The holidays are upon us.
One of the most fun trends in recent years? Ugly Christmas sweater parties. Yes, the ones we were mortified to wear as children are now back as a fashion fad.
The uglier, the better is the motto, and if you do it right, you may even win yourself a best costume prize. If you're not crafty, that's OK. The best part of making an ugly Christmas sweater is that there's no real skill behind it. Sure, you can buy it, but it's way more fun to make it.
Here's how not to break the bank when making your homemade ugly Christmas sweater or spend all weekend sewing something you'll only wear once.
Head to your closet to see what old sweater you can repurpose, visit your parents' old closet or visit your local Goodwill or thrift store to grab a sweater for only a couple of bucks. Hopefully, your thrift store hasn't caught on to the fad and doesn't sell theirs at a premium.
Aim for tacky patterns and holiday-themed colors. Just make sure it fits. Having a great canvas to start with will make this easy craft project go a lot faster.
If you're somewhere with a warm climate, you can always use a long-sleeve T-shirt as your ugly Christmas sweater base and then add an ugly vest to stay cool during that holiday party. Just choose a solid color so you can create an authentic holiday vibe on it.
Need ideas? How about cats with googly eyes wearing tiny Santa hats? Or a giant sparkly Christmas tree with shiny ornaments? Just add everything to it sweater? Think of a tree made out of ugly ties for your sweater. The options are endless.
Or maybe you're a little more dedicated, and you're up for crocheting your holiday sweater? You can crochet a few colorful bulbs into a sweater and show off your mad skills.
Are you a cat person? Embrace your kitty love with these mittens ugly sweater — a few mittens, and you're in business. After you glue the small mittens to the sweater, you can use fabric paint to draw small cats, paw prints and more to add a little sparkly to the sweater.
You can also go simpler if you're not feeling too sassy — a dark-colored sweater, a felt reindeer and big red pompoms for the nose. Pinterest is a great platform to find inspiration from the PG yet hilarious to the not-suitable-for-work designs.
The holiday embellishments will add a fun layer to your ugly Christmas sweater, and remember, in this case, more is more. Grab a basket at your local arts and crafts store and fill it up to the brim with Christmas colors — green, red and white and gold and silver, of course. Going off the theme, think of the centerpiece for your sweater first and then build the decor with different textures around it.
Once you have that, then shop for the rest — felt sheets, pompom balls in various sizes, scissors, hot glue gun, fabric glue, pipe cleaners, small jingle bells, tiny ornaments and anything else that may catch your eye.
Upon your arrival home, print out a few templates to cut holiday-themed shapes from the felt you purchased. Have all the cut-outs ready before you start assembling the sweater.
Important note before you assemble your sweater: Don't forget to add cardboard inside the sweater before you start gluing. You don't want your front to stick to your back.
Start with your centerpiece — add your snowman (easy to build out of cotton balls), Christmas tree (cutting up a fake tree skirt into a triangle is the easiest way!) or any other themed centerpiece piece you decide on to your sweater.
Make sure you center it on the sweater and use pins to get the position right. Depending on the material, you'll want to use a hot glue gun or fabric glue to adhere it permanently. Make sure you remove all pins before wearing it, so you don't get hurt later.
Once the centerpiece is on the sweater, start building a fun atmosphere around it.
Position items on top of the sweater while it's lying on the floor. Then play around with different layouts. Add ornaments (use safety pins), plastic bows, bells, plastic garlands, pompoms and more, wherever it feels right.
If you're doing a joint sweater with your other half, keep in mind that everything should be somewhat symmetrical before gluing it. Sew together the sweaters first before doing any flair work. If you're doing separate sweaters, but a joint centerpiece, line up the sweaters while you pin all the decor. This is a fun example using just long-sleeve t-shirts.
If you're creating a specific scenario, create a drawing and then use the felt, pipe cleaners and other supplies to make it just right on top of the sweater. When you're done putting it together, let it dry stretched out for an hour or so before putting it on.
There's no right way to build your sweater, but often, you'll win more prizes the uglier it is. The more flair, the better! You've got options — you can get a ready-to-go ugly holiday vest or a chunky sweater to use as a blank slate.
Ready? Turn up the holiday music and get to crafting. Keep your fingers safe from the glue gun and pins. It's time to crush the competition — your co-workers won't know what hit them.