31 Best Ugly Christmas Sweaters to DIY at Home

Make funny DIY ugly Christmas sweaters at home to celebrate National Ugly Sweater Day 2022!

We’ve searched the web for the best ugly Christmas sweaters to DIY at home this Christmas. Why? Christmas is full of traditions. Stockings over the fireplace, eggnog, markets, decorating…you name it.

One of the most truly hilarious traditions though has to be National Ugly Sweater Day. It takes place every December, and it’s a day people truly pull out all the stops to don the ugliest Christmas sweater they can find (or make!).

Have you been on the lookout for an ugly Christmas sweater, but want to make it extra this year? Luckily, we’ve come up with a ton of homemade unique tacky Christmas sweater ideas you can easily follow along and make yourself at home.

Below are the best ugly Christmas sweaters we’ve seen on the internet, plus some tidbits on how to make them. Some are actually pretty cute if you’re not a huge fan of out-there ugly Christmas sweaters too. So don’t sweat it — there’s something for absolutely everyone. Just be ready to stock up on supplies! 

Psst…If you really don’t have the time to DIY, here are the 35 best ugly Christmas sweaters to buy and don this year instead.

The best ugly Christmas sweaters we’ve seen

Below are some of the best designs we’ve seen. We’ve also included a little list so you know what to buy when you’re shopping for DIY supplies for your DIY cute tacky Christmas sweater.

1. Easy DIY Christmas tree with string and buttons

We love the simplicity of this ugly Christmas sweater! TikTok creator @konfina_reuse only uses five things to create it. It’s truly the epitome of using whatever you have, which is great if you’re making a DIY Christmas sweater on a budget.

What you’ll need:

  1. Plain sweater
  2. Assorted buttons of your choice
  3. Scissors
  4. Black thick string or ribbon
  5. Thread
  6. Pins

2. Tinsel and bauble ugly Christmas sweater

Using some tape, tinsel and baubles of your choice on any sweater, you can completely transform it into an ugly Christmas sweater to don on National Ugly Sweater Day. It’s super easy to recreate and requires no hot glue gun.

What you’ll need:

  1. Plain sweater
  2. Tinsel
  3. Double-sided tape
  4. Christmas baubles
  5. Scissors (if you want to cut the tinsel down)

3. Dollar tree ugly Christmas sweater

This ugly Christmas sweater features DIY materials bought at Dollar tree, making it a cheap DIY ugly Christmas sweater creation to make at home. While you can totally pick different items to stick on your sweater, here’s a rough idea of what you’ll need:

What you’ll need:

  1. Plain sweater
  2. Christmas lights
  3. Sticky gifting bows
  4. Felt in various colours
  5. Scissors
  6. Adhesive paper in various types and colours (plain, glitter etc).

4. DIY Christmas Sweater with globe

This truly unique DIY Christmas sweater involves using a tube to blow into and make tiny bits of fake snow rattle around in your sweater! It’s super clever and will definitely make you stand out in an ugly sweater competition.

What you’ll need:

  1. Plain sweater (not knit)
  2. A plastic bowl
  3. White wool/cotton for fake snow base
  4. Polystyrene in tiny pieces for snow
  5. A mini Santa and Christmas tree (or anything you want to put in the fake globe)
  6. A long plastic tube
  7. Duct tape
  8. Colorful fabric for the snowglobe background (needs to be cut bigger than the bowl)
  9. Scissors
  10. Glue gun or double-sided tape

The video includes a shopping list too!

5. Simple knit DIY sweater with thread

If DIY isn’t your strong suit but you know you gotta do it, this simple TikTok on how to make an ugly Christmas sweater is super easy to follow. 

What you’ll need:

  1. A plain sweater
  2. Thick thread or ribbon in two colours (or more if you’re daring)
  3. Thread and needle
  4. Scissors

6. Winning DIY ugly Christmas Sweater

This creator has apparently never lost a competition. So if you’re super competitive and want to win National Ugly Sweater Day, this is the DIY tutorial for a tacky sweater you must watch.

