Temporary Ugly Sweaters

A few years ago my sister told me she was going to a Christmas party with an "Ugly Sweater" theme. That's hilarious, I thought! Apparently everyone thought so, because three years later ugly Christmas sweaters are the theme of 5k's, office parties, and high school spirit days. Stores are actually producing uglier sweaters than ever, just for these events. We had one such event to go to last week, and with all the Ugly Sweater hype they are now harder to come by the old fashioned way (Goodwill); and there was no way we were going to shell out $20 each for a sweater that we hated and would only wear a few times at best. I cringe when I think of what people in other parts of the world would think if they knew people spend money--lots of money--on clothes they don't even like or want to wear again. Yikes. One day last week at a store I saw they are actually selling "Ugly Sweater Kits," and it gave me the idea that just like Cinderella could be turned into a belle for one night, so could our regular sweaters turn ugly for the evening, using things we already had. 
**No sweaters were harmed in the making of this post!** : )

Here's a quick easy way to make plain sweaters temporarily ugly. 
1. Choose a basic shape and cut out a pattern, to get a good size. I chose a Christmas tree. I think a wreath or candy cane would also work well. 

2. Trace your pattern onto the back of a sheet of adhesive vinyl, and cut it out. The dollar store sells contact paper or shelf paper, which I think would both work as well if you don't have adhesive vinyl. 

3. If you want to do another layer on top of the vinyl go ahead and hot glue that on next. I'm not even sure what this is called, but it's sparkly, and I got a whole roll of it for $1 after Christmas last year, and I'm using it for all sorts of crafts this year. Hot glue on any other gaudy embellishments. I used sparkly pom-poms. 

4. Once you've hot glued everything on you just peel off the paper backing and stick your giant ugly sticker to the sweater. 

I also used some Christmas packing tape to make presents on this one and suspenders on Thing One's. This worked great, but be warned hot glue doesn't stick to the packing tape. The pom-poms fell off right away from the presents. If you didn't want to glue any pom-poms on you could just use different kinds of packing tape to easily decorate a whole sweater.

For the little snow pom-poms, the deer and the green boa fluff, I used the same method, just cut out a small piece of vinyl, glue on the decoration then peel and stick on the sweater. Just be sure to do all the glueing away from the sweater to keep any hot glue from getting on it--or you really will have an ugly sweater when you're done.

I actually wasn't going to make sweaters for Thing One and Thing Two, but Thing Two begged for a "silly sweater" after I was done with ours so I used what was left to do something quick on theirs. 

I loved this project because it let us be part of the party without spending much money at all. The only thing I bought were the pom-poms and deer stickers (both on sale at Hobby Lobby--plus you know that you always have a 40% off with their app, right?). 

Here's to frugal merry making! Plus with the money you save by not buying an ugly sweater or an "ugly kit," you can buy someone a sweater who doesn't have one at all (go here). Now that's a beautiful sweater!


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