Ugly Christmas Sweaters | DIY

An Invitation! Ugh!

So! You’ve been invited to an “ugly sweater party,” but, you don’t own one of those despicable pieces of clothing.

Not to worry. You don’t need to go buy one special to wear only once. There are other options that will allow you to “play the game” without going broke or becoming ill at the thought.

First, try looking for such a garment at any of your local charity/thrift/second-hand shops. You just might find what you need, for a tiny price. Then, you won’t feel bad about either hanging it in the back of your closet, never to be worn again. (Until the next such invite.)

Or, you can toss it right back into the donation bin when you’re done with it, and you won’t be worried at having wasted a lot of money.

Alternately, you can rig up your very own temporary “ugly sweater,” and still have your own garment to wear after the holidays.

For this, you can either use a sweatshirt or sweater, and attach assorted holiday craft items and cheap plastic “bling” bits here and there to accomplish the effect you want.

What the Heck?

For some reason, my own wonderful husband has been seeing this theme on some TV ad, and thought it would be funny/fun/interesting, to turn our own annual holiday party into an ugly sweater party, complete with a prize for the ugliest/tackiest. Oh. My. Gosh.

Now, WE had to go shopping for such things for ourselves, for what kind of hosts would be be if we did not deign to wear what we were asking everyone else to don?

I did find a suitable sweater on the cheap for myself at our local Goodwill store; but there were none for men. Not to panic. I fixed it all up myself. It's easy; just takes a little time.

You don't have to spend much money
You don't have to spend much money

Tools You’ll Need

Extra-fine crochet hook (don't worry; you don't need to know how to crochet!)

Scissors

Needle and thread

Yarn

Craft Goodies

Glue Stick

How to Proceed

First, he selected a red, long-sleeved thermal-knit shirt, , which will be warm, and useful every winter. At the Goodwill store, it was only $8.00. (See photo at right) So far, so good.

Now, to transform it into an ugly Christmas sweater. No problem. Out came the craft supplies.

First, select the materials you want to use, then lay out the design in a ‘dry fit,’ if you will, on top of the garment. I decided to do a sort of forest theme, since I had quite a lot of green garland from our holiday decorations.

I picked a section that was too short to use for anything else, and it became the centerpiece, with tiny plastic 3-D snowflakes tied on here and there. (I am noticing that the little tie-strings that came with them don't quite want to stay tied, so I may use a hot glue gun to attach them to the garland. That won't be a problem for undoing the sweater, as the hot glue won't be in contact with the garment, only the garland.)

Next, pom-pom “snowballs” were added. They are ridiculously easy to make; even kids can have a hand.

Of course, to be really obnoxious, you have to add jingle bells, so yes, 8 of them; one for each snowball.

I found a few green over-sized sequins that I tacked on here and there, and for the finishing touch, I cut a large snowflake from a sheet of white felt, and affixed it to the back of the shirt with an ordinary glue stick. It is not terribly sticky, and it is water soluble, so any residue will come off in the wash once the decorations have been removed at the end of the season.

Presto, change-o! One ugly Christmas sweater!

Start with a basic sweater, sweatshirt of thermal knit shirt
Start with a basic sweater, sweatshirt of thermal knit shirt
Some different things you might want to use to decorate
Some different things you might want to use to decorate
Lay out your design ideas before starting
Lay out your design ideas before starting
You will need scissors, safety pins, needle and thread, and a really fine crochet hook.  Don't worry; you don't need to know how to crochet.  It's only used for fishing thread or yarn through tight weaves.
You will need scissors, safety pins, needle and thread, and a really fine crochet hook. Don't worry; you don't need to know how to crochet. It's only used for fishing thread or yarn through tight weaves.
The crochet hook helps greatly with threading the yarn through the loop on the jingle bell
The crochet hook helps greatly with threading the yarn through the loop on the jingle bell
Tie the bell onto the yarn under the pom pom.  You did remember to leave extra length when you tied off the pom pom, right?
Tie the bell onto the yarn under the pom pom. You did remember to leave extra length when you tied off the pom pom, right?
Use the crochet hook to bring the yarn through to the inside of the sweater
Use the crochet hook to bring the yarn through to the inside of the sweater
Once both strands of yarn under the pom pom have been brought to the inside of the sweater, tie them together in a square knot.
Once both strands of yarn under the pom pom have been brought to the inside of the sweater, tie them together in a square knot.
And when you are finished, this is what you have outside.  Fluff the pom pom if needed
And when you are finished, this is what you have outside. Fluff the pom pom if needed
The finished product, with my husband modeling with a silly face
The finished product, with my husband modeling with a silly face

Temporary Change

Since none of the items are attached permanently, they are easily removed after the holidays, and your garment returned to normal duty.

Whether using a yarn tie-off poked through the weave of the fabric, or safety pins from inside on a tighter weave such as a sweatshirt, or a simple needle and thread tack-on job, it is all simple to undo, and more quickly undone than the time spent affixing it all.

