Introduction: Ugly Christmas Sweater -One for You and One for Your Pet!

So glad that my creation was among the
Finalists...but to WIN is just SUPER!!!
Thank You for your votes and support!

Ugly sweaters are everywhere!  But lets get creative and make a "Super Ugly" Sweater!! 

At the end of this Instructable there is a BONUS, quick and super easy Ugly Sweater for your  young Child or Dog! 

Step 1: Tools and Materials

  • Sweater - you probably already have a sweater that's a good candidate for this project but if not, check your local thrift store which is a veritable treasure trove of ugly sweaters.
  • Large Clear Plastic Bowl
  • Old Plastic Tote Lid
  • Garland
  • Fake Snow in a bag
  • Battery Operated Christmas Lights
  • Christmas Stuffed Animals
  • Polyester Batting - Used to Create the "Snow Covered Shoulders"

  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Pins, Needles, and Thread
  • Scissors
  • Heavy Duty Shears or Utility Knife
  • Markers

Step 2: Cutting and Adding the Polyester Batting to the Sweater Sleeves

The first step in making your ugly sweater is to create the fake snow that will lay on the shoulders and run down the arms of the sweater.  To do this cut yourself two pieces of polyester batting that are as long as the length from the collar of the sweater to the cuff of the sleeve and are roughly 14 inches wide, (for me this met that my pieces were 25" by 14". Once you have the pieces cut, fold each piece in half lengthwise and sketch on the shape of your icicles with the top of the icicles located at the folded side of the batting. With the icicles sketched start cutting the batting along your lines so that as you cut one side you are also cutting the folded side creating a mirror image of the icicles on the front and back once the batting is unfolded.  Do this for both pieces of batting.

When you are pleased with the shape of your icicles, the next step is to place them onto the sweater and begin stitching them into place. Note, although stitching is the best method for attaching the icicle polyester batting, if you're in a hurry or if you plan on only wearing your sweater a few times, you can attach them with hot glue instead.

Step 3: Positioning Your Christmas Stuffed Animal (Reindeer)

Once you have your icicle sleeves finished the next step is to add your Christmas stuffed animal.  The placement is really up to you, I chose to have my reindeer peaking over my shoulder but wherever you decide to place your stuffed animal make sure to check the position while trying your sweater on to ensure that the stuffed animal lays correctly while you're wearing the sweater.  When you're happy with the placement attached the stuffed animal by whip stitching it to the sweater with your needle and thread.

Step 4: Garland Sleeve Embellishment

This step is pretty simple, just run a bead of hot glue around the cuff of the sleeve and stick on the silver garland tinsel.

Step 5: Building the Back of the Snow Globe

The Snow Globe is definately the center piece of the ugly sweater and as such it takes a little more time and effort to make. 

To Make the Snow Globe you will need:
  • The Large Clear Plastic Bowl
  • The Plastic Tote Lid
  • Fake Snow
  • Battery Operated Christmas Lights
  • Tape
  • Glue and Glue Gun
  • Heavy Duty Shears
  • Drill or Awl

Start by making the back by tracing the rim of the clear plastic bowl onto the plastic tote lid and use your heavy duty shears or utility knife to cut around your trace line adding an extra 1/4" the whole way around the trace line (the extra 1/4" will be used to attach the globe to the sweater.) Next drill a series of holes around the perimeter of the circle you just cut from the tote lid, these holes will be used to attach the globe to the sweater later on, I drilled 8 equally spaced holes for attachment.

Step 6: Installing the Lights

Next we will be installing the battery operated lights.  Use a drill bit the size of the lights, not any bigger as you do not want the lights to push through, rather just stick out of the plastic backing. 

Place you selected stuffed animal  on to the center bottom of the plastic backing.
Check and mark placement of where to randomly drill holes for lights, then drill the holes for the lights.

Push your lights into the holes  and tape the wires down.

Step 7: Sealing the Snow Globe

After the lights are installed and taped down, hot glue your stuffed animal to the center bottom of the disc.
 Feel free to embellish your animal as you so desire.

Using your glue gun attach the clear plastic bowl onto the background disc.  Be sure to seal the entire way around to
contain the snow.  You will want to leave a small area open to be able to pour in the snow, as shown in the third photo.

Step 8: Adding the Snow Moving Device (Rubber Hose)

The step is optional so I did not include the plastic tubing in the supply list.

We will be adding a clear plastic tube into the snow globe and running the tube up the inside of the sweater and out the neck.
This will enable you to blow in the tube to make it snow in the snow globe.

The length of the tubing will depend upon the length from the globe to you cheek.

Before putting snow into your globe, turn on to the back and drill a hole the same size as your clear plastic tubing.

Insert the tubing and hot glue around the tube to seal and hold in place.

Step 9: LET It SNOW!!

Now is the time to add the snow.  This can be challenging as the slot is narrow.  I had my son gently pry apart the backing and the bowl, then I poured the snow into the slot using a piece of cardstock paper as a makeshift funnel. 

Next hot glue the opening ALMOST all the way closed.  ALMOST.... You want to leave a small opening, very, very small, so air can
escape when you blow into the tube.  

Step 10: Sewing on the Snow Globe

Center your globe then behind it, where the electric cord and the air hose will be located, cut a hole into the sweater and thread the light cord/hose through the opening.

Then use a little hot glue to seal the sweater shut where you made the cut to keep it from unraveling.

Now sew the globe in place using a needle and thread to whip stitch the globe to the sweater through the holes that were drilled around the perimeter of the plastic snow globe back.

Step 11: Finishing Touches!

Using the rest of the tinsel garland, hot  glue around the bowl, covering the holes that you used to sew it onto the sweater.

I have also use scrapbooking holly and berries- gluing them around the globe and the neck.  
Using all left over tinsel hot glue from the arm pit to the waist and then hot glue the entire way around 
the waist of the sweater for a bit of added ugliness.


Here is the finished product !  

I hope you have enjoyed my Instructable and I hope that if you decide to make your own ugly sweater next year that you find some of the tips and tricks presented here to be useful.  Please feel free to leave any questions or comments in the comments section and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Step 13: Bonus!! Mini Ugly Sweeter

The only thing tackier than an ugly sweater for humans is an ugly sweater for your favorite pooch.  Here is a short descriptions and a few pictures showing how you can take the information presented in steps 1-12 and use it to make an awesome ugly sweater for your favorite four footed friend.

Find a child / infant size ugly sweater  that is tightly woven and has a center design or image . Thrift stores are a great place to look. The size you need will depend upon the dog you are making it for. The sweater that I've chosen
is actually too big for my Terrier Toby, but he's still happy to model it for the photos.

On top of your image place a mound of fake snow, as much or as little as you desire.

Using a clear bowl, I found mine at the Dollar Store, place over the entire image and the snow mound.

With a hot glue gun, seal the entire way around the bowl with a fairly thick bead of glue.  If your sweater is thin you will want to place a piece of paper or cardboard between the sweater layers so they don't glue together. The sweater that I've chosen
was very heavy so I had no problems with the glue seeping through the layer.

I've added a few embellishments, not too many and not where your pet can reach and chew them off.

One last note, the sweater may be a little loose around the belly of your dog, if it is, a few quick hand stitches will take up the slack and keep it in place. I've also rolled the sleeves up as they were too long.

Once the bowl is glued on and the glue has cooled.  Your DONE.   All that's left is to try it onto a willing or unwilling subject!  

Ugly Sweater Contest

First Prize in the
Ugly Sweater Contest