The holiday season is magical, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Between gift shopping, holiday parties, sending out cards, writing Christmas greetings, and eating enough fruitcake to smother a polar bear (FRUITCAKE ISN’T GROSS, YOU’RE GROSS, SHUT UP), December isn’t just about fun. It’s also about survival.
In order to kill it this holiday season, you’ve got to have some skills. You’ve got to be clever enough to come up with good gifts. You’ve got to be fierce enough to win the Christmas party games. You’ve got to have stamina enough to make it through a full punch bowl of Aunt Jan’s eggnog. And you’ve got to be a sartorial mastermind enough to make the perfect DIY ugly Christmas sweater.
While we can’t help you with the eggnog, we can help you with some boss ugly Christmas sweater ideas. Without further ado, some ugly Christmas sweater ideas for your DIY ugly Christmas sweater.
1. All wrapped up
Glitter tape can create a wrapping-paper effect to show off the best gift of all: yo’self.
2. Puff paint perfection
Puff paint is an easy way to fully customize your sweater. Well, easy if you can draw.
3. Felt fun
He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’re not wearing an ugly sweater, so wear one for goodness sake? Something like that. Get your whole family involved and relish in the fact that you get to keep these pictures for years to come. That’s right. Maximum. Embarrassment. Forever. Felt is a cheap option to customize that crewneck.
4. Red-dy for it
Accentuate the color of the season by upcycling something you already own. That’s right, the basic red sweater that’s hanging in your own closet is the perfect DIY base for all your baubles. Minimal effort, maximum festivity.
5. Wrapped in wreaths
Make your friends jealous by gluing tinsel and bows into a circle pattern. Bam. 3D holiday party on your sweater.
6. Don’t cheet-ah yourself out of this festive frock.
Tinsel never goes out of style (maybe because it never was in style? Who knows). Adding it to a cardigan makes it uniquely ugly in the best possible way.
7. Rudolph the red nose sweater
If you’re running low on time, keep it simple with a quirky animal cutout. And a drink, of course.
8. Button up
The inspiration for this sweater is, “If I were in Kindergarten, what would my ideal Christmas tree look like?” Take that idea, and throw it on a sweater.
9. It’s wacky and tacky and Christmas all over
These bad boys. Take advantage of your partner’s holiday cheer by convincing them to dress up with you. Use markers to draw on a string of lights, a Christmas wish, or even cacti I guess.
10. Make a festive
Glue a little gift bag on your sweater for customized convenience. Need further convincing? Two words: snack pocket.
11. When in doubt: glitter
If there’s one thing I love more than awkward snowmen, it’s awkward glittered snowmen. A sharpie sketch gets 100 times better when you add glitter to it, so grab fabric glue and your favorite colors and take a trip to glitter town.
12. Bandana Bonanza
Animals are part of the fam. Include them in the festivity by decorating a handkerchief for them too.
13. Ornamental extravaganza
Glue a set of mini baubles on your sweater for a DIY ugly sweater in a pinch.
The perfect ugly sweater idea is one that looks like an elf threw up all over it, and by the looks of these two, mission accomplished. Pom-poms, pipe cleaners, mini lights, take some festive favorites and hot glue them to your sweater.
15. Dazzle in bedazzles
Shoutout to Shrek for this holiday inspo. Placing some stick-on rhinestones on your sweater is a quick way to add a little color to your ensemble. Lord Farquaad approved.
16. Pom-pom parade
Uh-oh. Seems like Rudolph had too much eggnog. We can’t guarantee the same won’t happen to you at your holiday party, but we can guarantee that pom-poms are hideous, so add 1,000 of them to your sweater for the ultimate “yikes” factor.
Credit:Seeking the weekend
17. Cool in crochet
Know any cool grandmas? Because I’m really regretting never having learned to crochet right about now. Is it too late?
18. Double trouble
Sweaters for two make the ugly experience just that much better. No luck finding a two person sweater? Add velcro to the sides of two separate sweaters for a snowmen buddy that you can also escape from. I mean, who wants to be stuck with their friend all night? Not me.
19. Oh deer
If you’ve ever wanted to look like a deranged reindeer hunting trophy wall (who hasn’t), now’s your chance. Take anything vaguely holidayish and glue it onto your sweater. Donezo.
