DIY: Ugly Sweater

Tis the season to be tacky…fa la la la la!

A big trend this holiday season is the ugly sweater (or as someone pointed out to me, it is also called a Christmas jumper). They are sold in stores ranging from $25 (Walmart) to about $50. If you’re in a hurry and have the money, then buying is the most efficient way. But if you are short on funds or would like to save and get those creative juices flowing with a new holiday project, then making an ugly sweater is your next holiday DIY. Plenty of shocked folks couldn’t believe I made my own sweater and the most popular question has been “How did you make this?” Here’s how I made my own ugly/tacky sweater.

Note: The photos taken are a bit blurry but at l hope these visuals will help.

ugly sweater in all its glory
Here is a picture of my 2014 award winning (oh yea baby!) fabulous ugly/tacky sweater.

This sweater cost me less than $10 and it was a blast to make.

You will need:

  1. ugly sweater** – Coming in at the great price of $3.50, hunting down this gem from the men’s department at Goodwill was worth it. You could also use any old sweater or even up-cycle a gifted sweater that may not be your style to wear as is. I highly recommend you wash the sweater then lay it out to dry so it stretches.
  2. hot glue gun & glue sticks
  3. scissors
  4. Trip to the dollar store – Whether you’ve already formed a design in your head through browsing on Pinterest or if you’re more like me who prefer to find inspiration from the materials in your surroundings, a trip to the dollar store is a must. I went to Dollar Tree and Dollarama and found everything I needed except for the glue gun and glue sticks which I already have. Alternatively, you could raid your Christmas bins and use ornaments that you don’t need anymore.

ugly sweater ingredients

Decorating ideas from the dollar store:

  • tassles for sleeves
  • baubles, mini gift boxes, red bows, garland
  • stockings – I cut around the Santa and cat figure and reused the back of the two stockings as wings for the back of my sweater! Waste nothing.
  • battery powered lights – perfect for those evening celebrations. You’re sure to light up the party!
  • googley eyes to put on top of any decorations with a face.
  • reindeer/santa/snowmen heads – twists them off from the headbands with scissors
  • Christmas baubles and garland
  • pre-cut felt snowflakes to decorate around and use as a filler
  • and anything else that catches your eyes! My bf put a bird on his shoulder and along with his lights, he won 1st place in the ugly sweater competition. Yes, sadly it means I came in second but I’m just happy he won and even though he won’t agree to it, he did slowly get into making his own sweater.

Make your sweater!

  1. Put on sweater. Make a “map” of where your decor will lay on your body by pinning or sticking tape, etc.
  2. Take off sweater and lay it on a flat surface. Gather all your materials and arrange it to whatever design you want without gluing it on. Cut and manipulate the materials as needed.
  3. Turn on your hot glue gun and when warm, glue away. How much glue depends on texture of your sweater and decorations used. Remember that the glue dries fast so it’s better to do this step until after you’ve decided the final placement of your decorations.
  4. Once you are happy with the results, take away the web of glue from your sweater, try it on and make any adjustments if needed.

There you have it! So easy and so much fun to make!

ugly sweater final
Front of my sweater. Final product.

There’s so many possibilities with your sweater designs. Wear to this to all your holiday parties and bring Christmas spirit to any room you enter! Good luck and have a very merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

O’ Captain! My Captain!

Today, I awoke to the news Robin Williams had died. Wishing for it to be a social media hoax, I waited for more developments on the story before commenting. With the confirmation via a statement made by his wife, Susan Schneider, this sombre Monday evening is now spent watching clips of his work and reading up on the man that has given so much of his passion to the world.

My earliest memories of Robin Williams was in the movie Jumanji. The jungle coming alive right in your living room is every child’s fantasy! And while we’re on the subject of childhood wonder, what about the enchanting Genie, Flubber and as *sings* Popeye, the sailor man! Whoo whoo!.

He was an accomplished comedian, but I personally prefer his “serious” movies. He made me question humanity and the way we treat others in Patch Adams and A.I. Artificial Intelligence. He “majorly” gave me the creeps in Photo Booth.

BUT…all that aside…

My favorite Robin Williams movie will always be The Dead Poets Society. We watched this movie in English class and I remember getting goosebumps when he whispered the words “Carpe Diem. Sieze the day. Make your lives extraordinary.”