What you’ll need:

  1. Plain sweater
  2. Anything festive from your local dollar store
  3. A hot glue gun (to attach literally everything)

7. DIY ugly Christmas sweater under $5

@i_needed_it

Its that easy! And it actually looks pretty cute 😂 i want one in pink now!🤣 #diyuglysweater #uglychristmasweaters #holidayfashion #diyuglychristmassweater

♬ Luxury fashion (no vocals) – TimTaj

This is probably *the* easiest DIY ugly sweater you could make. You just need a glue gun and ton of gifting bows and stick them on a plain sweater.

What you’ll need:

  1. Plain sweater
  2. Hot glue gun
  3. Gifting bows…and a lot of them

8. DIY fireplace-inspired stocking Christmas sweater

Want to recreate the look of sitting by the fireplace with Christmas stockings in view? Now you can with this DIY tutorial!

What you’ll need:

  1. Plain sweater
  2. Various felt colors for the fire
  3. Small stockings (which you can make yourselfw ith felt and white fluffy trim)
  4. Tinsel
  5. Hot glue gun or needle and thread
  6. Any other decor you’d have in your living room by the fireplace!

9. DIY ugly Christmas cardigan

If sweaters aren’t really your thing, you can make a DIY ugly Christmas cardigan instead! Creator @iridiangonzalez makes this super easy too. Simply get a glue gun and gifting ribbons, stick them all over the cardi and you’re good to go!

What you’ll need:

  1. Plain sweater
  2. Hot glue gun
  3. Gifting bows or any other ornaments you’d like

10. DIY light up Christmas tree ugly sweater

We love this Christmas tree ugly sweater for its creativity and simplicity! Cut out the shape of a tree on two different kinds of green fabric, stick it on the sweater, line the edges with tinsel, and add either lights, baubles or anything you want to the tree.

What you’ll need:

  1. Plain sweater
  2. Two different shades or textures of green fabric 
  3. Scissors
  4. Hot glue gun (you could use a needle and thread too)
  5. LED fairy lights
  6. Baubles

11-13. 3x DIY ugly sweaters

We love how YouTube videos tend to have a ton of different designs to choose from. Check out the three featured in this video and the supplies you’ll need to make these ugly Christmas sweater ideas come to life.

11. Ugly Christmas sweater with fake tree, tinsel and pinecones

Got an old Christmas tree? Use the branches for your ugly sweater, along with all its other decorations you thought of throwing out too!

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Old Christmas tree branches (ideally fake ones for longevity)
  3. Tinsel
  4. Pinecones 
  5. Baubles
  6. Other decorations of your choosing
  7. Hot glue gun (or thread and needle).

12. Light up ugly Christmas cardigan

This simple ugly Christmas ugly cardigan idea is perfect for those in a rush or need to create something last minute.

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Christmas bows (or any kind of small decoration you like — enough to cover an entire cardigan)
  3. LED fairy lights
  4. Fabric (to sew a pocket for the fairy light switch
  5. Needle and thread
  6. Hot glue gun

13. Rudolph Reindeer ugly Christmas sweater

This is the cutest Rudolph ugly Christmas sweater out there. It might look a little complicated, but it’s actually super easy and involves sticking it all together with a hot glue gun.

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Brown pipe cleaners
  3. Assorted felt balls (in red or brown), plus a large one for Rudolphs nose
  4. LED christmas lights
  5. Baubles
  6. Christmas bows
  7. Hot glue gun.

14-18. 5 DIY Temporary Christmas sweaters – HGTV Handmade

We love this DIY series, because everything about each design can be reversed, so you can wear your sweater again outsite of ugly sweare season!

14. Ho Ho Ho ugly Christmas sweater

If you love Santa, you’ll love this minimal design that’s super easy to recreate.

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Red felt (for letters and holly)
  3. Green felt (for holly leaves)
  4. Scissors
  5. Thread and needle

15. Snowman face Christmas sweater

This works great if you already have a white/light colored sweater to recreate a snowman’s face on.

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Black felt (for eyes and mouth)
  3. Orange felt (for nose)
  4. Scissors
  5. Thread and needle

16. Minimal Christmas tree shoulder patch sweater

If you want a subtle ugly Christmas sweater, this is the sweater for you! Using just two shoulder patches, you can keep the rest of your sweater completely plain.

