25 DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater Ideas + Instructions

If you have a sweater party coming up or just want to learn how to make an ugly Christmas sweater, we’ve got five ideas with printable instructions and 20 more to inspire your ugly sweater style. From classic styles to more modern ones that incorporate tassels and sequins, you’re sure to make the ugly Christmas sweater trend fun and stylish.

The most wonderful time of the year calls for holiday parties, great food, and best of all, ugly Christmas sweaters. Our DIY ugly Christmas sweater ideas are not only fun to make, but also easy to craft. With this inspiration in hand and a handful of amazing family photos on your phone, upload your pictures to your favorite Christmas card design at Shutterfly, and send your friends and family cards they’ll never forget. Our single photo Christmas cards and photo collage Christmas cards, alike, are great for these purposes, as are our luxury Christmas cards and tri-fold Christmas cards. Browse our updated, eye-catching Christmas card collection and create yours today!

DIY Ugly Sweater Ideas + Printable Instructions

Store-bought sweaters are a dime a dozen, break out the glue gun and give a DIY sweater a try! These ugly Christmas sweaters are as easy to make as they are fun. Click on the button below each sweater to download the instructions and supplies list.

1. Pretty in Red

Bows and wreaths are a staple of Christmas decor, so why not include them in your Christmas apparel? This look is more simple than the typical over decorated ugly Christmas sweater and it can be created with safety pins if you don’t want to sacrifice your favorite sweater.

2. Ice Blue Winter

Pretty blue hues and snow create the perfect winter wonderland. Snowflakes in a variety of shapes add texture to this soft, cozy sweater. Don't forget to add some metallic pom-poms for a nice touch of sparkle.

3. Merry Tassels

Tassels are fun, fancy and give great movement to clothing pieces. This sweater is a great example of how to use tassels in your sweater. If you want to add tassels on a sweater that’s already decorated, use the tassels as a trim to go around the bottom of your sweater.

4. Sleigh All Day

For those who love pop culture and a modern twist, a statement sweater is the way to go. Check out this matching antler phone case to complement the look. This is a great option for a mens ugly Christmas sweater too.

5. Fancy Snowman Sweater

Who doesn’t love a cute snowman in the winter? Whether you are 4 or 40-years-old, building a snowman is a wonderfully festive activity. Show off your holiday spirit with this sparkly ugly snowman sweater.

20 More Great Ugly Christmas Sweater Ideas

For more inspiration, we gathered a wide variety of 20 additional ugly Christmas sweaters. These ugly Christmas sweater styles range from classic, cute to funny Christmas sweaters and everything in between. There are dog sweaters, ideas for kids and t-shirts for unconventional ugly Christmas “sweater” styles.

6. Cute Christmas Sweater with Knit Lights

This adorable sweater features a multi-colored knit string of lights. This piece isn’t only suited for a DIY sweater party — we recommend rocking this chic and festive sweater all December long. Even though this design requires solid knitting skills, you can make something similar with a real light strand and a glue gun.

Source: Studio DIY

7. Light Up Mens Ugly Christmas Sweater

This garland tree sweater with lights and mini ornaments is equal parts funny and impressive. Light up sweaters may take more time to put together but are sure to impress! The tree skirt apron is a great touch.

8. “Trek the Halls” Pop Culture Christmas Sweater

This is a great example of how awesome pop culture references can turn out when implemented on your ugly Christmas sweater design. Print a photo of your favorite pop culture figure and trace it on your sweater if drawing isn’t your strong suit.

9. Advent Calendar Christmas Sweater

This is such a fun way to tie a classic Christmas element in your DIY Christmas sweater design. Don’t forget to move the countdown marker to the correct day for a special detail that your friends and family will love.

10. Kids Ugly Christmas Sweater

An ugly Christmas sweater is the perfect project to do with your kids. Create a design for them to embellish or let them decorate freely. Either way, it gives them the chance to create and wear one of their own designs — how fun!

