DIY Ugly Sweater: Reindeer Edition

This post is part of a paid campaign with I Love to Create and Blueprint Social. All opinions are my own.

Every year, my son’s school designates one special day on which they challenge the students and staff to wear their ugliest/tackiest Christmas sweater. Of course, Little Crafter gets super-excited about it, which means I get the fun job of creating something for him. With the help of some supplies from I Love to Create, I took on the Ugly Sweater Challenge and tried to come up with something original and fun that he would love wearing. Take a look…

DIY Ugly Sweater

– sweater or shirt
– Tulip Iron-On Shimmer
– Tulip Soft Fabric Paint
– Tulip Glitter Dimensional Fabric Paint
– Tulip Fabric Marker, Black
– Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint
– Aleene’s Fabric Fusion Glue
– Paintbrush
– Scissors
– Brown Oly-Fun {felt or fabric would work too}
– Jingle Bells


Step 1: Trace your child’s hands onto Gold Tulip Iron-On Shimmer and cut them out. I did my tracing on the non-sparkly side. These will be the reindeer’s antlers. I recommend placing them on the shirt where you think you want them to go but not ironing yet until you cut out all the pieces.


Step 2: Cut out one large oval and two small ovals from brown Oly-Fun {or fabric or felt}.

Step 3: Cut a circle of Red Iron-On Shimmer for a nose and a semicircle of Green Iron-On Shimmer for a collar.

Step 4: Position all your pieces on the shirt to form the reindeer the way you want it to look. Follow the package directions to iron the Iron-On Shimmer pieces in place. Use Fabric Fusion Glue to adhere the Oly-Fun/fabric/felt pieces.
*Note: While Tulip Fabric Paints and I are old friends, I had actually never used this Iron-On Shimmer before. I. love. it. I mean, come on, it’s a glitter-palooza! And it was really REALLY easy to work with!

Step 5: Use Tulip Dimensional Glitter Paint to trace around the reindeer’s head, ears, and nose.


Step 6: Glue jingle bells to the collar.

Step 7: Paint eyes using Tulip Soft Fabric Paint and a brush.

Step 8: Let your child make thumbprints in various colors around the neckline to become Christmas lights. When the paint is dry, use a black fabric marker to add details.


That’s all there is to it; an incredibly sparkly, very festive, nice-and-easy “Ugly Christmas Sweater”!

Ugly Sweater DIY

The only problem with it is that according to my friends, I failed at the challenge because they say it’s not ugly…it’s adorable. And if you want to get technical, it’s not a sweater either. Do you know how hard it is to find a plain red sweater for a little boy? It’s also much easier to iron and paint on a smooth surface like a t-shirt than it is on a sweater. So, alas, I present to you instead of an Ugly Sweater, an Adorably Tacky Christmas Shirt. Apparently, I can’t {or won’t} make ugly things. And even if I did. Look. At. This. Kid.

DIY Ugly Sweater


It could be the ugliest thing in the universe and he’d still make it look cuter than a baby kitten snuggled up next to a puppy. I mean, really. This kid.

DIY Ugly Sweater

So, what do you think? Are you inspired to make some festive apparel of your own? If so, I’d love to see how it turns out!

For more crafty inspiration, follow I Love to Create on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and you’re definitely going to want to check out these posts from some of my fellow bloggers who also took the #UglySweaterChallenge! Take a look!

Similar Posts


  1. Pingback: Costume Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.