Sunday, 8 July 2012

DIY Purple Ombre Shorts

Hey everyone! I've recently become very interested in the ombre dip dye trend and once I came across a few images on the internet of some ombre shorts, I had to have a go creating my own! I've also seen dip dye shorts in many shops such as Miss Selfridge and Topshop at a price averaging £30, so this DIY will certainly save you some money!

What you need for this DIY:- 
  • An old pair of jeans which you are willing to cut up.
  • Scissors
  • A pen/chalk (to mark where you wish to cut - optional.)
  • Tongs (these help with the fraying of the shorts and creates fraying quicker.)
  • Bleach (cheap standard bleach.)
  • Bucket
  • Fabric dye in colour of choice.
  • Old toothbrush (which will be used to help create that graduation of colour.
  • Rubber gloves
  • Salt (roughly 250g.)
 Step 1
First of all, try on your jeans and decide how short you would like them. With a pen/chalk mark out a rough guideline (at the front of the jeans mark out where you would like at a slight diagonal going up towards the outer edge of the jeans, mark the back with a slight rounded edge, lower than the front.) Begin cutting with a pair of strong scissors, always cut a bit lower than what you want exactly as this gives you a chance to try on the jeans again and make amendments!

Step 2
After you are happy with the length of your shorts, begin the fraying! I decided to use some BBQ tongs as it's a lot quicker than using your hands/tweezers. Basically clamp onto the material and pull quite hard (not too hard - you don't want to rip the material... unless you want to.) Carry on fraying the edges until you are satisfied with your distressed look.
If you want to increase the distressed effect, you can create holes in your shorts by carefully pinching the material and snipping using the scissors. When creating a hole near the pocket area, make sure not to cut into the pocket! Fray the holes using the previous technique.

Step 3
Bleach, Bleach, Bleach! For my shorts I soaked them in an old bucket with a mixture of bleach and about a litre or two of water. As I had never done this before, it was a bit of trial and error, but I left them overnight and rinsed them in cold water at around 5pm the following day.

Step 4
Now time for the dye! For my DIY I chose to use "Dylon Fabric Dye" in the colour "Intense Violet." Once your recently bleached shorts are rinsed, lay them out on a flat surface whilst you prepare the dye in your bucket. 

At this point, follow the instructions according to your dye. I had to add 500ml of warm water to my bucket, along with salt. (To be honest I estimated the salt proportions, but I think the general idea of the salt is to help make the colour sink into the fabric and make the colour more vibrant.  
To begin the ombre effect, pour a small amount of dye into the salt, water combo and mix. Once mixed place your entire shorts into the solution for a short period of time (keep looking and pull them out once you are satisfied - mine were a very pale lilac.) 
Step 5 
 To create a deeper purple, add a greater amount of powder dye to the bucket, along with some salt. Place your shorts into the solution making sure to hold onto your shorts tight in the bucket. To help soften the graduation of colour get your old toothbrush and brush along where the shorts are entering the solution (this will prevent a harsh line.) Keep shorts in for a longer period than before, but always keep checking!
Step 6    
Keep repeating this process further down the shorts, by increasing the amount of dye and adding more salt. 
Step 7
Once you're happy with the ombre effect, hang them outside to dry completely. Within the first few weeks, when you need to wash them I recommend washing them separately in case of the dye coming out of the fabric and onto your other clothes. 
Hope you enjoyed this DIY tutorial, I would appreciate any comments or criticism and would love to see your outcomes if you try this! :D 
Rachel xxx  


  1. i love it! i need to try this sometime <3

    1. Thank you so much :D yeah defo try it, it's really easy. I'd love to see your result :)