d.i.myself: multi-color denim shorts.

if you've been keeping up with the blog - or society for that matter - you know that ombré, watercolors and neon are all pretty hot and popping up everywhere for spring and summer. i've personally had my eye on levi's vintage sherbet shorts for more than a month, which combine all three. they've been stalking me at some of my favorite places like brandy meville and urban outfitters, but as much as they always catch my eye, i just couldn't bring myself to spend $52 on a pair of multi-colored jean shorts i can only wear on weekends, plus i'm not a big fan of high-waisted denim.

it was on a lunch break shopping trip to michael's craft store that i realized i could make them myself for a lot cheaper. michael's had a section in the back meant for kids with all sorts of tie dye materials for t-shirts, including a spray-on kit of neon fabric colors by s.e.i. tumble dye that would look perfectly when merged with an old pair of abercrombie & fitch cutoffs i've hung on to since college. i instantly added the kit to my shopping basket.

shorts shown here with a white forever 21 zipper tank and feather earring, 
bcbg max azria lace-cut cuff, and sandals from target.

dying the shorts only took me 10 minutes and about a half-day's worth of waiting time, and the final product was well worth the time and approximately $9 it cost me. want to do it yourself too? here's my simple step by step tutorial:

- a clean pair of light blue or white denim cutoffs 
(or pick up a cheap pair of jeans from goodwill and cut them to the ideal length yourself)
- s.e.i. tie dye kit from michael's: i used neon, but any colors you want will work
- rubber gloves to keep that manicure clean
- newspaper to keep your workspace clean

lay out your shorts face down on the newsprint. to get the same bold, saturated look i have - which works best for darker denim - make sure they're dry. for a lighter, watercolor look that will bleed a little, perform step 1-3 on wet shorts. 

first, with the gloves on, grab the color you want most of (i chose pink) and start spraying either the left or right leg of the shorts from the bottom up. cover the whole leg from top to bottom, spraying more pumps on the bottom, where the ombre look will be the darkest. then flip them over and do the same to the front side. it's ok for the side that is already dyed to touch the paper.

next, grab the second color, in this case blue, and start spraying again from the bottom, but this time, stop when you're halfway up; about an inch or two below the pocket. it's ok if the blue and pink to overlap a little, and in fact, it's encouraged because it adds a tinge of a whole new color in the middle...purple. flip them over and repeat on the back.

you're onto the last color now - green for mine - so start spraying it on the space that is left over. it doesn't have to be perfect. it's good if some spaces look a little washed out, or even if a little drips onto the wrong space. it all gives the design more character.

voila! the "hard" part is over. now just wait until the dye completely dries. i let mine dry over night because the florida summer heat and afternoon rain made it so humid outside on my patio.

once the shorts are dry, throw them into an empty dryer on high heat for at least 15 minutes so the dye can officially set and become permanent (*note: i haven't actually washed mine yet to confirm this, and plan on doing so with beach towels or on their own...just in case some of the dye bleeds).

and that's it! so easy. here's the final product:

< if you try it out on your own, please share with us! post a photo of your creation to our facebook page, or use the tag, #ppb_diy to instagram, pin or tweet the pic.


  1. Totally doing this, love how easy and fun it looks! :)


    1. great, glad to hear! it was pretty fun and seriously easy. if you do try it out, please send us the links to check out picks of your creation and/or connect on social media...we'd love to see and share with the other readers!

  2. I've never seen that spray dye kit before! I will definitely use that for future projects. Thanks.

  3. gigi, it's amazing and so easy to use. if you end up using it, please share photos through social media or by emailing us and we'd love to link to it here on the blog!

  4. oh those colours are making me happy darling;)

    1. glad to hear it! any other color suggestions for next time?

  5. Did it bleed when you washed it?