Reinventing The Ugly Sweater, DIY Style

Whether you love them, or love to hate them, ugly sweaters have become as big a part of the holidays as Santa himself. While there’s something to be said for the original, nostalgic appeal of pulling an old homespun snowman sweater out of the deep closet archives, the whole theme could use a little refresh.

For starters, let’s ditch the word “ugly.” The holidays are a time for magic and celebration, so get those ugly vibes out of here! Embrace that festive kitsch and let some over-the-top outfit decoration help show off your inner glow.

Another wild idea when it comes to the future of sweater-themed parties: Why not try a sweater you can wear more than once? There are plenty of fun ways to DIY a go-to cardigan or everyday pullover so that you can remove your flair once the party’s over. Here are a few of our favorite how-tos to help you go full Griswald.

 

Merry & Lights

AE DIY Sweater

Placing your battery pack near the hem of your sweater (so you can slip it in your jeans pocket!), lay your strand of lights over your sweater in the design you want and stitch it into place. Flip over and repeat on the other side. When you’re ready to lose the lights, carefully snip your stitches and remove the thread.

AE DIY Sweater

Be the Tree

AE DIY Sweater

Lay out your design on one side of the sweater, and stitch the garland and ornaments into place. Turn over and repeat. After the party, carefully snip the stitches and you can transfer those trimmings to another tree!

AE DIY Sweater

 

Chill Frosty

AE DIY Sweater

Cut the black felt into two large circles for the eyes, and smaller circles to form the mouth. Either cut a triangle out of felt, or make a paper cone out of paper to use as the nose. Stitch them on your sweater and remove them when you’re done.

AE DIY Sweater

 

Gingerbread Tux

AE DIY Sweater

For a more detailed look, you might want to consider something permanent like fabric paints. You could also cut out your snowflakes, peppermints, and bowtie from felt before stitching them on as in the other examples.

AE DIY Sweater

All Wrapped Up

AE DIY Sweater

This DIY couldn’t be simpler. Just peel off the backing to each bow and stick them on your dress to create an impressively presentable effect. You’ll want to give each bow a quick stick to keep it secure, or if you’re thinking you might want to keep this crafty number around a little longer, a dab of fabric glue would be even easier!

AE DIY Sweater

Love Is The Message: Share It With These Pride DIYs

All across the country, people are gearing up for Pride celebrations in June. Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community or a proud ally, there’s no better time to show your support, or in this case, wear it. Pride stands for so many things, but not the least among them is individuality and the freedom to be yourself. In the spirit of standing out and celebrating difference, here are a few fun ways to personalize your Pride-inspired look while also supporting the LGBTQ+ youth across the country. 100% of sales from the 2019 AE Pride Collection will benefit the It Gets Better Project.

 

SHOP WOMEN’S PRIDE    |    SHOP MEN’S PRIDE

 

Pop On A Patch:

Go for a classic placement or something a little more unexpected.

DIY Pride patches

Get Your Craft On:

Pick the graphic tee that speaks to you and give it a little something extra. Like a belly-baring crop. Or fringe. Maybe both?

DIY frayed tee

Back (Patch) It Up:

Have you SEEN the new Pride back patches? Now you can really show off that rear view.

Pride jacrons

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize:

Because it’s the little things.

AE pride collection accessories

Whichever way you DIY, share it with #ItGetsBetter @americaneagle to inspire others and show your support!

 

 

GRADUATION DAY YOUR WAY: DIY GRAD CAP IDEAS

First things first, you did it! We’re talking about graduation day which means you can finally cross “high school” off of your To-Do list. All you have left to do is collect your diploma and turn that tassel, and we’ve got a few ideas to help you look your most awesome while doing it. After all, everyone’s going to be wearing the same thing so you’ve got to do something to stand out, right?

Before you bust out the hot glue gun, let’s talk about what’s going on under the gown. Since graduation marks both an end and a beginning, think about repping your new school while you say goodbye to the old one. Vintage-inspired graphics and super soft jersey are two of the best things about Tailgate tees, and together they’re perfect for channeling that effortless, laid-back college vibe you’re going for. Even the most shapeless graduation gown can’t cover up the kind of confidence you get from your favorite pair of jeans, so go for those on the bottom.

animating GIF of NCAA graphics

Once you’re feeling good about your outfit, it’s time to give that square cap a little love. Whether you’re going for a ‘gram-worthy DIY that matches your campus color scheme, or you just want to have some fun and break up the sea of squares, here are a few ideas to help you stand out in the commencement crowd:

 

GO FLORAL

A flower crown is always a good idea, and graduation day is no exception.

animation of graduation cap design

  • Use fabric paint to cover the top of your cap

animation of graduation cap design

  • Faux flowers are perfect for crafting – just trim the stems and glue onto whichever corner you like

animation of graduation cap design

  • Once the top flowers are dry, flip your cap over and add more blooms to the front to create a flower crown effect

 

GET SENTIMENTAL

Add a quote that keeps you inspired, or make space to have a few friends sign. Either way, this is one for the memory book.

animation of graduation cap design

  • Use masking tape and fabric paint to color block the top of your cap, make sure at least one side is light enough to write on.

animation of graduation cap design

  • Bring a permanent marker to have your friends scribble their messages before the ceremony

 

BUTTON IT UP

Create any kind of design, or easily spell out your school letters, while adding plenty of color and texture.

