Clever Holiday Craft With Ugly Sweaters
Last Updated on September 2, 2021
When I got the email from Thoughts From Alice asking if I’d like to participate in the Holiday Thrift Store Challenge, I didn’t have to think twice. Yes! And yes again…wait, I guess that is twice. Anyhoo, I was super jazzed to participate. I am the (self-proclaimed) thrifting queen in my own little world. Well, kinda. I’m the flea market slash antiquing queen in my own little world, but thrift stores are a bit out of my element. I hadn’t been to one in a long time. You really have to know what you’re doing and have good eyes when it comes to thrift store gems. Diamonds in the rough I guess you’d call them.
So what’s this “challenge” shtuff that am I chattering about? Well, Alice asked us to venture out to our local thrift store and procure
something anything for under $25 to use as holiday decor in a creative way. We could give these items a complete makeover or use it/them in a creative vignette. She wanted us to see beyond the surface of what someone discarded or no longer needed and think outside the box. She wanted us to show you, our readers, how to save money on holiday decor by using a little creativity. Well, Alice! Challenge accepted!
Hmmm, now what in the world was I going to do! My nearest thrift store was Goodwill, and I had to make 2 trips because the first time they were closed. Note to self, look up store hours before venturing out in the cold. The sliding doors opened, and the first thing I see is a rack of holiday sweaters. I kinda chuckled and thought of the many ugly sweater parties I’ve been to in the past. Fun, but probably not appropriate for a craft. I had a small problem though. This particular Goodwill was fairly new and mostly clothes. I walked back to housewares where I found nothing but glasses that had EFFEN Vodka logos emblazoned on them or a few dented pans. Hmmm. That wasn’t going to work. This challenge was a bit more difficult than I thought I would be.
DIY Ugly Sweater Holiday Ornament Wall Hanging
I started to make my way to the exit feeling a bit defeated when I walked past those ugly sweaters again. A lightbulb went off in my head. Remember the DIY Modern Dreamcatchers tutorial I posted a couple of weeks ago? Well, on my search for brass hoops, I found some wooden embroidery hoops at Michaels. I ended up not using them for the dreamcatcher but held on to them for a future unknown project. Unknown that is until now. I started to paw through the sweaters. And although I’d probably never want to wear one (unless it was to win an ugly sweater contest), some had pretty great designs and colors. It didn’t matter if there was pilling or holes. I remembered Alice saying, “look beyond the surface”. She was suddenly my Obi Wan Kenobi of thrifting.
Each sweater was $4.99. I grabbed 4 which meant I had an extra $5 to spare. Golden, thank you Obi Wan. When I got home, I found my wooden embroidery hoops (I used different sizes). I no longer had the original receipt, but if memory served me right, they were about $1.50 each. Used with a 50% off coupon, I’d be within my $25 budget by the hair on my chinny chin chin.
I laid the sweaters flat and started to place the hoops. Based on the color schemes, I decided to use only three sweaters. The navy and red stripe felt a bit too bold, and I also like to group items in threes. It’s the odd number interior designer in me talking.
After stretching the hoops (helpful hint: cut a larger area from the sweater, around where the hoop should be placed. It’s easier handling for placing the hoops, and you can see ad use your hands a bit better.), then I trimmed the area as close to the hoops as possible. My original thought was to use ribbon and add a bow to cover the screw that connects the embroidery hoop.
But after doing so, I felt my wall hanging was a bit overtaken by the bow. After removing it, I decided to use some simple twine instead. I’ll let you guys be the judge. I tried this navy and cream ribbon first and then changed it out to gold. I also tried a simple bow and a pom pom bow. I wanted to love it, but I just couldn’t. It wasn’t quite right. Let’s remove that bow and try something different.
After removing the bow, I tied the twine around the two connectors with holes rather than around the screw. It was difficult to stretch the hoop, so I thought this would make the connection a bit more secure. It also hid some of the bare metal and finished the wall hanging a bit more. I tied it in a half knot in the front and a full knot in the back, leaving excess twine for length to hang. I finished the ends with a wooden bead. The twine was more simple than the bow and I think for me and my taste, that is what I needed. For me, I felt it took on a more modern edge with only twine look.
Final Look! Holiday Ornament Wall Hangings
So what do you guys think? I’m so pleased with how it turned out. Now it’s time for the hop! This was a Thrift Store Blog Hop Challenge, so many other talented and inspiring bloggers participated. Be sure to click on the links below to see all the creative projects each blogger came up with. They are absolutely amazing, and I’m honored to have been included in this group of talented, creative, inspiring bloggers. You don’t want to miss one of these awesome projects! And a special thank you again to Alice who invited me and challenged me to see beyond the surface.
C L I C K O N A L I N K B E L O W T O H O P
I LOVE your embroidery hoop wall hanging! Great minds, right? 🙂 I love your blog to by the way, so pretty and great photos!!!
Thank you sooooo much Summer! That means so much coming from you! And OMG, when I saw the name of your project in the Google doc I have to admit I freaked out a tiny bit. I was like what are the odds that we would come up with absolutely the same thing!