..”Make your lives extraordinary.” That is exactly what Robin did. He not only lived an extra ordinary life, but he also shared his magic with everyone who has seen his work.

True to his nature, he also openly shared his struggles with addiction and severe depression in his later years.

Dear Robin Williams, may you find peace in heaven and may your soul be light without any worldly troubles. Thank you for sharing your magic till the very end. I will look at your movies and smile, and be grateful that you have taught me to question and to believe. To look at the world from a different point of view.

To create my own verse.

To stand up on the desk and not be a sheeple.

Last but never least, here’s a perfect sendoff to an extraordinary man. We salute you.

First Day of 2014 – Diary

20140101_161311[1] WELCOME 2014!!! I am super grateful to be alive and to have a chance to live this day. I waited for you, and here you are!

I woke up this morning feeling calm. It wasn’t a “sing a musical about the day” kind of wake up but it was peaceful. It was as if I knew everything would be okay.  A no expectation kind of wake up – my favorite.

After picking up the clutter left over from last night, I ate a hearty breakfast of pansit from our New Year’s feast and finally finished off the last bite of leche flan.

One of the things I’ve always loved doing is going out for walks in the morning, especially in winter. There’s something quiet magical about the crispness of the air, the crunch of snow under your feet and the way the sun just seems so much brighter. It is easy to get lost in the calmness of winter.

So that’s what I did. The temperature was -6 Celsius so I suited up and left the house. Following the sun, I found myself walking on a new path and ended up in new neighbourhoods in my community. It was so much fun exploring these new sights and looking at the various Christmas decorations. Some houses were beautifully done with window boxes reminiscent of those in malls. Inspiration galore!!IMG_20140101_105559

I continued to follow sun, and came upon a hill with a metal jungle gym. The snow was knee deep but I climbed the hill anyway, getting stuck along the way, and playfully checked the jungle gym. The last time I’ve played in a jungle gym in the winter was in elementary school. At 27 years of age, it isn’t usual to play in the playground unless accompanied by a child. But why not? Why let age dictate us how to have fun? And for that matter, why let the weather stop us from climbing jungle gyms, etc?

After some time of reflection and admiring the peacefulness of my surroundings while atop the highest tower, I needed to get down back on the ground. That’s when panic kicked in. How the heck am I going to get down from here? The slide was VERY slippery, I am afraid of heights so jumping was out of the question and the “slidey pole” was too far out and I was afraid of slipping. Coming down the way I came up was out of the question. Shit! Images of me firefighters saving me and this footage being in the 6 o’clock news shot through my mind and I started to laugh. Imagine that

Woman stuck on top jungle gym in the dead of winter.

What a laugh that would be. Finally, I decided to muster up the courage to come down in the other pole that had stairs going up along the sides. I made it down!!!

Not wearing a watch, I got lost in time but finally decided to walk back home to shovel our walkways while singing ♫ “Everyday I’m shovelling!” ♫

Towards the afternoon, I was feeling inspired by these two neighbourhood kids walking around with sleds. Having convinced the boyfriend to come out for some winter fun, we headed out of town to his Mom’s acreage and the “It was more funny than fun” adventure started. We drove around looking for a toboggan hill but we ended back in the acreage’s backyard. There was a small hill which is perfect for my bf to climb on since he hurt his back and can’t put too much pressure on it. The snow was knee deep but we persevered and made it to the top.

After both getting on the sled, this is supposed the part where we go down the hill. Eeerrmmm….no!

Oooook…..here we goooo!! Wheeee!!

No dice. The snow was so deep that we didn’t even budge. After laughing so hard, we both had to push ourselves by walking the sled down instead of sliding. It didn’t work out quiet how it was supposed to (like our kite adventure) but we certainly had a barrel of laughs about it making the whole experience much more AWESOME!

Here are some pics of the day:

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What a sweety bear ❣
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Knee deep snow
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Snow angels in the sunset
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1 – Ready?
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2 – Here’s SNOW!!
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6 – Again!!
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Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

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Ended the day trying out Timmies new Gingerbread Hot Chocolate! Yuumm!! Over all it was a great day to welcome the first day of a new  year and I hope this sets the tone for many more adventures to come this year.

Thank you!