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If you’ve ever been invited to an Ugly Christmas Sweater party, but your local thrift store is already picked over and you don’t want to pay big bucks for something that’s, well, ugly, then this is the article for you! This is especially perfect if you have an old sweater that’s already in the donation pile that can be repurposed into your ugly sweater. Using existing craft supplies stock, unused textiles, and extra Christmas decorations can save you even more money and give your outfit a fun and unique twist. 

If you’re looking to keep that uniqueness to your sweater but are short on time, enlisting the help of your local or top online tailor is definitely an avenue to look into. Of course with any custom order, communication with your top rated tailoring service is important in order to get a quality look while staying in your timeline. Online tailoring services can be especially helpful around the busy holiday season to sew on any and all ugly elements to your sweater. Bonus: if you plan on keeping your ugly Christmas sweater on hand for parties in the future, sewing can often last longer than glue or tape!

Of course, in a pinch there’s always paint (puffy or regular) to add lettering and characters as well as glue and tape to affix any plastic bows, garland, felt, or pretty much anything else you can think of. Remember, it’s an ugly Christmas sweater so try not to overthink it! If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out these 5 upcycled ugly Christmas sweater ideas for your next party.

First Ugly Christmas Sweater Idea: Christmas Tree Sweater

If you’re already starting with a green sweater, diagonally affixing an extra string of tinsel around your waist and arms can set the Christmas tree theme immediately. If you have a different colored sweater, just replace the tinsel with garland greenery for your tree-like feel. Follow up the base with some mini ornaments and you’re well on your way to people putting presents at your feet. To “top off” this look, grab a tree topper, like a star or angel- when people ask what your sweater theme is, simply hold it above your head with both hands to form yourself into a triangle shape, and you’ve completed your tree ensemble. Bonus points for incorporating a tree skirt or presents to the bottom half of your outfit or adding working string lights!

Second Ugly Christmas Sweater Idea: Simple Mirror Sweater

This is arguably the easiest, funniest, and most surprising of all the ideas. Be warned though, this sweater should only be worn around those with a strong sense of humor, for it pokes fun at anyone who looks at your sweater! Take any old sweater and glue a small mirror, like one you would put in a locker, and anyone becomes the butt of your ugly sweater joke. For some extra holiday cheer, or to lighten up the joke a bit, frame your mirror with holiday character pieces like an elf's ears and body or Santa’s hat and beard. This will ensure that those peering into the mirror are instantly dressed in a fun holiday costume. 

Third Ugly Christmas Sweater Idea: Christmas Mantle Sweater

The Christmas mantle is often the center of our home around the holiday- so this is perfect for those wanting to make a lasting impression at their party! This sweater has an easy enough to assemble base but can easily be jazzed up to bring it to the next level. The main elements of this sweater include some garland wrapped from one wrist to the other by crossing the chest as well as a fireplace made out of construction paper or fabric. From here all that it takes is putting your arms straight out to the sides to create your “mantle” over the fireplace. 

If you really want to commit to the costume, attach some stockings to hang down from your arms when you hold them out. Another option is to attach framed pictures (made of cardboard and paper perhaps, to not weigh you down) to the top of your arms. Finally a cute touch could be to add Santa boots/legs in the fireplace as opposed to flames. The options are really limitless so look for inspiration from yours, friends’, or family’s actual fireplace setups!

Fourth Ugly Christmas Sweater Idea: Ugly Christmas Tie Sweater

Perhaps you cannot find an actual ugly Christmas sweater at your local thrift shop, however, make sure you check out the tie selection! Play around with the placements of 4-5 Christmas ties on your old sweater- maybe you spiral a couple around your arms or just stripe them across the body of the sweater. Check out this tie Christmas tree from the blog “iLoveToCreate” for another fun pattern.

Affixing these ties would surely be easy with glue or craft tape, but it may not last throughout the years or even one party, resulting in Christmas after Christmas of searching or creating an ugly Christmas sweater. Instead, if you want this sweater to last through multiple holiday parties, think about mailing your sweater and ties into a top online tailor. This would allow you to have all the holiday fun without the fear of losing any pieces of your creatively ugly sweater.

Fifth Ugly Christmas Sweater Idea: Extra Trimmings Sweater 

When in doubt, trim it out! Adding festive trim is sure to “ugly-up” a sweater. This is especially true when it’s gaudy tinsel, greenery garland, or even a brightly colored boa. Other ideas include using a string of beads or old doilies for a slightly more subtle look. Leave the sweater with just the trim or create a theme for the body like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” if you have bright green feathers or go all gaudy by adding some sparkly bows or ribbon to your already shiny tinsel. 

The most important thing to remember is to have fun and enjoy your friends’ and family members' company this holiday season! Happy socializing, everyone!

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