Funny DIY Holiday Outfits for Couples Using Thrifted Sweaters


It can be hard to come up with a unique holiday outfit every year. Festive holiday sweaters are tons of fun, but what’s even better than one sweater? Two sweaters! So, grab your partner, roommate, sister or anyone you love and work together to customize a look that’s twice as (naughty or) nice. Here’s how!

DIY Holiday Outfit



  • 2 sweaters or sweatshirts
  • Cardstock
  • Access to a printer
  • Exacto blade
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Water-soluble marking pen
  • Fabric paint
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread to match your sweaters
  • Safety pins
  • Straight sewing pins
  • 2 strings of LED lights with wire inside
  • Tinsel garland with wire inside
  • 1 sheet of felt
  • Scissors
  • Embellishments such as pom poms, a mistletoe bundle, jingle bells, tassels


Making Your DIY Holiday Outfit

Step 1: Settle on a theme for your DIY holiday outfit. There are so many two-part quintessential holiday phrases (naughty and nice, holly jolly, jingle bells, etc.) that you could really have some fun. As you can see, we went with merry and bright. Once you’ve made your choice, head over to Goodwill to see what you can thrift for supplies. Each local Goodwill organization uses donations, and the sales of those donations, to fuel a social enterprise that provides job opportunities and funds other important job placement and training programs to help people find jobs, earn paychecks and build their careers. In this season of giving, it’s great to make a purchase that gives back!

Step 2: Plan your layout. Set out all of your pieces before making any critical decisions so you can envision the final product. This was important because it allows you to realize how much space each item takes so you can arrange them appropriately. Seeing how much space you have left on your “merry” sweater allows you to customize the text in an arch so it fills up more vertical space than if it were just on one line. Feel free to download the template for these letters or try this template with some other common holiday images. You could also make your own! Get adventurous!

Step 3: Begin adding each element starting with the ones that take up the most space. For the “Merry” sweater that was this mistletoe necktie which was twisty-tied to a zipper at the neckline. Next came the text. Since the fabric paint for this would take a while to dry, make sure to do it as soon as possible so you can work on other elements of the sweaters while it set. To begin, print the template on cardstock then use an exacto knife to cut them out. Make sure you put some cardboard under the template, so you don’t damage your work surface. And for any letters or images that have center holes (like R’s and ampersands), leave a little tail that connects the center to the rest of the template.

Step 4: Pin the template in place on the sweater and trace the letters with water-soluble marking pen. Finalize the design with fabric paint then set aside to dry. Don’t worry if you mess up while tracing — the marking pen will wash out!

The most exciting festive holiday sweaters are the ones that are completely over-the-top. So, for the “bright” sweater the letters took on a little more life. We took two strings of LED lights and twisted them together with some tinsel garland. Both the garland and the lights have wire inside, so they stayed right where you put them. Make sure that the controls for the lights are at both ends so you can hide them on the inside of the shirt. Keep in mind that wherever they rest there will be a little extra weight. With thick sweaters like this, it shouldn’t be very noticeable, but if you’re working with a lighter material, it’s just something to keep in mind. It may take a couple of tries to get the letters just right so take your time and have fun with it!

Step 5: Add the extras! With the red sweater lying flat, use straight sewing pins to keep the word “bright” in place while you hand-stitched it on with coordinating thread. After that was set, sprinkled jingle bells and tiny white pom poms (to mimic snow) on both sweaters, and safety pinned each embellishment in place from the inside. Then, turned the sweaters inside-out and hand-stitched each pom pom or jingle bell in place.  This common decoration brings the two sweaters together and it definitely kicks the holiday cheer up a notch, too! No one will be missing these sweaters!

QUICK TIP:  can be When hand-sewing through a knitted piece is to send the needle back through the knot on the first stitch so it hugs the yarn instead of slipping right through the knit.

Step 6: Tie up any loose ends. This could mean the switches that turn on and off my lights. We planned for them to rest on my shoulder and at my hip, in little felt pockets at the seams. The pockets were super simple: we sat the control on top of a piece of felt and cut around it with enough room for a seam allowance.

Then, take the pocket and place it inside the shirt where it is comfortable for the control box to rest. We pinned these in place and then hand-stitched them shut using a thread that was the same color as the shirt.

With everything in place, now you can how the two sweaters looked together. We loved that the red in the mistletoe bow matches the red of “bright” sweater while the white pom poms on that pull in the white of the “merry” sweater. Their cable-knit fabrics even match, so maybe these two sweaters were destined to be a pair from the beginning.

So, there you go! A DIY holiday outfit for your dream duo. Have tons of fun thrifting and crafting together (maybe as a date night).