  • Start by placing large buttons first and then gluing them down

animation of graduation cap design

  • Fill in the rest of the space with a variety of smaller buttons

 

KEEP IT LIGHT

You’ve worked hard to get here, now have a little fun!

  • Paint the top of your cap in one of your school colors

animation of graduation cap design

  • Rip a page from one of your old notebooks, glue it on, and write your message

 

 

DIY RACING STRIPE JEANS

 

DIY Racing Stripe Jean Animation

Athleisure is an easy trend to get behind. Statement-making sneakers, cropped sweatshirts, joggers, ball caps… Pieces that bring comfort, style and attention to detail together. What’s NOT to love? The next time you’re in the mood for a “casual with a twist” kind of look, channel Sporty Spice and make that twist an on-trend, easy DIY that sets your jeans apart from the rest. The best part? You can use a pair of jeans you already have!

Check out our DIY guide below and give it a go yourself.

Description of materials needed

 

STEP ONE : GLUE YOUR RACING STRIPE ALONG THE SEAM

Do this from waist to hem, making sure to leave enough ribbon to fold into the waistband. This goes for the hem, too – you don’t want the cut edge of the ribbon to show!

Tip: Follow the instructions on the glue for drying times, as they can vary by brand!

 

animation of ribbon being glued to DIY jeans

 

STEP TWO : STITCH THE TOP TO SECURE

Thread your needle and secure with a knot. Start by stitching at the waistband, going over the initial stitch spot a few times. Then continue down the leg to the hem, stitching every ¼ inch. Do this along both edges of the ribbon.

Animation of ribbon being stitched to DIY jeans

 

STEP THREE : ROCK YOUR NEW JEANS

Tip: The safest way to wash your DIY jeans is to turn them inside-out and use a gentle wash cycle with cold water!

 

Finished DIY Racing Stripe Jeans

 

Did you try it? Share your DIY jeans with us using #AExME or #AEJeans @americaneagle and you could be featured on our Facebook or Instagram feed!

 

 

DIY: Embroidered denim jacket!

We’re all about individual style, and customized denim jackets are an easy (and fun!) way to add a unique element to your look. ESPECIALLY this season – pins, patches and embroidered details are EVERYWHERE. Iron-on patches designed to look like embroidery will make your jacket look like it took hours to create, while actually only taking up a few minutes of your time.

(Pro tip: if you’re not into DIY, you can shop our embroidered jackets herehere and here)

M&J Trimming Patches DIY Embroidered Jacket

To find our iron-on patches, we took a trip to M&J Trimming in NYC. We chose big, bold floral details that complemented our perfectly worn-in denim jackets, but if flowers aren’t your thing, they have tons of other super-cool patches including stars, tigers and tattoo-inspired designs. Keep reading for our DIY tutorial!

DENIM STYLES PERFECT FOR CUSTOMIZATION: Fray Hem Denim Jacket | Denim Vest
Women’s Vintage Hi-Rise Jean | Women’s Jegging | Men’s Skinny | Men’s Slim

M&J Trimming Patches DIY Embroidered Jacket

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Denim jacket (or other denim of choice!)
  • Iron-on patches (we found ours here)
  • Iron
  • Ironing board or iron-safe surface
  • Thin piece of fabric (dish towel, washcloth, etc.)

M&J Trimming Patches DIY Embroidered Jacket

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Heat up the iron on high, no steam.
  2. Plan out your design! Lay your jacket on a flat surface and experiment with patch placement until you find an arrangement you like.
  3. Start ironing the patches on one at a time. Place patch on the desired area and cover with the thin fabric.
  4. Lay the iron over the patch for 30-60 seconds, giving the glue enough time to adhere to the jacket.
  5. Let the patch cool completely before checking to make sure it’s secure.
  6. Repeat for each patch!

M&J Trimming Patches DIY Embroidered Jacket

Will you give this DIY a try? Take a pic of your finished jacket & share it with us using #WeAllCan!

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DIY Ugly Sweater For Last Minute Holiday Parties

Holiday party season is in full swing, and there’s always a chance you might get a last minute invite to one this weekend (or already have one on the calendar!). It seems like every year holiday parties require the best (or worst?) ugly sweater attire, so if you’re scrambling for a quick outfit to wear out this weekend, we can help. All you need are a few quick decorations and tools, most of which you probably already have on hand. Keep reading for our step-by-step guide to making a DIY Ugly Sweater for last minute holiday parties.

What You Need: 

1. Find the perfect sweater. We like our Ahhhmazingly Soft Jegging Sweater (pictured) or the Raglan V-Neck Sweater. Bright colors are best to really make your look stand out!

DIY Ugly Sweater for Holiday Parties

2. Start with some tinsel. Use your hot glue gun or fabric glue to add some fun texture and depth to your sweater. In this case, the crazier it looks, the better!

DIY Ugly Sweater for Holiday Parties

3. Glue on seasonal patches or pins. Grab your DCI Ugly Sweater Kit or pins, or make your own cutout holiday shapes from thick fabric like felt or fleece. Glue the patches over the tinsel for a 3-D effect.

DIY Ugly Sweater for Holiday Parties

4. Add your finishing touches. Take your sweater over-the-top and add finishing touches like mirror balls (you could even use ornaments here) and throw a necklace on top – extra points if your sweater lights up!

DIY Ugly Sweater for Holiday Parties

COMPLETE YOUR LOOK: We like these little extras from our Holiday Party Shop for the ultimate ugly sweater party outfit .

Show us what you’re gifting & wearing this season with #AEOSTYLE on Instagram & Twitter.

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