Why mess with second-hand when a DIY Ugly Sweater T-Shirt is so easy to make?! All you need is a Cricut machine and a few other embellishments!
This post contains affiliate links, which help compensate me to continue bringing you great recipes, projects and tips at no extra cost to you.
Several years ago, my family talked me into doing the whole family-ugly-sweater-picture thing. That meant scouring second-hand stores to find the ugliest sweaters possible. For seven people.
SEVEN. Yes, I said seven.
I can tell you right now, this was not an easy feat. In fact, ugly sweaters were on such high demand, that one of my daughters had to wear a kid-sized sweater.
Luckily, she’s small and it worked just fine.
I never thought shopping could cause such anxiety. Needless to say, I never want to do that again.
Anyhow, fast forward and I am so over looking for ugly sweaters.
This year, I thought it would be fun to make my own. However, I decided I would rather have a DIY ugly sweater t-shirt, since I tend to get hot in sweaters.
Tips for Making Your DIY Ugly Sweater T-Shirt
- Make sure your shirt has been washed and dried. This prevents shrinking and distortion of your design (and hard work) during future washings
- Iron out the wrinkles, and they can cause your design to pucker and be misplaced
- Use your iron to pre-heat your shirt where your design will go, this will help your design to adhere better
Making Your DIY Ugly Sweater T-Shirt
These designs are both included with Cricut Access Standard, so if you don’t have it already, I highly encourage it!
I left the tree alone, but I did make one simple change to the star. I removed the back image from the design. It made the star look rounded, and I wanted it to have clean, sharp lines.
You can access my modified design here, where it’s all ready for you to cut. Simply follow the easy directions via Cricut design space.
I used my weeding tool to remove the negative design space, leaving just my shape. I love that the weeding tool has a sharp tip, perfect for grabbing stubborn edges and intricate designs.
Both the scissors and weeding tool are part of the basic tool set, which really comes in handy.
Next, I made sure the tree was centered on my shirt.
Then, I used the iron-on protective sheet, to cover the design. This made sure the heat was distributed evenly. Plus, it’s a lot easier than trying to find a dish towel or cloth that’s clean and won’t bleed onto your shirt.
I used my iron to press firmly on the design for at least 30 seconds. Then, I allowed the tree to cool a bit before testing to see if it had adhered completely. Only then could I gently peel back the plastic sheet all the way.
You will ad the star the same way.
Embellishing Your DIY Ugly Sweater T-Shirt
My next step was to embellish my tree. I used glitter pompoms, gold metallic rick rack, a high-temp glue gun and glue sticks that work on fabric (it says it on the package).
Once I laid out the rick rack in the design I wanted, I cut it to size. I then glued it into place.
In order to turn the corners, I put a dot of glue on the top of the rick rack and then folded it over. I continued to glue it down it the same manner until I was finished.
I then glued the glitter pompoms on in no particular pattern, other than using some of them to cover the beginning, end and folds in the rick rack.
You have two choices here. (1) Wear the shirt just as it is, or (2) Take it to the next level.
Adding Lights to your DIY Ugly Sweater T-Shirt
To add lights, you will need a set of battery operated mini lights, your Cricut weeding tool and your hot glue gun.
I took the weeding tool and used it to poke holes from underneath the t-shirt.
Next, I turned the shirt inside out and put a paper bag inside of it, just to be sure I didn’t accidentally glue the shirt together.
Then, with a little effort, I pushed the lights through the holes and glued them in place. I made sure to start at the top so that the battery pack would end up at the bottom and can be tucked into my pants.
This allows me to easily turn the lights on and off when needed.
Other Ideas You’ll Love
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.