reinbeer story behind the sweater reindeer ugly christmas sweater

"How do you make your ugly Christmas sweaters?" That's a question we get asked a lot, so we wanted to take you behind the scenes to show you how we go from initial concept to fully produced Christmas sweater. Today we're going to be looking at Reinbeer.


We keep a running list of Ugly Christmas Sweater ideas easily accessible on our phones and computers that we add to throughout the year. Inspiration can strike at the oddest moments, so while we do have hours-long brainstorming sessions, we also get ideas while we're falling asleep, stepping out of the shower, or out to dinner, and we want to be able to add those ideas to our list immediately so we don't forget them. This list has one-word ideas that need to be developed further all the way to fully realized concepts with reference images and detailed descriptions.

Reindeer acting like people work really well for our Christmas sweaters. We wanted to add another to the mix this year, and we were inspired by what Tyler's cousin looked like at our wedding.

Sarah and I developed this idea further, including beer cans hanging from reindeer antlers, and we originally titled it “Get Lit.”

get lit ugly christmas sweater reindeer notes


The first step in the design process is to create a sketch. This way we can make adjustments before we get too far down the road. In the case of Reinbeer, the initial sketch looked like this:

get lit reindeer sweater sketch ugly christmas sweater

The first draft is pretty basic, but let us know right away that we were on the right track.

Front Panel Design

After sketching, we move on to a full design for the front panel. This means that everything gets fully drawn out, colored in, text and texture added. First the front panel design looked like this:

get lit reindeer ugly christmas sweater design
At this point, we were having some second thoughts about “Get Lit.” It was good, but not perfect. That’s when we came up with Reinbeer.


Sometimes we like to turn to a close group of friends and family to get their opinions or help us make a decision. We sent out a poll asking which version they preferred, and the vast majority said they liked Reinbeer over Get Lit.


So we officially changed the name to Reinbeer and locked in our front panel design.

reinbeer ugly christmas sweater front panel design

Finalized Design

Once we've finished the front panel, we need to design the sleeves and the back of the sweater. For the Reinbeer sleeves, we added falling beer cans to make it look like it was really RAINING beer.

reinbeer falling beer cans

Once we have these elements, we put everything together for a finished design.

reinbeer ugly christmas sweater

And there you have it! That's the story behind our Reinbeer sweater.