Happy Holidays! Tis the season for hot cocoa, white elephant gifts, yule log videos on loop and (if you recall the most famous of all): truly hideous holiday sweaters. Wearing an ugly sweater is a tradition that has been passed from generation to generation for reasons unknown. Somehow their gaudiness coincides with the holiday spirit, and we just wouldn’t be the same without their clashing colors and unsightly designs. This year, stand out at the office party with the ugliest, one-of-a-kind eyesore of a sweater following these simple steps. This winter DIY project will go down in history for the best wrong reasons.

Step 1: Choose your canvas.

You’ll need a long-sleeve, plain, warm sweater to start. Traditionally holiday sweaters come in green or red, but why limit yourself? There’s plenty of flashy colors to choose from. Recent trends show holiday sweaters can be perfectly ugly in black, white or gray as well. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s totally you. Grab a plain, crew neck sweater from your favorite blank retailer or at a place like ShirtSpace.com. It’s important to invest in a well-made but affordable sweater — you’ll most likely only be wearing this a few times a year, so don’t spend too much on your project.


Step 2: Dream up your design.

What kind of sweater are you going for? A 3D look, with tassels and who knows what else, or an elaborate and distracting print? And in some extreme cases — why not both? If it helps, draw a picture of what you have in mind. Make this sweater relevant to you and show the world just how much you care about the ugliness of your holiday sweater.


Step 3: Create your art.

If you’re starting with a design, upload or create your artwork using a design program such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or Corel Draw. Read more about how to screen print here. If you’re going the strictly handmade route: choose your materials. This holiday sweater is your chance to go all out. Love glitter? Pour a bottle on it. Are Christmas lights your thing? Sew them directly onto the sweater. Cut and paste felt reindeer, snowflakes, ornaments, or your favorite pop culture figures. With the power of the holiday spirit… anything is possible.

Check out this awesome video of Ryan making some ugly holiday shirts!

Step 4: Admire your work.

Put that thing on and get ready for your mirror selfie. Wear it with pride at the holiday party and get ready to get come compliments (or at least some comments). Have another party to go to? Make another one! It’s the holiday season, let your creativity run wild.

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