Summer is coming and we are HERE FOR IT.

We are so looking forward to patios, farmers markets and music festivals, but the best thing about summer is dressing the part.

We decided to tackle some DIY versions of two summer trends: cut off denim shorts and tie dye. Read on for step by step tutorials for how to nail these looks with pieces purchased at Goodwill.


The first step with this, and any DIY, is to gather all your supplies. In this case you’ll need jeans or shorts you’re cutting, scissors, measuring tape and a pen.

One thing we’ve found is that using extra sharp scissors makes this task a LOT simpler.

Something to think about: we ALWAYS advise cutting shorts longer than you think you’d want them. It’s a sad moment when you pull your shorts on and they’re WAY shorter than you intended. So, start on the conservative side. You’ll thank us later.

For this version, we started with a pair of “dad shorts” ($3.79). No offense to dads, but these knee-length jorts were cringe-worthy before we cut them off.

We wanted these to be short, so we landed on taking off four inches. We measured and marked a dashed line with our pen all the way around. Following the dashes made cutting the shorts super easy! We think it’s best to cut the front and back separately rather than trying to cut both at once.

The cuff adds a bit of polish!

Tip:  At this point in the process, you should try your shorts on. If you’re good with the length – way to go, you did it! If not, make a mark with your pen while you’re wearing them, and go back to cut off more.

For our second pair, we started with a pair of black jeans ($6.59), but decided on a little bit longer length, a trend we’re also seeing these days.

Knowing we wanted a six inch inseam, we followed the same process as above, just adding a step to make sure our inseam and outer seam matched up. Then cut along the dashes line, just like before!

Easy as 1, 2, 3 – right?!

We took the easy way out and frayed our hems by washing and drying (it works like a charm), but for AP cut off making, you can use crochet hook or safety pin to loosen the hems.


As this trend picks up steam, we are seeing elevated and higher end versions, like this. So we decided to try a more grown up take on the tie dye shirt, by using a gorgeous silk St. John blouse that we picked up at our Valley West location (for just $3.99!)

We just bunched up the fabric and secured with rubber bands!

We wanted an organic pattern for this top so we used the “crumple method” which is basically randomly scrunching up the material and using rubber bands to hold together. Using red and purple dye (we used Rit) in a squirt bottle, we covered the entire ball of fabric and let it sit overnight. We did our dyeing in a stainless sink, and the clean up was super simple. In the morning, we washed in hot water and dried to set the dye.

Can “elegant” and tie dye be used in the same sentence?

For our second try with this trend, we used a simple white t shirt ($3.99). You can find these at ANY of our Goodwill stores.

Tip: if you’re looking for a more “shrunken” silhouette, check out the kids section in our stores, there are some awesome t shirts to to be found there, and as a bonus, they’re less expensive ($2.29)!

To make this top slightly extra, we took about 4 inches off the bottom before dyeing (we love a good crop top.)

We chose to fold our shirt to make horizontal stripes, next time, we’re going to try for this diagonal line version.

To accomplish a striped, edgy look we used black dye (and the same squirt method as above) and an accordion fold. We intentionally left plenty of white space that would up the graphic factor.

Rock n roll vibes!

Not to toot our own horns here, but we are really excited about the results for each of these projects! Each was easy to implement, and took less than a 1/2 an hour.

We’re also pretty jazzed that each piece cost less than ten dollars to create, which is a fraction of what you might pay at a traditional retailer.

We hope you’re inspired to try out your own version of these DIY projects. If you’re inclined to share, we’d love see the results. Share on Facebook or Instagram using @dmgoodwill to tag us.

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