Introduction: Make Any Sweater an Ugly Christmas Sweater

Picture of Make Any Sweater an Ugly Christmas Sweater

If you've ever tried to find an ugly Christmas sweater at the last minute for the increasingly popular "Ugly Christmas Sweater" party then you might have heard the thrift store employees tell you that they are all sold out.  I did.  And of course, i knew i had the skills to make an ugly sweater - maybe not from scratch though.  So if you have basic sewing skills and a few hours of time you can make any sweater fit the occasion.

Step 1: Gather Your Stuff

Picture of Gather Your Stuff
You'll need some of this stuff:
  • A sweater (aim for at least having some traditional Christmas colors or patterns)
  • A plush toy (obviously a reindeer would be good but other animals might work too)
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Bells
  • Battery operated LED light string
  • Other kitschy decorations
I have to credit this reindeer frozen in carbonite (case-modded to look like a stocking) for the inspiration.

Step 2: Dismember and Decapitate the Stuffed Animal

Picture of Dismember and Decapitate the Stuffed Animal

Cut off limbs and the head of the stuffed animal.  Most Beanie Baby type plush toys have fiber in the heads and even in some limbs so your sweater will still be lightweight.  Experiment a little with the positioning of the body parts.  I found that they worked best on the stomach of the sweater.

Sew the head and limbs into position!

Step 3: Sew Bells On

Picture of Sew Bells On

Once you have an Alien-like stuffed animal protuberance from your sweater you need to add something to catch the ear.  I sewed bells around the waist hem and the sleeves of the shirt. 

Step 4: Accessorize!

Picture of Accessorize!

Stitch a cheap kitschy wreath on the sweater, throw a bow in your hair, maybe some ornament earrings... I couldn't find a battery powered LED string to add lights to the reindeer's nose or to make the rest of the sweater twinkle but I know they are available.


montecarlo05 (author)2016-03-23

only one problem.......ITS ADORABLE. I'm gonna make one to wear myself all the time......without the bells of course. thanks for the idea.

Laylabean (author)2015-07-29


floriv1 (author)2014-12-14

This is perfect! We're having 'Wear an ugly sweater' day at work. Thanks!

saadiakomal1 (author)2014-12-13

nice zieak

cesar20 (author)2013-11-24

Love the Kitty.

boingercat (author)2011-12-04

This is so great!! It makes me wish I had an ugly sweater party to go to, just so I could make one!

unanimoose (author)2010-01-23

OMGOMGOMG... thank you for the great idea. I'm going to an Ugly Sweater Party tomorrow and I made one with a precious moments baby doll... I cut her in half and made her look like i'm breast feeding her :) wierd i know. but hey it's an Ugly Sweater Party.... Keep up the good work.

zieak (author)unanimoose2010-01-23

Please post a photo!

unanimoose (author)zieak2010-01-24

Here ya go. don;t say i didn;t warn you. I tied for third btw.
Thanks again for the idea.

boingercat (author)unanimoose2011-12-04

OMG, that is hysterical!! You are very creative....

tbalderrama (author)unanimoose2011-11-16

That is so funny!!! I need to make one like that!! That really gave me and my family a laugh! thanks so much for posting a pic!

zieak (author)unanimoose2010-01-24

HAHAHAHA!  That's great!

sir instructable (author)2010-02-25

 you should put this on the sew warm contest.

LuciferTengu (author)2009-12-22

Just don't sew your cat to the sweater... You don't want to give him away.

zieak (author)LuciferTengu2009-12-23

She was Quality Assurance.  Assigned to test the stitching quality!

LuciferTengu (author)zieak2009-12-27

Ah yeah, i totally missed that she was a calico... But yeah I've had one of my cats tear off a button on one of my shirts, so yeah they like to "check" the quality.

KMOM14 (author)2009-12-27

LOL.  I think it is cute!

CindyM52 (author)2009-12-24

I love it!  LOL  What a great idea.  I love the reindeer.

zieak (author)CindyM522009-12-25

Thank you!

diydept (author)2009-12-24

Cute idea,I like  it.

mateo1025 (author)2009-12-23

Total Recall comes to mind... "Quaid, start the reactor..." :P

zieak (author)mateo10252009-12-23

Free your mind...

porcupinemamma (author)2009-12-23

lol! ;0)

Hiroak (author)2009-12-23

Great Idea and I still have two days until Christmas.  You look much better in the last pic than the previous it must be the sweater.   

zieak (author)Hiroak2009-12-23

Like Frosty's top hat!

zascecs (author)2009-12-22

Ha ha ha!!! I love it, but poor reindeer... =)  

zieak (author)zascecs2009-12-23

It has a better home... Who knows what kid would have been tearing at it trying to get to the goodies inside.  On the plus side, this sweater will be worn every year.  The stocking would definitely have been outgrown!

canida (author)2009-12-22

Wow.  This is truly inspired.

zieak (author)canida2009-12-23


thepelton (author)2009-12-22

It does not remind me so much of "Star Wars" as it does "Alien."  In other words, somewhat creepy, but with a funny twist.

zieak (author)thepelton2009-12-23

Definitely.  When i sewed the head on that's all I could think.  It wasn't until I did the write-up that i realized that the reindeer looked like it had its body frozen in something.

stripedstarfish (author)2009-12-22

 awesome - i love it! so corney but it has a place in my closet.

zieak (author)stripedstarfish2009-12-23

There is a time and place for it!

atombomb1945 (author)2009-12-23

You could always mount the head on the sweater like it was a hunting trophy. 

This is cute, I like it.

zieak (author)atombomb19452009-12-23

Heehee... With a piece of felt cut to a shield-like shape to give it a plaque look... That would be neat.  Especially a collection of them - one for each of Santa's reindeer.

caitlinsdad (author)2009-12-22

Authentic Beanie Babies are mostly filled with that microbead pellet stuff.  I can't even go near my kid's collection, let alone dissect one.

It's only ugly when you have a matching pair of couples' sweaters.

zieak (author)caitlinsdad2009-12-22

I have torn apart a half dozen Beanie Babies (another upcoming project) and they all had pellets in the body but fiber stuffing in the head.  Some had fiber stuffing in limbs too. 

I guess you could stuff the fabric from the body in the head and limbs and just discard the pellets in a pinch though.

seamster (author)2009-12-22

Ha ha!  I like it.

AngryRedhead (author)2009-12-22
Hilarious!  It looks like you have some horrible reindeer conjoined twin.
dchall8 (author)2009-12-22

This is hilarious!  Love the reindeer frozen in carbonite.  

bruno13069 (author)2009-12-22

Right out of the movie "Bridget Jones' Diary" - a Jumper (sweater) with a Reindeer on it.
This is awesome!

Greg Madison (author)2009-12-22

 Wonderful idea :D
You can do the same thing  for halloween with a doll parts... +5

Jayefuu (author)2009-12-22

Ha ha awesome.

That's one bushy christmas tree you have! It's almost as wide as it is tall!

=SMART= (author)2009-12-22

Haha very nice, the reindeer looks awesome !

About This Instructable




Bio: I like making things out of items that would have otherwise been discarded. Check out my other projects!
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