DIY ugly sweater

It’s the time of the year for ugly sweaters! What do you do if you don’t already have one in your closet and don’t want to purchase one? DIY one with materials that you already have! Hand sewing required. Sewing machine not required.

First, find a plain sweater or sweatshirt.


Plain green sweat shirt

2nd, gather your crafty bits and pieces, cotton balls, and fabric remnants.


Ugly sweater materials. Glue gun not in photo.

3rd, look at the materials in front of you and move them around till you come up with a design that you like.


4th, create the designs separate from the sweat shirt. They will be tacked on to the sweat shirt later. This makes it easier to restore the ugly sweater to a plain sweat shirt later.

I made a 3d sleigh by using fabric remnants as stuffing. The same treatment was given to Santa’s hat and his big bag of gifts.

I sewed the buttons on to white ribbon then tacked the ribbon on with white thread.


Design your own ugly sweater!

To create Santa’s face,  cotton balls were hot glued on to a white t shirt remnant. Black 3d fabric paint created Santa’s face. Let dry overnight before tacking on. Tack over the cotton balls if you foresee lots of movement that might shake them off. I used red and white thread for tacking.


Fabric remnants + black 3d fabric paint + hot glue gun + cotton balls

5th,  add stars. Thread your needle with two or more colors of thread. Double over and tie a knot. I used silver and gold for stars, and added Orange for the words.  I suggest using tailor’s chalk to draw guidelines before sewing.


Guidelines help!


Thread several colors together for different effects!

Remember to keep your stitches loose enough to allow some stretch.


Wrong side of outfit. Not too much sewing required.

There you go! An easy diy ugly sweater that does not cost you more than a few hours. Some of these materials can be repurposed after removing from the sweat shirt. I don’t recommend washing if you used cotton balls. Remove the add ons before laundering.


This is for the Mr. but it fits me too!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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