ugly sweater ornaments

snowman ugly sweater ornament

For a tiny apartment with a tiny Christmas tree, I sure do have a lot of ornaments. I can’t stop! They are miniature works of art and I love to look at them on my tree and in every holiday store or catalog. But good ornaments don’t just have to be professionally done. The best part of some trees is the handmade touches from ornaments you can make yourself. So let’s get to making some. And let’s make them ugly.

Ugly sweaters are one of the best parts of holiday fashion, right? People are even throwing ugly sweater parties. And if you’re a little unsure of your crafting abilities, what better way to hide any mistakes than by making something that should be purposefully ugly. Your first step for your ugly sweater ornaments is gathering materials.

felt and sweater ornament template

I started with a rainbow of wool felt. I like this felt from Purl Soho because it’s high quality wool and comes in really gorgeous colors, but I think any felt would do. Print and use the Rae’s Days Ugly Sweater Template to cut out the shape of the sweaters.

cut out sweaters for ugly sweater ornaments

After you have a few blank sweaters, use any materials you’d like to decorate them. I used felt to cut out shapes and hot glue them on. I wanted to use materials I had on hand, but if I had any sequins, you can bet they’d be all over these.

decorate and assemble your ugly sweaters

After that, step back and admire your work.

ugly sweater ornaments

I am no perfectionist, and these sweaters are no exception. I didn’t measure, and I didn’t worry about getting everything perfect. These are *ugly* sweaters, remember? But I have to say, they look pretty cute in the end. One of my favorites is the Santa sweater. If you wanted, you could use this same template to make Santa ornaments instead. All you need is some white felt for the accents, and some black buttons (I used my hole punch again to make the little felt circles). Once you’re happy with your collection, you need to add some string or yarn so you can get them on your tree.

cutting string for ugly sweater ornaments

I used some gray yarn I had on hand, and I cut it six inches long. On the template, there is a six-inch ruler you can use to measure your string. Then I made a loop with the yarn and hot glued it into the back of my ornament. The easiest way for me to do this was to use a spare piece of felt and glue that to the back to hold the string in the right place.

back of the ugly sweater ornaments

You could use any spare piece of material you have. I cut some into circles because I thought it looked like buttons on the back. Then, hang it on your tree!

ugly sweater ornament hanging on a christmas treechristmas tree with ugly sweater ornaments

Pick up the Rae’s Days Ugly Sweater Template here, and get started! If you make any, I’d love to see them. Please share on Instagram (I’m raenudson) or Twitter (rclnudson) with the hashtag #raesdays!

gift-card giving fun felt envelopes

When I was little, my grandpa gave me a gift card to Barnes & Noble for $20.

I thought it was the most money in the world. I remember looking at all the shelves, picking out so many books, so excited at the new stories at my fingertips. When I was done, we went to the cash register, and–shockingly–the total was more than what the giftcard would cover. About $20 more. My generous mother said she would pay for the rest, and I bounded home with treasures from my giant shopping spree.

Gift cards are fun. They can let someone have fun and shop without budget worries. They can help you provide for someone when you aren’t sure of their size or exactly what they need. But sometimes I feel like they can be a little impersonal–it’s a great gift, but it’s hard to be excited about giving someone a piece of plastic.

So to make my gift-card giving a little more fun, I whipped up these felt envelopes. It was super fast, and I think they came out really cute!

gift card envelopes

I measure a long rectangle of 9 and 3/4 inches by 4 and 3/4 inches.

measure felt for gift card envelopes

Then I cut out the felt, and folded it into thirds. I used an iron to help me make the creases. Then I pinned it in place.

gift card envelopes folded

Then, for the top of the envelope, I measure a dot in the middle of the felt, used my ruler to make a triangle, and cut to make a point.top of gift card envelope

Then I used a zig-zag stitch–just for fun–and sewed up the sides of the envelope and to the point. I also have these cool velcro dots in my craft bookshelf, so I added those on and was done!

done_MG_0300

You could also embroider the letter of the person you are giving it too, or use a ribbon to secure the envelope instead of velcro. I just used what I had on hand. I also wasn’t very precise–you don’t have to be a perfect sewer to make these work. You could even use hot glue instead of a needle and thread. Or colored duct tape! Or any materials you have on hand! Have fun, and be proud to put it under the tree.

tree_MG_0311

Don’t forget in this season of giving that the Newtown libraries have set up a Books Heal Hearts fund to provide books and materials for their community. Like my grandpa gave the gift of books to me, you could help provide for some kids who really need some new stories or comforting entertainment. Read more in my original post on Books Heal Hearts.