DIY: Festive Reindeer Sweatshirt: “The Alternative Ugly Christmas Sweater”

I’ll be the first to tell you that I am not into applique sweaters and cheesy holiday sweatshirts, especially when it comes to teachers.

HOWEVER, being a first-year teacher, I think I’ve finally got it. I’ve already worn my “ugly christmas vest” to school as a joke, but I don’t think the kids thought I was kidding. Regardless, I think some teachers just like to be silly and have fun with their clothes, especially around the holiday season.

When I posted the cute DIY holiday gift for students last Friday, I mentioned that I was coming home that day. I actually ended up leaving the night before to beat the impending weather. I still got caught in a terrible part of it on my three-hour drive (during which I prayed for a solid two and a half hours), but I made it home! Unfortunately, I did miss out on Reindeer Games on Friday, and more importantly, the chance to wear my newly created Reindeer Sweatshirt I made specifically for the occasion.

A bunch of us vowed to make cheesy, “ugly” sweaters in honor of the holiday, but I ended up going the “cute” route (at least in my opinion) and created this masterpiece:

Reindeer Sweatshirt

I think it’s adorable and really festive. I’ve been living in this sweatshirt since I’ve been home on break :P

Materials You’ll Need:

  • A sweatshirt (I bought a Men’s sweatshirt from Walmart because the women’s sizes were too short and wide)
  • Fabric
  • Iron-on transfer paper
  • A Pencil
  • Paper to create a stencil
  • A button

Here’s how to create your own:

reindeer pattern

Step One: Choose a design and trace/draw it on thick paper. I freehanded a reindeer (while staring at a reindeer silhouette on google!) on a big white mailing envelope and placed it on my sweatshirt to make sure it was the correct size.

Step Two: Fuse a piece of fabric to iron-on transfer paper, shiny side against the wrong side of the fabric.

Step Three: Trace your design BACKWARDS on the back of your fabric. You should be drawing on the transfer paper side. Cut out your design.

Step Four: Peel off the paper and iron it to your sweatshirt. Be sure to have it centered the way you like it before you iron it. I chose two different fabrics for the head and the antlers, so I did not iron the top of the head down until I had placed the antler base underneath it.

Step Five: Sew on a big button where the nose should be.

Step Six: (Optional) Hand sew or machine sew around the edges to make sure it is secure.

Alternative Ugly Christmas Sweater Festive Reindeer Sweatshirt DIY

I’m SO happy with how it turned out! It was a quick DIY and a wonderful addition to my “holiday wardrobe.”


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Hi! I'm Marissa. I'm a twenty-something dedicated to living life positively, sharing inspiration, developing my best self, and dressing the part. You can find me diving into a good book, looking for the ideal swing dancing partner, swooning over fabulous typography, or doing something ridiculous for blog's sake.

13 thoughts on “DIY: Festive Reindeer Sweatshirt: “The Alternative Ugly Christmas Sweater””

  1. I love love love this idea and want to make a sweatshirt similar for a party. I’ve been looking for iron on transfer paper at Walmart and am finding the printable iron on transfer paper. Is this the correct stuff?

  2. I stumbled upon your website when I was looking for DIY Xmas Sweater ideas and I love it! I used your Reindeer sweater idea and made it a little more tacky (your idea was so cute it could have been pulled off as a “normal” sweater). I attached a picture in the website section, I hope it works. Thanks for posting cute ideas!

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