11. Be Merry and Bright Cute Christmas Sweater

This sweater with sparkly holiday bulbs is sure to brighten up your holiday wardrobe! This design looks great against the vibrant red sweater but would work great with any color sweater you want to use.

12. A Meow-y Little Christmas Sweater

This festive feline sweater is a great option for the cat lovers out there. The added 3D element of the Santa hat adds the perfect touch to make it ugly Christmas sweater party ready.

13. Extra Festive Sequin Christmas Sweater

This oversized sweater dress with a sequin reindeer design is perfect for a custom festive look. The fur trim on the sleeves and bottom of the sweater are super fun touches that don’t detract from the design.

14. Christmas Sweater for your Dog

We love the idea of getting your dog involved in this fun and tacky tradition — for an added bonus, you and your dog can rock matching sweaters together. Dog sweaters aren’t just adorable, they’re also great for keeping your pup warm during those cold December days.

15. Easy Matching Christmas Sweater

Couples and BFFs don’t have to have identical designs to have a cohesive look. Try to keep a consistent color palette and general design direction to make a nice pair of ugly sweaters. If you don’t want to permanently decorate one of your sweaters, try pinning a design onto your sweater with safety pins.

16. Sparkly Rudolph with Antler Lights Sweater

This easy and fun sweater features a cute Rudolph silhouette and lights that would look great on almost any color sweater. Don’t worry if you aren’t very artistic, stencils will give you a great result!

17. Ugly Christmas Sweater + Ugly Christmas Wine Cozy

This is a creative and fun idea for a wino because who needs a friend to twin with when you can match your wine? An ugly sweater wine or beer cozy is also the perfect gift for the host of an ugly Christmas sweater party.

18. Cat Christmas Sweater Shirt

This kitty themed Christmas shirt is a ‘purfect’ idea for a cat owner! If it’s too hot to rock a sweater, this is a great warm weather alternative. Many of the sweater designs can be easily converted into a shirt design as well.

19. Easy DIY Holiday Sweater

This easy diy snowman and holiday light combination is a great way to show your holiday spirit! Fabric paint is fun and easy to use, just make sure you give it enough time to dry before the sweater party.

20. Classy Cute Christmas Sweater

This Christmas sweater has a great subdued design and is also a no-sew option. Due to its versatile and clean design, you can easily sport this look even when you aren’t at a holiday party.

21. Hipster Reindeer Christmas Sweater

For a variation on the classic reindeer head silhouette, try this more abstract approach. The glasses are funky and pop nicely against the dark grey and red. If you try this design make sure that your color choices will pop too.

22. Gingerbread Man Funny Ugly Christmas Sweater

Gingerbread men designs often go under the radar — so if you want something different to wear to the party, this is a great option. The subtle Shrek reference adds an element of pop culture humor that’s sure to get some laughs.

23. 3D Ugly Christmas Sweater

The mounted 3D reindeer head is such a fun way to switch up a common theme, we also love the two tone design that makes it pop even more. This sweater is sure to stand out in a crowd of standard 2D designs.

24. Classic Light Up Christmas Sweater

This design has all the elements of a classic ugly Christmas sweater with the addition of impressive Christmas lights. The lights will be especially eye-catching if your party is in the evening.

25. Cute Tacky Christmas Sweater with Tinsel

This sweater is a great example of how to combine cute and tacky. Use a green sweater to represent the tree and deck it out how you would a Christmas tree and voila — a party ready look!

Source: Alyson Haley

Resources Related to Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Ugly Christmas sweaters have become a beloved Christmas tradition at many different Christmas parties. They are the most popular at parties but they’re also a great outfit for your Holiday cards and Christmas photo cards, whether your tastes lean toward minimalist Christmas cards, rustic Christmas cards, or something particularly special like our foil-stamped Christmas cards or glitter Christmas cards. At Shutterfly, we have holiday cards for every interest and budget, including affordable Christmas cards.