They are AMAZING!!!!!! I was so excited to see this and you did not disappoint. Reading your posts is just like skipping through an awesome fairy land of eye candy. Even your “process” pictures are gorgeous. But that styling on the branch in the last picture…oh be still my heart. That could be the front of a J.Crew catalog. Massively impressive my lovely one!!! Pinning immediately! LOVE!
Muah! Ms Laura! You are the best! Thank you dearie!
I agree with ^^. I’m so jealous (and inspired!) by your process photos. I like how the ornament turned out (big bow and all!). Have a great weekend!
Thanks Ashley! With you being a professional photographer, that means a lot coming from you!
Emily @ Table & Hearth
Genius!! I actually really like the bow too! Pinning away 🙂
kylaEmily @ Table & Hearth
Thank you Emily!
Oh my gosh these are fantastic! (I can get lost in your fabulous writing skills…oh and I will be your Obi One Kenobi any day 😉 You did exactly as I hoped and I am so thrilled and honored you joined me for the challenge! You are a total rock star 😉
I know I’ve said this like a millions times already, but seriously, thank you so much for including me in this project! It was soooo much fun!
Sarah @ 702 Park Project
I love this idea! So cute and easy! I might just have to try this one this year! 🙂
kylaSarah @ 702 Park Project
Thanks Sarah! If you try it out, please upload a pic to my Facebook! I’d love to see how yours turned out!
Beautiful and I LOVE the ticking stripe ribbon. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!
Thanks so much Danielle!
danke für die inspirationen!!! einen schönen freitag wünscht angie
Vielen Dank für den Besuch! Wünsche Ihnen ein schönes Wochenende.
Oh my goodness, when I scrolled down to see it put together, I gasped. I absolutely love it! So colorful and perfect! I think you can now count yourself as an official queen of crafting when looking beyond the surface! Bravo!
Brenda! Thank you so, so, so much! Your kind words are so sweet! THANK YOU! And, BTdubs, I’m reading the book The Good Girl that you have posted on your site and I’m loving it!
Cute cute cute! This hop has the best ideas for reusing old Christmas sweaters! I’m itching to run to the thrift store and find some myself!
Thanks so much for stopping by Brynne!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you lady! Such kinda words! Muah! And I wanna see how they turn out!
Coco @ homeschoolapalooza
This is so adorable!!!! I love these 🙂
kylaCoco @ homeschoolapalooza
Hey lady! Thanks so much for stopping by to check out the hop!
Jennifer @ Town and Country Living
So adorable!! And I have a few empty embroidery hoops hanging around just waiting to be beautified!
[email protected] Chronicles of Home
What a great idea. Love that you really did look past the surface!
Jessica @ Dear Emmeline
So sweet! A great way to use old sweaters. I could see making ornament sized ones out of my kids’ old sweaters to hang on the tree.
kylaJessica @ Dear Emmeline
That was one of my original thoughts. I actually went back to Michaels, but I couldn’t find small hoops. I thought they would make great ornaments!
Absolutely love these! So charming, cheery and the perfect way to use up old sweaters! These would be so much fun to create with a group. Love your blog and your photography!
Thank you so much Tammy! You’re too sweet.
You are insanely talented, I LOVE these so much, off to Pin your awesome project 🙂
WOW! Thank you for the insanely sweet compliment! I love your blog. It’s gorgeous!
When I was working on this project, I had the same exact thought! Wouldn’t it be great for your child’s favorite sweater or blankie or t-shirt. The possibilities are endless!
These are so cute and really have a Scandinavian feel. Love them hanging on the branches! What a fun challenge. Kuddos to Alice!
Thanks so much Jann and yes! Alice did an amazing job organizing everyone and thinking up this great challenge!
OMG, how cute! All I could come up with when I saw the sweaters was pillows… how very unoriginal of me! lol!
Great use of sweaters.
Thalita @ The Learner Observer
These are fantastic!!! I have SO many wood embroidery hoops at home. Time to get some ugly sweaters and put them to good use 🙂
You definitely rose to this challenge! ADORABLE!
These are great!
They make such lovely Christmas ornament decorations!
These are AMAZEBALLS. yes. I said Amazeballs… because they are balls (or round goodness?) of awesomeness!! Such a great idea! Love it.
Ha! I love that you think they are AMAZEBALLS =) Thanks for stopping over Alex!
Awesome! My daughter is visiting for Thanksgiving and this would be the perfect activity for us to gossip over. I agree that the twine worked better than the blue ribbon. But you could also change out the hanging material every year to give them a fresh look. (Thanks for stopping by my [travel] blog earlier!)
I love that tidepool activity!
This is such a great idea! Totally keeping my eyes peeled from some xmas sweaters at the thrift store:)
What a fantastic party! Thx for the invite and for stopping by to see us. Wonderful features as well. All the best ~ denise
Awesome party ladies! Wishing you a relaxed and peaceful Thanksgiving.
Emily @ Two Purple Couches
LOVE these!! I don’t mind the bow, but I do love the simplicity of the three hoops and the twine hung from the branches!
I’m so totally in love with these! Fantastic idea!!!!
Angela @ Number Fifty-Three
Thanks so much Brenda! And thank you for stopping over!
Wow, love these!! So fun being on this tour with you! Going share on my FB page 😉