two people exchanging gifts on Christmas

19 Ugly Christmas Sweater Ideas That Will Make Your Friends Laugh

They’re tacky, they’re wacky. They are… ugly Christmas sweaters! Learn more about the ugly Christmas sweater ideas that will make your friends laugh so you never lose them again.

Ugly Christmas sweaters are ubiquitous during the holiday season. From office parties to neighborhood parties, surely you have at least one to attend to which requires you to wear an ugly sweater.

But before you cringe, have a good laugh with these funny and clever DIY ugly sweater ideas. You’ll surely be inspired to create your own unique ugly holiday sweater!

There are some ideas in this list that are so simple, you can probably make a sweater hours before you must attend one of these ugly sweater parties. Other ideas featured here require more planning and effort, but the results are sure to be a big hit!

There are ideas for couples, for kids, for those who like to laugh, and those who like to design.

Another awesome thing about these DIY tutorials and ideas is that most items you can find at dollar stores and craft stores. It is the holiday season after all, which means you’re probably doing a lot of holiday shopping already.

Find inspiration for your own design from your favorite idea below. Or if you’re short on time or would rather just skip the DIY and just buy your ugly Christmas sweater this year, Tipsy Elves is a great place to find one.

Here is our list of the top 19 ugliest, funniest, wackiest and festive ugly Christmas sweater ideas:

#1: Tie Tree Sweater

Ugly sweater idea using those horrific holiday ties that exist.

Source: I Love to Create

Pattie from I Love to Create shows us a cool and frugal twist on how to wear holiday ties. Lay the ties down in a tree-like shape (notice the way they fan out at the bottom like a Christmas tree), then glue the ties to the sweater. After that, you can decorate your “tie tree” with ornaments, which can be buttons, beads or anything that resembles ornaments to you.

#2: Grumpy Cat Christmas Sweater

This ugly Christmas sweater shows a grumpy cat for those grumpy ugly sweater party goers.

Source: Cut Out + Keep

Bring the Internet’s favorite grumpy cat to the holiday party! This is a cool step-by-step DIY idea for recreating an expression we’ve all seen in numerous online memes.

Maybe you want to choose this project if you’re totally not looking forward to the ugly-sweater-requirement for the office party. Let grumpy cat speak your thoughts. Just be sure to put a Santa hat on him.

#3: Light Up Sweater

Light up your party with this light-up ugly Christmas sweater.

Source: Kaitlin Leigh

Nothing says the holidays are here like seeing lights illuminating the houses in your neighborhood. Drawing inspiration from the classic look of Christmas lights, you can create an ugly sweater that lights up!

It’s easier than you think too. Most suitable lights for this project can be found at your local hobby or craft store. Kaitlin shows you how on her blog.

#4: Chimney Sweater

Ugly Christmas sweater complete with a chimney and a functional gift at the bottom.

Source: Coolest Family on the Block

Make this shirt yourself by strategically placing white foam strips onto a red shirt to create the illusion of chimney bricks! Add a shoebox that opens to make it look like there’s a gift at the bottom of the chimney. Jenn shares this idea and other ugly sweater ideas her family came up with on her blog.

#5: Reindeer Couple’s Sweater

A couple making two halves on ugly holiday sweaters come together as one.

Source: GemaRastem

Going to a holiday party with a partner? Try this wacky reindeer ugly sweater for couples! You’ll just have to stand and walk together, side-by-side, the entire party.

Ok, so maybe you won’t go that far. But it would make a good joke to “put yourselves together” and show off what a clever couple you are. Click here for the steps.


#6: Puking Reindeer Sweater

A couple putting together a picture of a puking reindeer on their ugly Christmas sweaters.

Source: Biscuits ‘n Crazy

Ugly holiday sweaters are all about giving your friends and family a good laugh. This idea from Jessica at Biscuits ‘n Crazy will no doubt draw laughs from guests at the holiday party. Some might even cringe. This idea is wacky, fun, and definitely ugly!


#7: Advent Calendar Sweater

This ugly sweater idea can help you keep up with Advent.

Source: Shrimp Salad Circus

Show everyone a countdown to Christmas with this ugly sweater idea! The numbers were created by cutting an outline of each number in a fabric circle then ironing each piece to the sweater.

Another way to achieve the same result would be to “draw” each number in glue and sprinkle glitter over the top. Then shake off the excess glitter once dry. Lindsay from Shrimp Salad Circus shows you how.

Here’s a challenge that isn’t included in this DIY project: Try to find a way to add chocolates. 🙂


#8: Sweater Dress

Woman chooses the full holiday dress instead of just an ugly Christmas sweater.

Source: Live Love DIY

If you just can’t picture yourself wearing an ugly holiday sweater, why not try a sweater dress? You could stand out for all the right reasons at that holiday party with this fresh idea.

The ugly sweater dress is a creative take on a classic. Virginia from Live Love DIY shows you how she was inspired.

#9: Maternity Sweater

Pregnant woman incorporates her baby bump into her ugly sweater idea.

