denim shorts a break.  Most importantly, I hope you will look at thrifted pieces and before passing them up, ask yourself if there is anything quick and easy you can do to make the purchase worthwhile. I would hate for your to experience thrift regret or to pass up a great buy that you too could fix with a little no-skill no-sew DIY!

xoxo Nicole

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DIY Shorts Fix


  1. You’re a genius! I go scissors crazy on lots of my thrifted items. Every pair of jean shorts I’ve got used to be regular jeans. I’ve cut off pockets, sleeves, collars, ruffles, and anything else that got in the way. I figure, worst thing that happens is I’ve wasted a few dollars, and learned how to do it better next time! Way to go!

    • nicole

      Thank you! We are kindred scissors spirits! lol And yes, exactly – when you’re starting with a thrifted item, there’s not much to lose so you might as well experiment! I still want another pair of denim shorts – might have to give some of my pants the chop!