DIY: Ugly Sweater

Tis the season to be tacky…fa la la la la!

A big trend this holiday season is the ugly sweater (or as someone pointed out to me, it is also called a Christmas jumper). They are sold in stores ranging from $25 (Walmart) to about $50. If you’re in a hurry and have the money, then buying is the most efficient way. But if you are short on funds or would like to save and get those creative juices flowing with a new holiday project, then making an ugly sweater is your next holiday DIY. Plenty of shocked folks couldn’t believe I made my own sweater and the most popular question has been “How did you make this?” Here’s how I made my own ugly/tacky sweater.

Note: The photos taken are a bit blurry but at l hope these visuals will help.

ugly sweater in all its glory
Here is a picture of my 2014 award winning (oh yea baby!) fabulous ugly/tacky sweater.

This sweater cost me less than $10 and it was a blast to make.

You will need:

  1. ugly sweater** – Coming in at the great price of $3.50, hunting down this gem from the men’s department at Goodwill was worth it. You could also use any old sweater or even up-cycle a gifted sweater that may not be your style to wear as is. I highly recommend you wash the sweater then lay it out to dry so it stretches.
  2. hot glue gun & glue sticks
  3. scissors
  4. Trip to the dollar store – Whether you’ve already formed a design in your head through browsing on Pinterest or if you’re more like me who prefer to find inspiration from the materials in your surroundings, a trip to the dollar store is a must. I went to Dollar Tree and Dollarama and found everything I needed except for the glue gun and glue sticks which I already have. Alternatively, you could raid your Christmas bins and use ornaments that you don’t need anymore.

ugly sweater ingredients

Decorating ideas from the dollar store:

  • tassles for sleeves
  • baubles, mini gift boxes, red bows, garland
  • stockings – I cut around the Santa and cat figure and reused the back of the two stockings as wings for the back of my sweater! Waste nothing.
  • battery powered lights – perfect for those evening celebrations. You’re sure to light up the party!
  • googley eyes to put on top of any decorations with a face.
  • reindeer/santa/snowmen heads – twists them off from the headbands with scissors
  • Christmas baubles and garland
  • pre-cut felt snowflakes to decorate around and use as a filler
  • and anything else that catches your eyes! My bf put a bird on his shoulder and along with his lights, he won 1st place in the ugly sweater competition. Yes, sadly it means I came in second but I’m just happy he won and even though he won’t agree to it, he did slowly get into making his own sweater.

Make your sweater!

  1. Put on sweater. Make a “map” of where your decor will lay on your body by pinning or sticking tape, etc.
  2. Take off sweater and lay it on a flat surface. Gather all your materials and arrange it to whatever design you want without gluing it on. Cut and manipulate the materials as needed.
  3. Turn on your hot glue gun and when warm, glue away. How much glue depends on texture of your sweater and decorations used. Remember that the glue dries fast so it’s better to do this step until after you’ve decided the final placement of your decorations.
  4. Once you are happy with the results, take away the web of glue from your sweater, try it on and make any adjustments if needed.

There you have it! So easy and so much fun to make!

ugly sweater final
Front of my sweater. Final product.

There’s so many possibilities with your sweater designs. Wear to this to all your holiday parties and bring Christmas spirit to any room you enter! Good luck and have a very merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!