Make Any Sweater an Ugly Christmas Sweater




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

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

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

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

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!

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.

Runner Up in the
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    44 Discussions


    3 years ago

    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.


    3 years ago

    This ROCKS!


    4 years ago on Introduction

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


    7 years ago on Introduction

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


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    5 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

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


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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.