When Spirit Week comes around, who better to lead the trends
than cheerleaders? If you’re looking for all-out style on a budget, have the
DIY bug, or are simply looking for a way to get pumped for Spirit Week with
your squad (Make Your Own Spirit Swag party, anyone?), here are some crafty
spins on classic Spirit Week themes.
Patriotic Day: Ribbon
Time: 10 minutes
If your theme of the day is Red, White, and Blue,
incorporate patriotism the cheer way: with homemade ribbon elastics! For this
project, you’ll need a hair elastic, scissors, and one or more spools of ribbon
from your local craft store.
If you want to make a “fluffier” elastic, use ⅛- to ¼-inch
ribbons in red, white, and blue, perhaps with a lacy or otherwise decorative
style. Cut a 2-foot strip of each color ribbon, then tie the three of them around
the elastic together (that is: one knot, not three ribbons tied individually).
Bunch up each of the “tails” a few times to form the loops of the bow, so that
you’ll have 6 loops (2 of each color) on either side of the knot. Hold all the
loops in your hands and tie a bow. You’ll have a burst of loops and tails that
will fluff out around your ponytail. If you want extra security, add a dot of
hot glue to the initial knot before you tie your bow over it. Be sure to handle
hot glue guns carefully, or with parent supervision, and allow the elastic to
cool properly before wearing.
If you want to use ribbons that will hold their shape, or
decorated ribbons (such as blue with white stars, or flag-patterned), ½- to 1½-inch
ribbons have more structure and will show off the designs better than narrower
ones. For the true “cheer bow” look, go for a 2-inch or larger ribbon. Cut a
2-foot strip of ribbon and knot it around the elastic at about the midpoint.
Tie a bow on top of it. For added security, add a dot of hot glue to the
initial knot before you tie your bow around it. For the “cheer bow” size, fluff
up the ribbon and spritz it with a little hairspray to help it stand up. Let it
dry before wearing.
Team Spirit Day: Spelling
Time: 1 hour
Your Spirit Week may include a Team Day, where everyone
wears clothing reflecting collegiate or professional sports’ teams, or School
Spirit Day, where everyone wears clothing in your own school’s colors. What better way to celebrate a team day than
with your squad? Get everyone together and spell out your spirit!
Invite your squad to participate in a group spirit activity.
Take a team trip to the craft store for tee shirts in your team’s color
(preferably the darker color; for example, if your school colors are blue and
white, get blue shirts) and decorations. How you decorate your shirts is up to
you: fabric paint, rhinestones and hot glue, sewing on patches—the sky is the
Everyone gets a letter, and you can spell out your team’s
formal name and/or mascot. A bigger squad can spell out “Rancho Carne Toros,”
while a medium-sized squad might only have enough members to spell out “Rancho
Carne,” and a small squad may go for “Toros.” If you need a few extra letters
to fit everyone, you can add “Go” before your mascot, or exclamation points
Pajama Day: An
Old-Timey Night Cap
Time: 1 hour
Pajama Day is all about the comfy tees and baggy pants, but
it’s not always easy to integrate school spirit with your pjs. For a fun
accessory that can incorporate school colors and/or mascots, make an old-timey
nightcap—complete with pompom, of course.
Local craft stores often carry squares of pre-cut fabric,
about ¼-yard. Pick out a solid-color square in your school’s color (or maybe a
patterned fabric that includes your mascot, like lions or sharks), a pompom in
another school color or a complimentary color (sparkles are always good!), and
thread that matches both colors. You’ll also need a pair of scissors sharp
enough to cut through fabric, a ruler, an iron, sewing pins, and tailor’s
chalk. If you have a sewing machine, that’s great, but it’s a simple enough
project to stitch by hand.
Start off by ironing out your fabric square, since it will
have tons of folds in it when you first unwrap it from its packaging. You can
measure the circumference of your head with a tape measure or just hold up the
fabric to test it and make sure that the square will wrap all the way around.
Once you’ve confirmed, fold the fabric in half, with the “inside” side of the
fabric facing out, and iron it so that the fold is a nice, even crease.
Pin all the way around the fabric, including along the
crease, to keep the two sides of your fold together. The pins should run
parallel to the edge of the fabric and be no more than ½-inch from the edge.
Lay down your ruler to connect from about the middle of the open side parallel
to the crease, up to the point of the crease. Draw a line along the ruler using
the tailor’s chalk, then pin the fabric below the line.
Cut along the chalk line. You can remove the pins from the
smaller scrap piece and set that extra fabric aside. We now have the fold, the
bottom, and the outer angle (the flat side and the diagonal cut together).
Shift the pins along the outer angle so that they are perpendicular to the edge
of the fabric instead of parallel. Sew the outer angle shut with a ½-inch seam,
either by sewing machine or by hand.
When you are finished, press the seam. First you will open
the ½-inch seam and iron it flat against the fabric, and then you will close
the seam and iron it closed to one side. This will help the seam to lay flat
inside your hat. For additional security, you can sew a zigzag stitch along the
raw edge of the seam. You now have a triangular piece that can open up into a
The bottom opening needs a little neatening up before you
can wear your hat. Keep the hat inside out, and fold the very bottom of the hat
in, so that you have a 1-inch cuff of the “outside” fabric. Measure to make
sure it is 1 inch and pin the cuff to the hat all the way around, then iron it
so that you have a nice crease at the opening.
Unpin the cuff and fold it in half, tucking the raw edge
into the ironed crease. Iron along this new top crease and pin perpendicularly
all the way around. Sew this top seam to the hat. This will hide the raw edge
of the fabric, which can fray and tear, and gives your cap a finished look.
Turn your cap inside-out. You should now have a finished
hat, and all that’s left to add is the pompom. Pin it to the tip of the cap and
hand-stitch it from the inside out. Put your needle through the fabric from
inside the cap, stitch through the pompom, bring your needle back through the
fabric and inside your cap, and stitch around. Once you feel your pompom is
secure, knot your thread and cut off any excess.
If you feel like being extra fancy, you can add additional
embellishments to the cap, but otherwise, you are ready for Pajama Day (and a
long winter’s nap)!
If these ideas all sound just a little too complex, we've got an alternative for our less crafty inclined readers: take a pre-made bow and make it your own! We recommend something like this football cheer bow, which has a heart shaped football pin in the middle, while still leaving a lot of room for creativity.
I Heart Football Hair Bow
Perfect for all the puffy paint lovers out there, this football bow is a perfect team bonding activity before the season starts. Cover it in initials, your favorite player's number, or other glue-on buttons you can find at your local craft store.
Any crafty plans for
Spirit Week? Be sure to share your tips and tricks!