Introduction: Everything's Better in This Holiday Sweater!
Based on the inspiration of an amazing holiday sweater I saw on Jimmy Fallon, I decided to make this. I have some pretty amazing winter/holiday/Christmas sweaters that I've accumulated over the past few years including some great finds from thrift shops and Ebay, so I thought I had all I needed until I saw that!I looked it up online and $70 plus the fact I'd basically need 1 day shipping to get it here in time for the sweater contest at work and I was looking at $100 for the sweater. Now, don't get me wrong...it's pretty fantastic, but it does lack blinking lights and Westies. I have a Westie (little white terrier dog) and they make everything Christmas at least 50% better. Since I've got a Kindle...it seemed only appropriate for me to modify a sweater that was getting old (to be fair, I got it as a Christmas gift in college from my roommate and it was about 1999 or so when that happened). What better way to give a sweater a swan song than with a holiday sweater modification? Without further ado, I present you the most spectacular holiday sweater I now own.
As a disclaimer, I saw the call-out for holiday sweater instructables after I had already made mine, so I'll do my best to explain it, but I don't have the step by step building in progress photos. It's simple enough to do though!
Step 1: Materials Needed
For my sweater, I had nearly everything I needed already, so my suggestion is that you modify and do the same for yours to save money, because in the end, you want it to look amazing and creative!
- 1 tablet waterproof dry bag - This is one of the few items I had to buy. I got it at a local Meijer on sale for $9.99 and I'll be able to use it for its intended purposes after Christmas, so it's a win-win as far as I'm concerned. Specifically I used this one: http://geckobrands.com/waterproof/ipad-iphone-mobile-device-dry-bags/ipad-waterproof-dry-bag.html
- 1 pkg (2 pair) of baby 0-3 month Christmas socks - again, one of the few items I needed to buy and I got this at Meijer as well. They were $1.49 and on sale for like 25% off of that. It was much cheaper than the $1.99 each mini Christmas stockings and more cute I think!
- Several pieces of 3M DualLock - This stuff isn't cheap at almost $5 a pack, but if you use velcro for something heavy like a tablet, you're probably going to have it fall of your shirt. I already had some and got 1 pack more, which I used about half of. I'd say total I used about 1.5 packs worth to be on the safe side, but you can probably get away with 1 pkg.
- Felt - I had some already and then picked up a multi pack for a few more colors
- soft fleece (I used scraps on the snowman that I already had
- mini hair clips (pinch/alligator style) - I already had these in my craft supplies - you could also use hot glue in place of these on the stockings if you wanted to.
- Aquarium plants - Solid green kind - had this leftover from a Chia Pet Halloween costume I made for my dog last year.
- Sparkly pipe cleaners (for ridges in moulding on fireplace surround)
- Wire sticky clips (you could use hot glue to hold the xmas lights too, but I used some of these that I already had so my lights could be removable.
- lolly/cake pop candy cane striped type straw (for candy cane "bone" on the dog)
- Westie dog (Coconut) scrapbook sticker
- fabric paint (assorted colors)
- 3 graduated sized bottle caps from various objects (pill bottles, pop bottles, etc.)
- plastic plug cap for top hat
- thin wooden dowel
- gummy poster mount squares
- clear fabric glue
- glue gun and glue sticks
Step 2: Placing Tablet on the Sweater
I figured out roughly the height and center of the area for my Kindle. I marked it with a paint pen lightly as an outline and then I attached dual lock to my tablet drybag and stuck it to my sweater. Once it was adequately stuck, I detached the pouch from the sweater and worked on the fireplace surround and other embellishments.
For the tablet drybag, I rolled up the cover and stuck it with sticky mount poster squares (clear gummy ones). That held it find and the are removable so it won't cause any marks or damage to my drybag.
Step 3: Fireplace Surround and Embellishments.
The next thing I did was to create the fireplace surround and decorate it. I used white felt for the outside and mantle. I layered several pieces using a clear craft/fabric glue for the most part. For parts that didn't stick I began using hot glue. The, I used some pearl/sparkly type pipe cleaners to create the vertical lines you might see carved out of wood on a fireplace to add dimension. On the top layer, I left a little bit not adhered so the tablet could slide under it a bit to cover up the edges of the bag somewhat. I also filled in the column between the pipe cleaners with a silver sparkly fabric paint.
Step 4: Decorating the Mantle
To decorate the mantel, I hot glued several pieces of aquarium plants across the top. Next, I added wire clips that I already had with hot glue as well. (see next step for lights)
Step 5: Add Lights to Mantle
I had a package of battery powered led lights I got from Meijer for a little over $3 on sale. I used DualLock for the battery pack inside my sweater and ran that up and through a hole near the mantle. From there, I ran them through the plant grass and clipped them in the wire clips.
Step 6: Clip Stockings to Mantle
Next, I used some hair clips that I had in my craft box and clipped the stockings on. Later I embellished 2 of the stockings with some holly I made from felt and berries that I used fabric paint on.
Step 7: Frosty
To make the snowman I used a hot glue gun to add batting/stuffing layer by layer in the shape of my bottle lids (I used a large RX bottle cap, smaller RX bottle cap, and a cap from some bubbles that is maybe just a little bigger than a pop bottle cap). After they had the stuffing on them to a decent level of height, I covered them with a soft white fleece and hot glued the edges inside the caps.
To make Frosty's hat, I used a plug cap (I think it came on the power cable with my Xbox one or something, but I saw it laying around on my coffee table and it was perfect). I glued a semi-circle of felt on the bottom for the brim of the hat and used red fabric paint for the "ribbon" on his hat. For his corn cob pipe, smile, eyes, and buttons on his body, I used fabric paint. I used a pink button for his nose, because it was the smallest one I had. Sorry about the pink Frosty :) The arms are some thin wooden dowels leftover from another project at Halloween.
Step 8: Westie Dog Present
For the present and dog, I used felt for the present box embellished with fabric paint. The bow was still wet this morning, so I had to scrape off the tacky but not dry paint and hot glue a ribbon on last minute to cover it up. The dog was an existing one in my scrapbooking type stuff (I have a Westie and picked up a few of them when they were on clearance) and the candy cane bone in her mouth was a cake pop type straw (from a prop on Halloween) that I bent for the hook part. I hot glued everything together for this section. The dog was sticky enough on its own to not need glue, but the rest was glued.
Step 9: Finished
That's pretty much it!
I attached the dry bag to my sweater and inserted my Kindle to it, turned on my lights, and used a fireplace app on the tablet. I was a little more limited in the Amazon app store, but I had free coins they gave me with Prime I hadn't used, so I didn't actually pay the $.99 out of pocket I would have needed to. I used this one: http://www.amazon.com/Virtual-Fireplace-Kindle-Tablet-Edition/dp/B00B73UHVQ
Here's the finished product!
As you can see, I won a major award! This was the 1st annual ugly sweater contest at work and there were 3 judges that could hand out their points (worth up to 10) to people. I got the 10 pointers from each of them, so it was a total sweep. It's kind of a big deal. It's a traveling trophy (and isn't it a beauty with a sweater on it and all?) so I'll need to up my game next year somehow since I've clearly set the bar so high.
That's what we call napalm in the business folks. *drops mic*