Have fun with it, and don't worry about those party invites!

What do You Think of the DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater?

5 out of 5 stars from 3 ratings of DIY Ugly Sweater
All photos ©12-6-2014 by Liz Elias

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Comments 18 comments

doris and me profile image

doris and me 24 months ago from Dhaka

Too funny. nice looking husband. Great hub.


annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England

This is such fun and doesn't he look great?!

We have a huge range of Christmas jumpers in the shops at the moment. Some are great and some are downright tacky! You've come up with a superb idea for DIY. Making it is all part of the fun, isn't it? I was smiling just looking at your step-by-step instructions and I giggled at the final product. Thanks for the smile today!

Ann


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 24 months ago from Central Florida

I think your husband will win the ugly sweater contest. You did a great job!

I've seen that commercial. I wonder how outspoken your husband will be the next time he sees an obnoxious idea on TV! :-)


doris and me profile image

doris and me 24 months ago from Dhaka

Superb idea, I must try it for my girlfriend. Love your hub.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 24 months ago from Oakley, CA Author

@ doris and me - It was a fun project, and my husband does enjoy being silly. Glad you liked the article.

@ annart - We didn't even try to look in "regular" stores; not in our budget. So, we decided on the DIY route and had some fun along the way. Hubby is so good at silly faces, and looking all pouty. He should have been an actor! LOL Thanks for your comment; I'm pleased you enjoyed this project.

@ bravewarrior - No, he cannot win. It's against the rules for the hosts to win! LOL And, he can't complain; it was his idea, so there! HA! I wasn't a fan, but he kept pushing, so there you have it!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 24 months ago from Central Florida

He needs to be reminded to be careful what you wish for!


CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 24 months ago from Orlando Florida

What a wonderful "ugly sweater." Voted up. You might have shown how to make the pom-poms or given a link to directions. I don't know how to make them, but I could probably figure it out. Now I hope I get invited to an ugly sweater party so I can take your advice.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 24 months ago from Oakley, CA Author

@ bravewarrior - LOL! Yes, indeed! Hahahaha!

@ CatherineGiordano - Uh-oh! Oops! But, I cannot post the directions for the pom-poms here, because that would violate the duplication of content rule, since I already posted that over on my Bubblews pages. But, they are really, really easy!

I hope you get such an invitation as well! Hee hee hee!


CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 24 months ago from Orlando Florida

Is it possible to add a link to your other post or to someone else's? Or just use different words to explain it. No to worry, As I said, I'm sure I can figure it out if I decide to make an ugly sweater. Your instructions were enough to get someone started and it was fun to read.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 24 months ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hello again Catherine,

I'm just not sure; I'm too new over at Bubblews. But, I do use the same name over there, so I imagine you can find my pom pom directions, under the title "Making Decorations." ;-) Search for me in the search box on the site, using +DzyMsLizzy to get to my page. If you don't use the + sign, you'll get weird or no results. Once you're on my page, you can scroll down to the article. (I use the same profile photo, as well.)

Hopefully, this info gets around the linking issues on both ends. ;-)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 23 months ago from England

LOL! now I loved that! and what a great idea! my mum always knitted us kids those sort of sweaters, its okay when you are small, but...lol! funny stuff, have a great Christmas lizzy!


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 23 months ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hi there, Nell!

Hee hee hee... I never got such a garment when I was a youngster; it seems to be a more modern invention. It's just the sort of thing a certain ex-sister-in-law would have thought was just the thing for a gift, however. Hahaha.

A blessed Yule to you and yours!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 23 months ago from the short journey

Well, you are right, that is one ugly sweater, and perfect for the occasion! Your tips are great ones and using the useful thermal pullover was a "best" idea since the decos are removable.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 23 months ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hello there, RTalloni!

Yes, we figured that one would take the cake on the ugly scale. Hubby wanted to know why I stuck a target on his back! LOL

And yes, as soon as I get around to removing all of that truck, he'll have a nice warm shirt for the rest of the winter!

Thanks so much for your comment; glad you liked the article.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 22 months ago

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Congratulations, ugly confirmed!

Ugly sweaters and re-gifting centuries old fruitcake are surely two of life's guiltier pleasures.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 22 months ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hello there, poetryman6969!

LOL! Thanks much! Re-gifting fruitcake! Hahaha.. I did hear a wisecrack some years back on the radio to the effect that there is really only one fruitcake that keeps being re-circulated.

(However, contrary to the stereotypical wisecracks, I'm one who actually likes fruitcake...at least, my mother's recipe..not the dry, flavorless commercial ones! I still use mom's recipe; it's very moist, and only for those over 21 years of age....) ;-)


calculus-geometry profile image

calculus-geometry 22 months ago from Germany

You even gave him a woman's sweater, nice touch.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 22 months ago from Oakley, CA Author

LOL, calculus-geometry; well, I plead innocent; it was HIS idea! Thanks for stopping by!

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