How to Decorate Kids' Sweatshirts


Rainbow Loops & Beads Sweatshirt
Decorate sneakers and shirt to match.
Decorate sneakers and shirt to match.
hkjbj

Neon-colored pony beads make a striking decoration for any wearable-art project. The shoes and sweatshirt that make up this combination can be worn separately or as a matching set. Find out how to make these wearable crafts below.

What You'll Need:

  • Shoes
  • 1 pair high-top gym shoes
  • 1 pair neon pink shoelaces
  • 12 × 10mm neon heart-shaped pony beads: 6 orange, 6 green, 6 yellow, 2 blue
  • 9 × 6mm neon barrel-shaped pony beads: 2 orange, 2 green, 2 yellow, 2 blue
  • 12mm opaque sunburst beads: 2 orange, 4 yellow, 6 baby blue, 4 pink
  • 6mm opaque round beads: 6 yellow, 6 baby blue, 4 pink, 2 orange
  • 6 snowman-face beads, 14mm each
  • 10 silver jump rings, 8mm each
  • 10 silver head pins, 1-1/2-inch each
  • Long-nose pliers
  • Round-nose pliers

How to Make the Rainbow Loops & Beads Sweatshirt:

How to Make the Rainbow Loops & Beads Sweatshirt:

Use wire cutters to trim the pin.
Use wire cutters to trim the pin.
kjbhj

Step 1: String beads onto head pins by following the charts below for the correct order of the various bead configurations, then follow the diagram titled "Making a Head Pin Loop" to complete tops of bead configurations.

Use wire cutters to trim the pin if necessary, then use round-nose pliers to bend the end of the pin into a small loop, stringing on a jump ring (see above). Repeat for a total of 4 heart-bead configurations and 6 snowman-face configurations.

String beads onto shoelaces in the order shown.
String beads onto shoelaces in the order shown.
nhkjn,

Step 2: String 4 barrel beads, 2 heart-bead configurations, and 3 snowman-face configurations onto one of the shoelaces in the order shown in photo. Center these items on the shoelace and string lace ends from front to back through bottom eyelets of shoe.

String heart-shaped beads onto both laces.
String heart-shaped beads onto both laces.
b

Step 3: String a neon green heart-shaped pony bead (small end first) onto ends of both shoelaces held together (see above). Bring each lace up through the next eyelet on each side of the shoe. String a neon yellow heart-shaped pony bead onto ends of both shoelaces held together. Bring each lace down through the next eyelet on each side of the shoe.

String a neon orange heart-shaped pony bead onto both lace ends held together. Bring each lace end down through the next eyelet on each side of the shoe. String a neon blue heart-shaped pony bead onto both lace ends held together. Bring each lace end down through the next eyelet on each side of the shoe. String a neon green heart-shaped pony bead onto both lace ends held together. Bring each lace end down through the next eyelet on each side of the shoe.

Finally, string a neon yellow heart-shaped pony bead onto both lace ends held together. Bring each lace end up through the top eyelet on each side of the shoe. (Note: More or fewer eyelets on the shoe will require more or fewer heart-shaped pony beads.)

Knot the shoelace to hold bead in place.
Knot the shoelace to hold bead in place.
jbk

Step 4: Tie a single knot about 3 inches from one end of the shoelace. String on a neon yellow heart-shaped pony bead. Tie another knot to hold the bead.

Repeat with the other end, using a neon green heart-shaped pony bead.

Repeat Steps 2-4 to make a second shoelace.

Sweatshirt Instructions

What You'll Need:

  • 1 white sweatshirt
  • 9 × 6mm barrel-shaped pony beads: 30 magenta, 58 neon yellow, 53 neon blue, 58 neon orange, 56 neon green
  • 53-inch neon shoelaces: 10 green, 10 pink, 1 yellow, 3 blue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Fabric glue, or needle & and thread
  • Straight pins

Note: The shoelaces pictured are a round style, made of loosely woven poly-propylene. If similar laces are not available, you may use regular shoe-laces, sewing the loops with a heavy thread and large needle instead. Very tightly woven laces may not be suitable. The sweatshirt pictured is size 7-8. The number of shoelaces and beads used may be varied to suit the size of the sweatshirt.