Searching for a sweater that says “I’m ugly, but not that ugly”? We’ve got you covered with a more casual ugly sweater idea go-to. Choosing mismatched patterns is a lighter approach for those who want to participate, but don’t want to get too crazy.
21. Garland getup
Hot glue pieces of garland onto your sweater for the ultimate cute-but-ugly vibe.
22. Baby (and bauble) on board
Show off that baby bump with some sparkly iron-on paper and stenciled-on slogans.
23. TREE-at yo’self
Zig-zag a strip of green tinsel into a tree pattern and add some mini ornaments to complete this ugly sweater idea.
24. It’s lit
No time? Grab a pullover from your closet and throw on a set of battery-powered mini lights to your sweater for a quick way to spruce it up.
25. Family affair
Get your whole squad together in style with stick on foam pieces, printouts, and pipe cleaners.
26. Roast yourself
Iron on a transferable version of a funny Christmas card to make the most of this year’s awkward fam photo.
27. Sequin sleeves
Sequin season is in full swing, so take advantage of it. Glue those suckers all over your cuffs to show your spirit.
28. Jingle all the way
Let everyone know exactly when the fun has arrived by adding some bells to your sweater. Bonus points for looking AND sounding ugly.
29. Go with a bow
Add clip-on hair bows to your pullover to effortlessly achieve this DIY ugly sweater.
30. Spruce it up
Glue some ribbon and embroidery floss pom poms to a knit sweater for a cute homemade ugly christmas sweater.
31. Snowflakes n’ stitches
Adding fabric paint snowflakes and stitches to your crewneck creates a cool 80’s vibe you didn’t know you needed. The 80’s were basically when “ugly sweaters” were just “sweaters”.
32.Get your head in the game
Sweater not enough for ya? Decorate a pair of glasses with ribbons, bows, and wrapping paper to match- if you can call this matching that is. Wear this number to the office and you’ll crush the fashion game as well as the office Christmas party games.
33. Feelin’ Frosty
Glue a few felt cutouts to a basic white sweater. Snowmygod, you look so cool.
34. Plush pals
Plush Christmas toys make for great sweater decorations. They’re lightweight, easy to find, and most importantly, cute.
35. Family matters
Get the whole squad involved by cutting out a fabric tree and splitting it up between you.
36. Wrap it up
Take some leftover elf gear (aka bows and ribbons) and stick them to a sweater for an instant DIY ugly sweater. Best of all? It’s temporary.
39. This sweater’s a weiner in our book
Who needs reindeer to pull the sleigh when you can just have a cute puppy do it instead?
40. Don’t forget Fido
Dogs love themed ensembles. Dogs and I have that in common. Get your pup to participate in the holiday cheer with this DIY doggy bandana. Adorable puppy not included.
41. Paranormal partying
Not ready for the spooky season to end? Bring some paranormal activity into the Christmas season. Don’t be too shocked if the booze suddenly disappears, the ghosts like to party too.
42. Don’t mask your jolly spirit
Do you feel like your ugly Christmas sweater isn’t quite tacky enough? Pair it with a cheesy Santa mask and you’ll be set. Be sure to BYOMAC (Bring Your Own Milk and Cookies).
43. Add some character
Escape the lab this holiday season and find yourself at an ugly sweater party instead. Sometimes our favorite characters just take the words right out of our mouths. Dexter says it best: “Welcome to the party pops.”
44. Get schwifty
45. Jingle bell rock
Make sure the whole family embraces the holiday spirit…pets included! Your pup will be jingle bell rockin’ while waiting for any appetizers to drop at the holiday party this year.
This holiday, forget about decking the halls (who does that?) and focus on something far more socially rewarding. Decking your sweater with ugliness. Thanks to these ugly Christmas sweater ideas, you’ll stroll into that Christmas party and own the room with the most perfectly horrible sweater design out there. Easier said than done, we know. But with the right amount of inspiration and guidance, we’re quite confident your sweater will be super popular and ugly AF (F as in fig pudding duhhhh.)
And if in the end, you just want a quick and easy ugly Christmas sweater fix that’s still totally unique, take a look at these ugly Christmas sweater designs made with holiday cheer by independent artists on Redbubble. Yule love them (sorry.)