Ideas for How to Decorate Jean Shorts

Rapper Rye Rye performs in fluro-colored badge decorated jean shorts.

Photo: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

You can't get through summer without a must-have pair of denim shorts. While you can keep them plain and simple, a splash of creativity will add a wow factor to your look. Whether you use pretty scraps from a beloved shirt or check out the local trim store, the decoration ideas are endless. However you choose to customize your jeans, you can ensure you stand out from the crowd in style.

Effortless Stamps

If you're stumped for ideas, choose rubber ink stamps to decorate your shorts. You can update your denim with professionally designed prints in an instant. A simple motif can add flair to a back pocket, while more ornate or repetitive patterns should be stamped all over. Be sure to choose durable, fabric-ready ink and firmly press down to ensure even coverage.

Dramatic Dye

Give your jean shorts a hippie chic makeover with dye. Use bleach to distress areas on the back pockets or thighs. Colored dyes, on the other hand, have much more style impact. So, partly dip the shorts into your chosen dye color or create a unique pattern with traditional tie-dye methods. Be sure to work in a well-ventilated room and don't forget to wear protective gloves.

Heavy Metal

Pop princess or biker chic, metallic details will give your denim shorts attitude. Add sparkle with studs, crystals or diamante. Completely encrust a pocket, spell out your initials or even create a dance-floor-ready trim. However you decorate, all eyes will be on you. Use a specialist glue gun to avoid a sticky mess, or if you're in a hurry, cheat with an iron-on sheet.

Creative Patches and Trims

Dig into your sewing box and transform your jeans with cute patches and trims. You can stick fabric patches on with fabric glue or, for the experts, do some applique and sew over the edges for a home-spun look. According to, appliqued shorts are perfect for festival-ready style. Take inspiration from cowgirl chic and trim your shorts with feminine ribbons or fringing -- the ultimate in coquettish charm.

Artistic Paint

Create a denim masterpiece and cover your jeans in your fine handiwork. Try splashing acrylic paint onto them, for effortless artistic flair, or alternatively get busy doodling with fabric pens. If you left your art skills in kindergarten, trace your favorite design onto the shorts, or you can even use a stencil. For a more understated look, recolor the stitching using fabric pens in a fashionably bright color.

Related Videos


Add to this Article



Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Skin Type
or Register
Daily Look


How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with
  • Use your email to create your account