22 Ugly Christmas Sweater Ideas to Try This Holiday Season (Plus Some DIY Versions, If You’re Feeling Crafty)

One small benefit of doing holiday parties over Zoom? We can skip the itchy sequins and constrictive Spanx in favor of a comfier (but no less festive) option: the ugly holiday sweater. These light-up knits, pun-covered pullovers and tinsel-strewn cardigans have become a December tradition we look forward to almost as much as the Starbucks holiday cup reveal or binge watching Elf over and over again as we eat gingerbread by the handful. Here, 22 ugly Christmas sweater ideas (including three to DIY) to help spread the holiday cheer.

RELATED: 11 Creative Ways to Celebrate the Holidays Safely This Year

6 DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater Ideas to Try

Combine two of your favorite holiday traditions—ugly Christmas knits and the annual Starbucks holiday cups—with this hilarious design by Celery Jones. For the actual cup design, all you need is a few strips of felt, hook-and-loop tape and an unused coffee cup. As for the rest, feel free to stick to Jones’ lace collar and ‘Cheers!’ design or branch out and try something different.

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For those in the mood for a more involved project, Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY has instructions on how to crochet a string of brightly-colored lights you can affix to any cozy sweater (or if one you knit yourself if you’re feeling really ambitious).

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This island-inspired design by Sam Ushiro is a bit more advanced (those palm trees are actually crocheted on), but you can always glue on some felt shapes if you’re more of a beginner crafter.

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Add a little bit of all your holiday favorites—candy cane, ornaments, ribbons, gingerbread cookies—to a red or green sweatshirt with contrasting tinsel trim with the help of this easy DIY from Megan Graney.

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Turns out it’s not nearly as complicated as we thought to turn just about any knit into a light-up sweater. So whether you’re hoping to design your own ugly Christmas knit from scratch or just want to add an extra pop to one you already own, Samantha’s fun and easy DIY can get you there.

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RELATED: 21 Holiday Party Outfits for Every Type of Festive Occasion…Including Nights on the Couch

This pom-pom adorned design requires no sewing whatsoever, making it an excellent option for those who want a more low-key project. All you need is felt, scissors, pom-poms, fabric glue and a sweater or top you’re willing to transform into a festive winter wonderland.

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16 Ugly Christmas Sweaters to Buy

Layer this reindeer cardigan over a simple black tee or, to up the kitsch factor, a sparkly silver blouse.

$35 at Amazon

Available in sizes S to XL

This cat-covered pullover will help you light up any room you enter. No, seriously—it has built-in Christmas lights.

$32 at Amazon

Available in sizes S to XXL

Most of these quilt-inspired patches we understand (like the snowman, candy cane and melting candle), but we have some questions about Santa’s Rorschach hairdo…

Buy it ($90; $68)

Available in sizes S to L

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on this bright, Hawaiian Christmas Day. That or “could someone please hand me another piña colada?”

Buy it ($35)

Available in sizes S to XL

For those who prefer to spend their holidays in a tropical locale, perhaps a flamingo-, parrot- and frond-covered knit is the way to go.

Buy it ($30)

Available in sizes XS to 3X

Be sure to fill out the gift tag with a clever combination, like “To: E. Scrooge, From: J. Frost.”

$50 at Amazon

Available in sizes XS to XXL

The second season of The Mandalorian just hit Disney+ so the love for Baby Yoda, aka The Child, has never been stronger.

Buy it ($60)

Available in sizes XS to 2X

For those who want something a little fancier than your typical oversize knit.

Buy it ($60; $31)

Available in sizes XS to L

Because nothing says “Christmas” quite like snowflakes, traditional Shetland Fair Isle detailing and a string of ferocious Tyrannosaurus rexes.

Buy it ($69)

Available in sizes XXS to 4X

As you might imagine, the Disney store has lots of festive options featuring all your favorite characters, including the wicked trio above (though Angelina Jolie’s recent portrayals of Maleficent has us questioning her Naughty List status).

Buy it ($50)

Available in sizes XS to XXL

Feel free to add more baubles and bits to the tinsel stripes for maximum effect.

Buy it ($48)

Available in sizes 0 to 8

Combine all the things you love—Friends, comfort and holiday cheer—into one cozy sweater. Could this knit be any more wonderful?

Buy it ($60)

Available in sizes XS to 3X

There are just three things we wish for this year: red, white and rosé. Oh, and one of these spectacular wine-themed sweaters, of course. (P.S. Franzia’s holiday shop officially opens on December 1.)

Buy it ($50)

Available in sizes S to XXL

Llamas + sequins + pom-poms = a spectacular holiday sweater. Interestingly, this combo also equals a spectacular holiday party (just for future reference).

Buy it ($33)

Available in sizes XS to 3X

There are eight adorable wintery animal designs to choose from, but we’re partial to this cozy kitty sporting a festive knit all her own.

Buy it ($60; $40)

Available in sizes M to 5X

As Chester himself would say, this sweater is dangerously cheesy…in a different but equally excellent way from actual Cheetos.

Buy it ($60)

Available in sizes XS to 2X

PureWow may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from PureWow’s editorial and sales departments.

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