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Tape (to mark elbows while trying sweater on)
  3. Scissors
  4. Green felt (for Christmas tree)
  5. Yellow felt (for star and “lights”)

17. Festive collar tassle Christmas sweater

This might seem fiddly, but it’s actually super satisfying to make. Plus, you won’t need to do any real “sewing” with this sweater either, you’ll just need to thread some of the loose threads through to tie a knot on the collar.

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Green and red thread (for tassels)
  3. Scissors

18. Tinsel collar and cuffs Christmas sweater

Finally, this is for those who want something a bit more out there and decorative. We could even imagine creating the ultimate uggly sweater by combining all 5 of these designs!

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Tinsel (color of your choice)
  3. Scissors
  4. Thread and needle.

19-21. Last minute ugly Christmas sweater ideas

YouTuber Yaisah Granillo is a DIY queen! Plus, they’re huge believers in not ruining your preexisting sweater by simply using safety pins for the sweaters. Even if we’ve instructed you to use thread or glue, if you’re worried…just use safety pins!

Let’s dive into their tacky Christmas sweater ideas and see what materials you need.

19. Tree poncho Ugly Sweater

This tree skirt is really interesting, though you could always get a poncho if you couldn’t get hold of one of these.

What you’ll need:
  1. Tree skirt or poncho
  2. “Fake” presents
  3. Any other Christmas decor of your choice
  4. Hot glue gun

20. Elf Yourself Christmas sweater

This is a sweater that’s super easy to make and great if you’re a fan of Santa’s little helpers.

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Pre-made elf design (or create your own with assorted colors of felt)
  3. Scissors
  4. Pom poms
  5. Thread and needle
  6. Safety pins
  7. Christmas LED lights to wear loosely around the collar.

21. Easy Frosty Sweater

This is a super simple design that involves getting a pre-made snowman design and placing it onto a sweater. Obviously, if you can’t find one, you could tutorial 15, or fashion one yourself out of assorted colors of tinsel.

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Pre-made Snowman design (or make your own)
  3. Thread or safety pins

22. $4 Ugly Christmas sweater

We love this simple yet cute design that looks a little complicated, but in reality, is easy to recreate. Plus, Sew Anastasia’s instructions are super easy to follow too.

What you’ll need:

  1. Plain sweater
  2. Tinsel (for the arms)
  3. Christmas baubles (or other Christmas decor of your choice)
  4. LED Christmas lights
  5. Thread and needle

23. Cute Rudolph Light-up Ugly Christmas sweater

HGTV handmade comes up with a seriously cool Rudolph-inspired design using left-over materials from a previous costume, including EI wire.

What you’ll need:

  1. Plain sweater
  2. Felt (assorted colours for Rudolph)
  3. Pattern paper/regular paper to trace Rudolph’s design
  4. Sewable El wire
  5. Pom poms (including a red one for Rudolphs nose)
  6. Huge Christmas bow for the back of the sweater
  7. Tinsel
  8. Assorted bows and baubles
  9. Thread and needle to sew everything together.

24-26.

This compilation of three Christmas sweater DIY designs aren’t to be missed! They’re super neat, and definitely worth giving a go if you’re crafty.

24. Lifesize snow globe sweater 

A slightly more advanced version of the TikTok snowglobe design. The snow looks even more magical with the use of glitter! Here’s what you’ll need to recreate it.

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Plastic pie lid or plastic salad bowl (clear)
  3. Cardboard for the back of the snowglobe
  4. Vinyl tubing
  5. Fake snow
  6. Glitter
  7. Brown felt
  8. Glue gun
  9. Embellishments of your choice (snowflakes, Christmas trees etc)

25. Stocking stuffers sweater

Recreate stocking above the fireplace in this second version of the previous tutorial in point 8.

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Mini stockings
  3. Felt sheets (for the fire)
  4. Fabric paint
  5. Tinsel
  6. Glue gun or thread and need to sew everything together

26. Christmas tree sweater

Can’t be bothered to cut out a tree and stick it on a sweater? Why not become the Christmas tree instead!

