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How to Make a DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater on a Budget

 

The holidays can put a strain on anyone.  With last-minute holiday shopping waiting in the wings and being embarrassed because you went way overboard when you went out for some Black Friday shopping post-Turkey, it’s perfectly natural if you don’t want to spend another $50-$75 dollars just so you can have an extra special ugly Christmas sweater this holiday season.   While dressing to impress can be important when it comes to turning everyone’s heads when you show up to your upcoming ugly Christmas sweater party, or after-hours work holiday meet-up, or family gathering, if you’re the type that would rather express their inner creativity than throw money at your holiday fashion, you’ve come to the right blog.

Creating something ugly for the holidays can indeed be a daunting task, but if you use the following tips when it comes to making your own ugly Christmas  sweater, then rest assured, you should be able to “out ugly” any of these big box and internet companies who are really killing it with their amazing ugly Christmas sweater that they’ve got for sale on the internet and in such stores like Walmart, Target, and Kohl’s.

Follow these tips below when you’re ready to start on your own DIY ugly Christmas sweater and you’ll be sure to not be left out in the holiday cold this year when it comes to dazzling your friends, family, co-workers, with an amazing ugly holiday sweater when being ugly makes you the most beautiful person in the room.

Step #1:  You need a sweater.

Check your closest, check the attic, check the basement for a comfortable, old sweater that you won’t mind-altering for your ugly holiday outfit.   It’s always best to use the most comfortable sweater you’ve got, but one that you’re comfortable with destroying, in a manner of speaking.  Maybe, it’s one that you wear when you’re cleaning, maybe it’s that old sweater you wear when you have to go outside and work in the garden in the Spring, or maybe, it’s that old sweater that once belonged to your husband, but now its yours because when you wore it to paint some of the rooms in your house, you accidentally spilled Emerald Green on it.   Don’t even worry about it, if it has an old, jagged sports team logo across the front.  If it does, use your imagination to integrate that design into the total ugly scheme of the whole project, you might even find yourself viral on social media when you post photos.

If you don’t have a sweater that you’re willing to get rid of, to destroy, to alter for the sake of ugly Christmas spirit, then the best place for you to get one, for pennies more or less, is your local thrift store.  What’s great about going to your local Goodwill is that when you walk into the store you can’t help but notice how they’ve taken the extraordinary steps to color-code every single piece of clothing (men’s and women’s) that they have for sale.  At the Goodwill you can start letting your imagination run crazy; after all, the sweater is your canvas.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a green sweater, yellow, red, orange, pink!  It’s a canvas, and the first thing that you realize when you start on your ugly Christmas sweater design journey is that certain colors while being almost violent to the eye, can be perfect fodder for your DIY ugly Christmas sweater creation.  Think: pink and brown, for example.   Certain colors do drive the mind crazy.   Have you ever seen the 1980 horror movie, The Shining?   The one with Jack Nicholson.   Do you remember that creepy carpet in the hotel that the movie is set?  Well, think about the colors.   Certain colors are unsettling, indeed.

An example of an ugly Christmas sweater. PHOTO SOURCE: UglyChristmasSweater.com.

Step 2:  Will you be featuring a design on the sweater?

The ugly Christmas sweater has been around for a very long time.   For anyone born before 1985, you might recall how your mom or your aunt or your grandma, someone that you didn’t see very often, except around the holiday season when you were kid, might often knit you a scarf or a sweater.   Boy, they were ugly, weren’t they?  When you’ve found your sweater, think about those good old days when you’re coming up with your design.  One word: felt.  Remember when you could go to Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics and get those super hideous patterns, graphics that you could sew into things?  You could get a super tacky cartoon-ish image of a reindeer or something and sew it into a holiday blanket?  For the person that wants to be super ambitious with their DIY ugly Christmas sweater using a pattern can make the project extra fun; but if your someone that’s going for the so-ugly-it-hurts look, then you might want to stick to sharp, contrasting colors with 3-D effects added for good measure.

So once you have your sweater, and your mind made up as to whether or not you’ll be integrating a pattern or sticking with ugly colors, then it’s time to expand on your concept.   And there are so many ways to do that.

Lights you can purchase from UglyChristmasSweaters.com to decorate your ugly Christmas sweater.

Of course:  Never forget about Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics.    Also, don’t be afraid to go to Big Lots, Hobby Lobby, or your local Family Dollar for penny-deals on Christmas ornaments, tinsel, wrapping part and other ephemera that you can sew onto your sweater.   Get some gaudy fabric and sew it or glue it onto the sweater.  Don’t be afraid to add text.  Don’t be afraid to make it 3-D.   If you’re someone that had to go to the thrift store to get your sweater, then hopefully, you also scoped out any second-hand Christmas ornaments that they might’ve had for sale as well.  The thrift store is a great place to find used, ugly, old tinsel, and forgotten Christmas decor that you can add on to your sweater via glue, etc.   Some of the best ugly Christmas sweaters are so over the top that they’re not only unforgettable but they also leave a person who sees them thinking: how on earth did they think of that?   Don’t limit your mind when it comes to your design. Go crazy.  If your better fashion sense, that you shouldn’t do something: do it anyway.  Don’t be afraid to wrap tinsel around the sweater.  Don’t be afraid to make your design funny, raunchy, innuendo-based.  The whole point of the Ugly Christmas sweater phenomenon is the spirit of Christmas itself; and what better time is there in the year to let your freak flag fly or your sense of humor, regardless of how appropriate or inappropriate it may be.

Too Many Ideas?  Start Here: Get a DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater Starter Kit.

If you’ve got so many good ideas that you’re not sure where to start or how to start, sometimes it can be best if you just start small to see what you like, what works and doesn’t work for what you’ve got in your mind.  And the best way to do that is to just get an Ugly Christmas Sweater Design Kit like the ones available at UglyChristmasSweater.com.   Using a Design Kit is a good way to start on your journey to an ugly Christmas sweater design freedom.  Use the materials that come in the kit to start customizing your ugly holiday sweater and once you’ve used up the kit, stand back, and take a look at the sweater.  Put it on!   Look in the mirror!  Is it ugly enough, or should you continue building on top of what you’ve already done?

Remember, the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating an ugly Christmas sweater.   There’s no such thing as too ugly when it comes to joining in the fun.

Cute, interactive Christmas sweater from UglyChristmasSweater.com

About the Author: 

This is a guest post co-written by Justin Michaels from UglyChristmasSweater.com.  He loves riding mountain bikes, listening to music, and reading.  His favorite pajamas are ugly ones and you can get yourself a pair here: https://www.uglychristmassweater.com/product-category/christmas-pajama-jumpsuits/

About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.