How To Turn Any Sweater Into A LIGHTED Ugly Sweater

Sew Much 2 Wear
by Sew Much 2 Wear
6 Materials
2 Hours

Every holiday season stores get an influx of sparkly, glittery, cheap ugly Christmas sweaters. They can be hard to resist, and the real danger is most of them are only worn once.

In the spirit of sustainability, I wanted to make a fun light-up sweater with some second-hand materials as well as cheap as possible lights. In the end I spent $2 for a Goodwill sweater and $2 on Dollar Tree supplies to make this sweater. Here's how you can do the same.

I didn't have to search the racks at my Goodwill long before I found some great candidates! I even was lucky enough to find red and green sweaters that were 50% off so they were only $2 each. I decided to use the green sweater I found for this project.

My best advice for an ugly sweater is to find one that's slightly oversized so you've got some extra wiggle room for whatever you want to add. this might not work as well on a tight-fitting sweater.

One of the supplies I found at Dollar Tree was a stocking with Santa Claus(Claws). I went ahead and cut the upper stocking part off.

I wanted to put the words "Santa Claws" on my sweater so I used an old white t-shirt and traced the letters from my laptop.

I then cut the letters out.

I used my hot glue gun to glue the words onto the lower part of my Santa Claus stocking.

I decided where I wanted the Santa on my sweater and tack'ed it down in six different places with a few hand stitches using white embroidery thread. I chose to sew this on rather than glue because I knew I could unpick the stitches and wear this green sweater again after the holidays. Reuse, reduce, recycle! I also knew stitches would be much more durable than glue.

In the true spirit of a White Claw Santa Claus I decided to have some fun and attach coozies to my sweater for White Claws.

I tack'ed the coozies to the sweater on all four corners with a few stitches. PRO TIP: If it's difficult to get a needle through your sweater and coozie, try using pilers to pull the needle through. It gives your hands a break and make this much easier!

Dollar Tree sells $1 light-up Christmas bulb necklaces. I simply arranged the necklace on the sweater where I wanted it (being mindful to avoid a placement that made it obvious it was really a necklace) and picked out embroidery floss that almost exactly matched my sweater.

To keep the necklace in place I used safety pins to keep the cord attached to the sweater while I was sewing. This prevented any accidental bunching of the sweater with the lights.

To see this step in action, check out the YouTube video of my project. You'll also get to see a little troubleshooting with this project as all did not go to plan right away!

Last step is adding a little bit of holiday cheer with sparkly garland on the coozies. I simply hot glued the garland on the coozie.

The end result is a unique, one-of-a-kind creation that saves your bank account and helps the environment. I urge you to think outside the box before purchasing a ugly sweater this season. The best ones are hand-made!

Suggested materials:
  • Sweater   (Goodwill)
  • Lighted Necklace   (Dollar Tree)
  • Santa Stocking   (Dollar Tree)
See all materials

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3 of 5 comments
  • Peggy Claridge Peggy Claridge on Dec 11, 2020

    You need to use a pressing cloth. That will keep your iron from sticking to and ruining your sweater. When in doubt always us a cloth.

  • Cyndie Cyndie on Dec 16, 2020

    Oh my! How darling! I can imagine my family all wearing matching sweaters!! Thank you for this fun idea!! Dollar Tree here I come!!