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Tinsel
  3. Ornaments
  4. LED lights
  5. Glue gun or thread and needle

27-32. 5-6 Easy DIY Ugly Christmas Sweaters at $5 each

Youtube Cgbeautyxo has come up with 6 wonderful tacky and ugly Christmas sweater DIY designs for you to try out. There’s tons of variety, meaning there’s a design for everyone to choose from. 

We purposefully omitted the last design of the video as it’s the same as point 26 of becoming your own Christmas tree.

27. “It’s Lit” Christmas sweater

We love a slogan sweater or tee. If you’re getting lit this Christmas, this is the ugly Christmas sweater for you.

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Pre-made wreath
  3. Assorted embellishments (baubles, gift boxes etc)
  4. Glitter felt (to spell the letters)
  5. Hot glue gun or thread and needle

28. Gift bow Christmas tree

Don’t want to mess around making a tree with felt or tons of other materials? You’ll only need to stick on two types of things to make this Christmas tree design.

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Mini gifting bows
  3. Large ribbon (to make into a large bow for the top of the tree)

29. Christmas tree without the tree

Become your very own Christmas tree by using all the embellishments at your disposal. Cgbeautyxo uses only a small selection, but it’s super effective.

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Snowflakes (premade or cut from felt)
  3. Felt (optional)
  4. Tinsel
  5. Baubles
  6. Any other embellishments you want
  7. Hot glue gun or thread and needle

30. “LED” Christmas lights ugly sweater

Can’t get ahold of LED lights for your Christmas sweater? Not to worry! Make the appearance of Christmas LEDs with this super cool follow-along DIY tutorial

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Long thick black string
  3. Assorted colour felt for the LEDs
  4. White felt to mimin shine on LEDS
  5. Hot glue gun or thread and needle

31. Santa celebration Christmas Sweater

Show your appreciation for Santa this year with a decorative Santa-themed ugly Christmas sweater

What you’ll need:
  1. Plain sweater
  2. Pre-made Santa cut-outs (or make your own from felt)
  3. Tinsel to line the collar
  4. Assorted embellishments
  5. Hot glue gun or thread and needle

The best ugly Christmas sweaters we’ve seen

We’re super inspired by the ugly sweaters we’ve seen on Instagram so far. It’s still a while away until we witness the true creations of ugly Christmas sweaters in 2022, but we’ll be sure to update this page with more pics of wonderful tacky Christmas sweaters!

1. Jack Skellington Nightmare Before Christmas ugly sweater

2. Funny Cat tacky ugly Christmas sweater

3. Couple’s Christmas sweaters

4. Funny couple’s Christmas ugly sweater

5.Funny Dog-Reindeer ugly Christmas Sweater

National Ugly Sweater Day 2022

National Ugly Sweater Day is on December 16th, 2022. In fact, it takes place every third Friday of December.

People all over the nation will trade their usual attire for a festive sweater for National Ugly Sweater Day. And as you can probably tell by the name, the uglier, the better! It’s bound to have your friends, family and coworkers laughing for the whole day at everyone’s festive sweater creations.

When did Christmas Ugly Sweater day start?

The first “official” ugly sweater day was in 2002 in Vancouver, Canada. The hosts threw the party to raise money for their friend’s cancer treatment. But there’s more to it…

Ugly sweaters have been around for a long time, but not on purpose though. It wasn’t long until markets started selling purposeful ugly sweaters to people, which may have been popularised by Bill Huxtable on The Cosby Show back in the 80s. He’d come into scenes with these questionable sweaters, but they caught on. Chevy Chase in ‘89 then added his own twist when they played Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie.

Eventually, two Canadians decided to make ugly sweater day a trend by dedicating its own day to it. They threw their first tacky holiday sweater party to raise money for their friend’s cancer treatment. Everyone loved the concept of the day, and it’s become a long-standing tradition since.

We hope you’ve been inspired to come up with your own DIY ugly Christmas sweaters at home! Love what you see? Sign up for Student Beans to save cash on DIY supplies, get fashion student deals and much more.

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