How to Host an Ugly Sweater Holiday Party

Planning a girls’ night out? Ask your friends to BYOS (bring your own sweater), get a bunch of crafting supplies and some wine, and you'll have the makings for a great party. 

Photo By: Chelsea Laine Francis

Doesn't Necessarily Have to Be a Sweater

Sweater vests, jean jackets or sweatshirts are all great blank canvases for creating the perfect ugly Christmas sweater. Consider thrifting several existing sweaters to be embellished further or to be revamped into all new sweaters.

Get Supplies Ready

Lay out crafting supplies in baskets and bowls. To make it easy on yourself and cut down on cost, ask your guests to bring some supplies too. Here are a few basics you’ll need: fabric glue, hot-glue gun, scissors, decorative trim, ribbon, holiday appliques, fabric paint, pompoms, needles and thread.

Create Work Surfaces

Line tables with plastic tablecloths to protect your furniture from glue or wine spills. 

Glue or Stitch?

Add embellishments using fabric glue or a hot-glue gun if the sweater is for a one-time wear and will not be washed. If you plan on using it for seasons to come, sewing or hand sticking is the best option.

Wine Charms

Before your guests arrive, make ugly sweater wine charms so you don't have to worry about the whose-wine-is-whose problem during the party. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

Tiny Sweaters for Your Tree

Why stop with wearable sweaters? We also made tiny sweaters for our tabletop Christmas. Learn how to make mini ugly sweater ornaments >>

Pompom Tree

Craft a Christmas tree from pompoms then attach it to a plain sweater to make festive holiday wear. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

Add Embellishments to Appliques

The more choices for making the sweaters ugly the better. Decorative trims, fringe and ribbon are all a good idea to have on hand. Fabric paint is another fun option for the more adventuresome party guests.

Use Leftover Fabric to Make Ornaments

If you're cutting up old sweaters, pair the excess swatches with some small embroidery hoops to make these adorable sweater ornaments. Simple place a fabric swatch inside a small embroidery hoop and use a piece of yarn to hang it on the tree. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

Sweater Trees

Use scraps of sweaters, Styrofoam cones, toilet paper rolls, sequins and pompoms to make these adorable tabletop tree decorations. Take a look at the step-by-step instructions >>

Pets Need Sweaters Too

Don’t forget to make a Christmas sweater for your four-legged friend. You can embellish a store-bought dog sweater or if you’re really handy retrofit a child’s garment to fit your pet. Find more pet sweater decorating ideas >>

Extra Activities

Provide your guests other crafts or activities to do in case they finish their sweater early. Use small embroidery hoops to make ornaments or make little ugly-sweater ornaments with scraps of fabric and felt. 

Don't Forget the Fringe

Tassels and fringe make a great finishing touch to any design. 

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