Home » DIY Tutorials » DIY Holiday » Keepin’ it Cheap for the 4th of July…{men’s shorts into BOY SHORTS and women’s shirt into GIRL SKIRT}

Keepin’ it Cheap for the 4th of July…{men’s shorts into BOY SHORTS and women’s shirt into GIRL SKIRT}

Yesterday, I explained that my calendar somehow skipped June.  So, with only a few days left, I decided to make the kiddos some 4th of July outfits. 


Nothing too fussy……and something FAR from spendy.

(In fact, I’m sure I could have scrounged up some red/white/blue from their dresser drawers……but you know me and holidays.  I love the excuse to make it a special day.  And I hope my kids will become adults who always find a reason to turn a regular ol’ day, into a special one.  In case you’re new around here, check out my Holiday page.  You’ll find all sorts of holiday attire that I’ve had fun making for my kiddos.)



I shared Chloe’s little Braided Collar Dress with Pockets yesterday……and mentioned I would share Connor and Elli’s today.


If you’re extra last minute like me, these next two outfits are even quicker than yesterday’s little dress. 

(…and if you don’t celebrate the 4th of July, just consider these great little summertime outfits to make!)



So, start digging.  In your own closet…….OR your husband’s/friend’s/mom’s closet.  There’s bound to be something un-loved in there, that’s waiting to be turned into something new.  And twice as lovely.  (Or, do like I did and head to the thrift store.  Buying old clothing to cut up is usually much cheaper than buying new fabric.)


First up……..Mr Connor.  For him, I found some men’s pin-striped shorts, that I scaled down to little boy size. Total cost?  $1.50.






The pin stripes are perfect for the 4th……..but also for the rest of summer.  So, I snatched them up speedy fast off the thrift store rack, before the guy next to me noticed them. (I almost became that frantic pushy person at the store, scrambling for the last roll of wrapping paper on Christmas Eve.





And guess what?  Connor loves them.  (But let’s be honest, he’s pretty easy to please.)





And in case you were thinking I spent lots of time on them…….nope!  They’re just an elastic waist.  Maybe 20 minutes later, and this kid had a new pair of shorts. :)



 . . . . .



Next up?  An Elastic Waistband Skirt for Elli……..made from a lady’s top.  Total cost?  I think it was $2.








Snip, snip, chop, chop……..and then something sad turned happy!





This girl is easy to please as well, as long as it involves a skirt.  Or a dress.  Or a purse.  Or nail polish.  Or fancy new shoes. :)





The first time she put this on, she ran her hands all over the fabric and exclaimed, “Wow mommy, this is super soft.  It feels JUST like a Tshirt.”  Ha…..really?  No way! ;)





And Chloe’s little 4th of July outfit??  I shared her Shirt into Braided Collar Dress yesterday.





Now, we’re all outfitted to celebrate the 4th of July……without the breaking the bank.





Want to make a few last minute things too?




Elli’s skirt and Connor’s shorts are things I’ve made around here before.  Many times! :)


To make the shorts, check out this Boy Shorts with Pockets tutorial.  You can add the pockets or leave them off…….it’s up to you!


But just use an existing pair of shorts (that fit) as your guide.  Or create a paper pattern first from those shorts, if you’re more comfortable with that.  Just be sure to use the bottom hem of the men’s shorts as the bottom hem of the boy shorts.  That will save you some time. :)



Also, you’ll need to be cutting from a pair of men’s shorts that are big enough to fit each boy short pattern piece between the side seams.




To make Elli’s Skirt, check out this Elastic Waist Band tutorial.  If you haven’t made one before……it may become your new favorite way to make a skirt. 


But instead of starting from scratch, just cut the bottom half of the shirt off (measure the length you need, of course)…….and then attach it to some wide elastic. 



And remember, if you’re using knit shirt, it won’t fray.  So, you don’t need to hem under the top edge of the shirt after you cut it off.  You can leave it raw and just gather it and attach it to the elastic.  Quick and satisfying!



Hope that gave you a few last minute ideas for the 4th.  And if you don’t celebrate the 4th of July……..these are just some simple summertime re-purposing projects for you to try.


So, enjoy!


And Happy Independence Day!





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Featured Sponsor:


Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. zineb says:

    hi ashely super cute love love love really nice

  2. natalie smith says:

    you are so, so talented. what lucky festive kids.

  3. Haley says:

    You are so talented. I love how you’ve reused all these old items of clothing. Makes me feel hopeful for when my daughter is a little older and I can tackle similar projects. Thanks.

  4. gin says:

    super cute outfits.and i love they are super cheap too.

  5. Melissa says:

    I love that great minds think alike. I recently took some dated maternity tshirts, hacked them off and turned into skirts. Something ugly into something useful and it doesn’t cost a penny. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  6. yesi says:

    me encanta tengo unas nenas y me voy aponer en practica para realizar estos trabajos

  7. emily says:

    SOOOOOOOOOOOOO cute! I love love love it all!

  8. dannyscotland says:

    Super cute, as always. The clothes are cute, too. :-)

    Thank you for sharing!

  9. Alison Sorensen says:

    Wow, you are so creative!!! I never would have thought that ladies shirt would look good as a skirt or think of making $1.50 men’s shorts into boy shorts. That’s awesome!! I love your ideas!!!


  10. Allison says:

    Such great ideas. Keeping things on the cheap is always one of my goals.

  11. Sharon Marshall says:

    Wow! What a great mom you are. Found the glass mosaic tiles you used. You gave me the courage to do my kitchen backsplash with them. Almost finished. Love it but the cut glass little tiles are easily shattered. Hard to cut but the end result is gorgeous!

  12. Julie Snow says:

    These are great – thank you for reminding me of the thrift store as a fabric source!!!!

  13. me says:

    all of the outfits are so cute! I love them. I wont make in time for the fourth, but those shorts are cute! Do you think a graphic tee would look okay as that skirt instead?

    1. Ashley says:

      Really, anything would work for the skirt. A graphic Tee would give it some interest…..and would be comfy. Go for it! :)

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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