Source: Running with Scissors

If you happen to be pregnant during the holiday season this year, try this ugly sweater idea – it’s a perfect way to complement your baby bump.

In this how-to, Jessica from Running with Scissors went with a Rudolph design, complete with a red nose. But you can explore other ideas too, like a gift or the word “joy” to represent your little bundle of joy.


#10: Googly-Eyed Rudolph

An ugly Christmas sweater with a huge reindeer with googly eyes.

Source: The Country Chic Cottage

Did you know they make googly eyes this big?! What better time of the year to use this unique craft product than the holidays!

Angie from The Country Chic Cottage used felt to create the outline of Rudolph, plus the “antlers” from a holiday headband that she hot-glued to the top of the sweater. A creative way to turn your sweater into a classic holiday character.


#11: Choose a Theme

Couple with individualized themes for their ugly Christmas sweaters.

Source: C.R.A.F.T

Sometimes a trip to the thrift or craft store can inspire a fresh idea. For Jaime at C.R.A.F.T, that inspiration was the Texas flag. No one said you can’t combine some home state love to your ugly holiday sweater!

What’s really cool and easy about this tutorial too is how she used fabric paint to create some of the designs, like the Christmas lights. Fabric paint plus ugly sweaters sound like a fun combination to me.


#12: Star Trek Sweater

Every ugly sweater party needs a Star Trek ugly sweater.

Source: Punk Projects

You don’t need to be a Trekkie to be inspired by this ugly holiday sweater idea. Katie from Punk Projects used a very clever technique to create the face of Spock that can be applied to any picture or face you want, which she explains in her tutorial. Add some glitter and a Santa hat and you’re ready for the party!


#13: Christmas Tree Sweater (with a twist)

Ugly Christmas sweater that turns into a full Christmas tree with a star on top.

Source: heathiepants

Take the ugly sweater concept to the next level with this DIY idea. Heather used a mini hula hoop to flare out the bottom just like a tree. Another cool aspect of this idea is that it’s a no-sew one.

All the tinsel you see was pinned with safety clips. An awesome ugly sweater with a fun twist! Watch Heather’s video, as she shows you how she made it.


#14: Stocking Sweater

Very inexpensive ugly Christmas sweater using a stocking.

Source: My Thrifty Chic

Tori from My Thrifty Chic used a stocking from the Dollar Store to create this easy DIY sweater. To attach it to the sweater, she sewed it on, but mentions that hot glue would have been faster.

So, this is one very simple and frugal ugly sweater to make! You might even use an old stocking from the attic if you have a party to attend tonight.


#15: Symmetrical Sweater Design

This ugly Christmas sweater has some symmetrical style.

Source: This Grandma is Fun

Here is some fun design inspiration from Sherri, Tracy, and Debbie at This Grandma is Fun. Notice the symmetrical design of their ugly holiday sweater. They’re using a cardigan too, which might help you keep your designs looking symmetrical. Ok, so it doesn’t need to be perfect! But it does make an ugly holiday sweater have some style.


#16: Kids Ugly Sweater

Kids need ugly Christmas sweater ideas too.

Source: One Artsy Mama

Making ugly holiday sweaters is a perfect craft idea for kids too! Amy from One Artsy Mama shows you how she and her little crafter created this fun ugly sweater that’s fun for kids to both make and wear. Give your kids a bunch of festive holiday items to glue on and let them create something special to them.


#17: Classic Christmas Tree Sweater

This ugly Christmas sweater idea comes with working Christmas lights.

Source: The Cards We Drew

When in doubt, go with a classic symbol of the holidays. Abby from The Cards We Drew made this impressive Christmas tree ugly sweater for less than $15!

Notice how the lights really add to the overall effect. Abby shows you the materials she used in her post about making this ugly holiday sweater.


#18: Go Wild Sweater

This idea for a ugly sweater incorporates everything holiday icon at once.

Source: Nona Chewy

We know that clothing can be an expression of our taste and personality. So, an opportunity to make an ugly sweater for the holidays is a perfect time to let your creativity unleash!

Your ugly sweater doesn’t need to follow any kind of rules or theme. Just letting your creativity wild makes for one ugly (fun) holiday sweater. Here is some inspiration from Winona at Nona Chewy.


#19: Stuck in the Chimney Sweater

Very creative ugly sweater idea shows that Santa Claus is stuck in the chimney.

Source: Mr. Noack

Some people take the ugly sweater concept and run with it. Like this wacky and creative “stuck-in-the-chimney” ugly sweater from Mr. Noack. He shows you how he made this ugly sweater, the materials used, and where he found those materials. This is an ugly sweater that’s sure to win laughs at the holiday party.

The holiday season is full of DIY projects to do. Making your own ugly Christmas sweater is a sure way of having a good time with family and friends at a holiday party. And isn’t that what this time of year is all about?

Have fun following the ideas on our list and have a happy ugly sweater holiday party! (Filled with lots of laughs, no less).






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