Trim the lace at an angle.
Trim the lace at an angle.
j

Step 1: Trim the tip of the plastic end of a blue lace at a sharp angle, making a point. You will use this pointed lace as the "needle and thread."

Thread the blue lace through the green lace.
Thread the blue lace through the green lace.
n

Step 2: Measure 3 inches from one end of a green lace. Thread the blue lace through the middle of the green lace.

String a bead on the green lace.
String a bead on the green lace.
h

Step 3: Measure another 1/2 inch on the green lace and thread the blue lace through the middle of the green lace once again, as shown. String a magenta barrel bead onto the green lace.

Continue to thread the blue lace through the green, attaching beads at intervals.
Continue to thread the blue lace through the green, attaching beads at intervals.
h

Step 4: Measure 3 more inches on the green lace and thread the blue lace through it. Measure another 1/2 inch and thread the blue lace through the green lace once again. Repeat Steps 2-3 until 3 inches of the green shoelace are left (12 loops with beads). Alternate the colors of the beads, repeating the following order: magenta, yellow, blue, and orange. After the last 3-inch loop, measure and thread on 1 more 1/2-inch loop, with no bead.

Eight green laces will be necessary to surround the collar of the shirt.
Eight green laces will be necessary to surround the collar of the shirt.
hh

Step 5: Repeat Steps 2-4 to add more green laces. A total of 8 green laces will make a row of loops around the yoke of a child's size 7-8 sweatshirt. Work the loops down along the blue lace as you complete each green lace.

Now thread the blue lace through a pink lace, adding beads at intervals.
Now thread the blue lace through a pink lace, adding beads at intervals.
nhn

Step 6: Repeat Steps 1-5 to make the row of pink loops, substituting the neon pink shoelaces for the green ones and using a second blue lace as the needle and thread. Alternate blue, orange, green, and yellow beads.

Attach the pink and green laces with glue.
Attach the pink and green laces with glue.
gjbk

Step 7: Pin the pink row of loops in an oval shape approximately 2-1/2 inches below the neck seam. Gather and adjust the loops to fit the oval shape of the yoke. Glue or sew the row of loops to the sweatshirt all the way around the front and back. The line of glue or sewing should be along the blue lace, allowing the longer loops to hang freely to form a fringe.

Trim the ends of the blue lace to 1/4 inch. Tuck them in and securely glue or sew them under so they don't show. Measure 3/4 inch up from the pink row of loops and attach the green row of loops in the same way. (The green loops will hang down to cover the top edge of the pink row of loops.)

Use the green lace as a needle and thread, making loops of pink lace.
Use the green lace as a needle and thread, making loops of pink lace.
hh

Step 8: Using a green lace as the needle and thread, make 5 loops of pink lace with yellow, blue, orange, and green beads as shown. Loops should measure 1-3/4 inches. Push the loops together and tie the green lace used as the needle and thread in a single knot. Trim all 4 ends to 1/2 inch. Glue the ends to the middle of the flower.

Make a flower with the green lace.
Make a flower with the green lace.
h

Step 9: Make a smaller flower from a green lace but without beads. Loops should measure 1 inch. Glue or sew to the center of the flower with beads made in Step 8.

Glue the end of the knot to hold it.
Glue the end of the knot to hold it.
hh

Step 10: Cut a 4-inch length of pink lace. Tie a double knot. Trim both ends to 1/2 inch and glue or sew against the knot. Glue or sew the knot to the center of the Step 9 flower.

Glue the flowers to the sweatshirt.
Glue the flowers to the sweatshirt.
gkj

Step 11: Repeat Steps 8-10 to make 4 more flowers in different colors. Glue flowers to front of sweatshirt. We used 2 flowers with the pink and green combination, and 1 each of the others.

Glue beads along the cuffs.
Glue beads along the cuffs.
kjkh

Step 12: Glue or sew 8 beads evenly spaced along the cuff of each sleeve, alternating colors in orange, magenta, yellow, and green.

Variation

Use your imagination to develop your own color combinations for Rainbow Loops & Beads. Try substituting pastel versions of the colors on the charts for a springtime look, or autumnal colors for the fall.

Check out the next page to find out how to decorate a sweatshirt with heart and key charms.

For more fun activities and jewelry crafts, check out:

More to Explore