Post Category: Style

45 DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater Ideas That Are Awesomely Bad


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 and tight-lipped enough to win Secret Santa. 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 (bonus points if you can match the gift exchange theme).

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.

Man with christmas present sweater with snowballs in the air

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.

four ladies wearing ugly red holiday sweater

Credit: Jenny Cookies 

5. Wrapped in wreaths

Make your friends jealous by gluing tinsel and bows into a circle pattern. Bam. 3D holiday party on your sweater.


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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.

woman wearing a red sweater with rudolph holding a mug of cider

Credit: Acupolife

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.

man in elf hat with candy cane in 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.

woman wearing xmas sweaters with tiny ornaments

14. Christmiss-match

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.

couple wearing an xmas sweater

Credit: Nonachewy

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.

rudolph the reindeer throwing up on sweater

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?

christmas lights crocheted as a sweater

Credit: Studio DIY

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.

boy and woman wearing a double snowman sweater

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.

20. Fawn-onemal

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.

Man wearing xmas sweater with lights around neck

25. Family affair

Get your whole squad together in style with stick on foam pieces, printouts, and pipe cleaners.


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26. Roast yourself

Iron on a transferable version of a funny Christmas card to make the most of this year’s awkward fam photo.


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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.


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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.


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29. Go with a bow

Add clip-on hair bows to your pullover to effortlessly achieve this DIY ugly sweater.

Woman with hands in the air and mouth open with shiny gold paper floating down

30. Spruce it up

Glue some ribbon and embroidery floss pom poms to a knit sweater for a cute homemade ugly christmas sweater.


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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”.

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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.


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33. Feelin’ Frosty

Glue a few felt cutouts to a basic white sweater. Snowmygod, you look so cool.


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34. Plush pals

Plush Christmas toys make for great sweater decorations. They’re lightweight, easy to find, and most importantly, cute.


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35. Family matters

Get the whole squad involved by cutting out a fabric tree and splitting it up between you.


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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.

woman with glasses looking up as snowballs fall around her

37. Feline finds

Not in the mood to DIY? We’ve got you covered. Snag a fairisle printthe OG of ugly Christmas sweaters.

man wearing meowy christmast cat crewneck

38. All I want for Christmas is… an avocado

That’s how that song goes, right? Cozy up in the cutest “ugly” Christmas pullover ever.

man in xmas sweater with an avocado wearing a red holiday sweater

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?

dachshunds in the snow pattern on sweater

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.

black lab dog in santa hat and red scarf

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.

alien christmas sweater

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).

woman in santa glasses
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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.”

dexter's laboratory christmas sweater

44. Get schwifty

As Rick once said, “To live is to risk it all.” Take the risk and wear this Rick and Morty sweater to your holiday party to find out who your true friends are.

gingerbread rick and morty sweater

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.

dog in christmas sweater

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 with a hostess gift in hand 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.)

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