Last Minute Ugly Halloween Sweater from a Thrifted Sweatshirt
Get your Ugly Halloween Sweater game on by transforming a thrifted sweatshirt into a seasonal "craftcore" gem. Ugly sweaters don’t just come around once a year anymore.
If you don’t have a good idea for a costume this year, consider turning your thrifted sweatshirt into an ugly Halloween sweater instead of wearing a costume. It’s a great last minute alternative to a costume.
According to Nylon magazine, Craftcore is fashion’s most influential “subculture” this year. Crafting is about giving your clothes a homemade feel.
Thrifted sweatshirts are a great place to start. They’re begging for personalization. Here’s five steps to make a thrifted sweatshirt from Goodfair into a DIY crafted Halloween design.
1. Thrift a sweatshirt
It all starts with a tough decision: crewneck or hoodie? Shop our sweatshirts here.
2. Prep your sweatshirt
Did you know 100% Acetone nail polish remover (it costs about a dollar) can actually remove vinyl lettering from a sweatshirt? I know, right? This is the thrifter’s dream come true.
Even if you’re not removing any of your sweatshirt’s flair, just pop it in the wash to freshen up your find.
3. Pick a theme
Whether you want to make it spooky or make it cute, it helps to have a concept. Get inspiration from pop culture sources such as scary movies or old death metal bands. You might want to watch footage from these classics to get you in the mood:
- Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video
- Marilyn Manson’s anything
- Nightmare on Elm Street
- The Shining
- Alien (the movie)
- Edward Scissor Hands
- The Addams Family
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre
- The Ring
- Hitchcock films
- Gremlin films
4. Use iron-on lettering for words.
If you’ve ever watched anything DIY on Tiktok, you’ll know that you can print out letters on iron-on paper, cut them out, and iron them on to clothes. Search for HeatnBond EZ Print Sheets. “Boo” is a good place to start, but I think you can do better.
5. Add (or subtract) ugly details.Here are a few ways to personalize your sweater:
- Get out the glue gun for 3-D additions. You can attach thrifted Halloween decor like plastic spiders or bobbly eyes directly onto the sweater.
- Use stencils and spray paint for repeated patterns. Cut out your ghost, bat, pumpkin or witch design with cardboard and spray up your sweatshirt for an all over design.
- Add embroidery. For a crafted approach, embroider your design into the top right corner or onto the collar of your sweatshirt. This is best for those with patience.
- Personalize with scissors. You can crop it, add horizontal “slashes” to the sleeves, or fringe to give your ugly halloween sweater its own unique look.
- Make orange and black yarn pom poms and sew rows of them down the sleeves.
- Add patches in Halloween shapes like Jack-O-Lantern cut outs.
Once you’ve gone down the rabbit hole of craftcore to make your Halloween Sweater, snap a photo and post it on IG. Don’t forget to tag us: @goodfair.
Have more Halloween sweater ideas? Tell us in the comments.
Article written by Erica Eller