MY DIY | Gem Cotton Cardigan & Holiday Dress

DIY PROJECT, Fashion DIY, Holiday DIY

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The holidays are in full swing, and if you are anything like me, you are trying to figure out what to wear to each gathering. In the spirit of upcycling, I wanted to take a couple items from my own closet and give them a new (and more festive) life. Over the years, I have collected many plain cotton cardigans because they are so versatile for day-to-day wear, but now it’s time to take one from day-to-night by adding a little sparkle! I’ve spotted so many similar looking sweaters at the store for triple the price, even though it’s so simple to make your own! Next up was a red cotton dress that looked a little casual for a party, but with a little bling, it becomes the perfect holiday hostess dress.  All you need is some gems, glue, needle and thread. Cotton clothing is great for this project because the fabric bonds well with the gem-tac, ensuring your sparkle stays in place. It works on dresses, cardigans, or really any other garment that needs some holiday-ifying. Now the fun part, you can get as creative as you like with the pattern, colors and number of gems you include depending on how bright you want to shine. Now time to party! Check out video above or get the steps and supplies after the break.


What you need:
Faceted Gems
Gem-tac glue
Sewing kit
Cotton cardigan
Cotton Dress 

What to do:
Step 1:
Arrange the gems on your dress/ cardigan in your desired pattern.
Step 2: Using the Gem-tac, glue each gem onto the dress/ cardigan, let dry.
Step 3: Reinforce the gems with stitch on the inside of the dress/ cardigan. Knot off each stitch to secure each gem.
Step 4: Hand wash.

This post was brought to you by Cotton Incorporated. Thank you for supporting my amazing sponsors who make I SPY DIY possible!




  1. Indie says:

    Love your red dress, very beautiful, and i want to buy one


  2. Michelle says:

    Looks amazingly cute with all those gems, just the right thing for the holidays!

  3. Hannah says:

    Love both of these restyles! A little bit of sparkle is all you need 🙂
    Hannah x

  4. Emily says:

    I really like the cardigan! I have a lot because they make for easy office wear – just one over a comfy tank… – so I am definitely going to have to try glitzing one up!

  5. sherry says:

    The red dress is so cute and festive. I really like it.

  6. Anne says:

    I love how simple and subtle the updates were but the gems really added that extra glam perfect for the holidays!


    Cute red dress 🙂
    Maria V.

  8. Marina says:

    It’s the perfect season for be-jeweling! I’d rather sew them on, but this is cute too. Love the photos!

  9. Paige says:

    This is such an awesome tutorial! I’m definitely giving this a try asap!


  10. sherry says:

    Love the jeweled cardigan.

  11. Beth says:

    Do the gems have a small loop on the back of each for the needle to pass through? If not, how do you reinforce with thread without the thread showing on the front of the gem? Thank you!

  12. Jesica says:

    Genius! These look like they cost way too much money from J Crew 😉 So festive!

  13. Noah says:

    Such an utterly stunning look! In love with the combination you made.

  14. Mitchell says:

    I wish you a merry Christmas.

  15. Robin says:

    This may be a stupid question, but I’m curious about the reinforcing stitch. Where do you sew through? Through the glue, over the gem, through a hole in the gem…? Just a little confused by that. Otherwise, I adore this and want to bedazzle (is be-gem a word?) everything I own!!

    1. Jenni says:

      The gems have little holes on the back!

Comments are closed.


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