Free Ideas for Decorating Sweatshirts

Breathing new life into an old sweatshirt isn't just an easy task--it also gives your wardrobe a new addition for a fraction of the cost of buying new clothes. Decorating and restyling old sweatshirts gives them a new lease on life and gives you a new shirt on your back, so think twice before you donate or throw away an old favorite--it might just need a second chance.

Iron-On Transfers

If you have an iron, a computer and a printer, you can redesign a sweatshirt with a brand new logo or trendy print. Iron-on transfer paper is just like normal paper, except that when you press it against clothing and iron over it, the image on the paper permanently transfers to your clothes. Available at office and art supply stores, transfer paper fits in your computer's printer, so you can design a new look for your clothing at very little cost. Fire up a graphic-design program and put your artistic skills to the test--you may design something completely original or even manipulate a digital photo that you would love to wear on your sweatshirt. When you're done, print it out, follow the instructions and within minutes, you'll be sporting a brand new sweatshirt. (See References 1, 2)

Cut and Craft

Show off your sewing skills by redecorating your sweatshirt right down to the threads and the seams. Though redecoration crafts like these require significant skill with a needle and thread, if you know your way around a sewing machine, you'll be giving your old sweatshirts a much-needed dose of pizzazz. One option is to create a sweatshirt shrug: a vest-like accessory with three-quarter-length sleeves and a short midsection. Depending on your skill and style, you might try crafting a shrug that either ties in the middle or zips, and you can add embellishments like frayed seams. (See References 3) To redecorate your wardrobe for summer, transform a winter weather top into something suitable for higher temperatures. With a sewing machine and a bit of elastic, you can modify a plain zip-up hoodie into a cap-sleeved sweatshirt. Cap-sleeved hoodies are suitable for casual and relaxed outfits, so use a hoodie that runs large to make this shirt cozy and comfy. (See References 4)

Sew and Stick

Cleaning out your craft room yields useful supplies for decorating a sweatshirt--use scrap fabrics you've held onto to make sew-on patches for your sweatshirts. Simple designs like stars and hearts are easily cut from sheets of fabric, and sewing them on in minimalist patterns requires only patience. You can even embellish these patches with glue-on fabric webbing. Be cautious when laundering, however--fabric glue can peel off after too many trips through the washer and dryer. (See References 5)

References & Resources