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13 DIY Ugly Christmas Sweaters You Still Have Time to Make This Year

These DIY ugly Christmas sweaters are easy to put together using what you already have, saving money and reducing waste.

diy ugly christmas sweater
Written by
Brightly Staff
December brings many things:
tree lightings
, family gatherings, white elephants, and ample opportunities to rock a DIY ugly Chrismas sweater.
While many brands offer seasonal sweaters featuring quippy sayings and seasonal motifs, crafting your own using
thrifted pieces
, upcycled fabric, and old
holiday decor
can help you cut down on waste. And considering that Americans toss out
25% more trash
during the holidays, that's an important feat.
From snow globe bellies to crocheted Christmas lights, these handmade holiday sweaters will help to get you in the spirit, sustainably.

13 DIY Ugly Christmas Sweaters to Make This Year

Christmas Lights Sweater

diy ugly christmas sweaters
Photo: Studio DIY
Crochet hobbyists: take the extra step and craft your own wooly strand of Christmas lights. With sustainable yarn and a thrifted
, you have the ultimate eco-activity.

Kid's Christmas Tree

diy ugly christmas sweater
Photo: Girl in the Red Shoes
Get the whole family in on the DIY action with this felted sweater for kids. Decorate a soon-to-be-donated crewneck with felt or scrap fabric to create a memorable holiday scene.

Pink Evergreen

diy ugly christmas sweater
Photo: Sarah Hearts
Get creative (and original) by using nature-inspired stencils to decorate your holiday sweater. Make one for your mini, too.

Holiday in the Sun

Photo: Aww Sam
Those who prefer tropical climates to a snowy season will love this DIY option, which calls for felt and yarn—both of which can be sourced sustainably.

Mr. and Mrs.

diy ugly christmas sweater
Photo: Creative Fashion Blog
The couple that sleighs together, stays together.
leftover tinsel, ribbon, and sequins to make a seasonal statement with the help of your other half.

Tacky All the Way

Photo: Cassie Stephens
This one's for the
lovers. Level up a printed cardigan with faux "fur" cuffs crafted from leftover
. After all, better in your closet than in the landfill!

Ugly Holiday Bandana

Photo: Lily the Wandering Gypsy
Trade your sweater for a stylish DIY bandana made from scrap fabric. Though this DIY was designed for
, there's no reason us two-leggeds can't get in on the fun.

Light It Up

diy ugly christmas sweater
Photo: The Samantha Show
Discarded bows, bells, and felted decor find new form when tacked onto an old sweater—and that string of lights with one faulty bulb is officially given new life.

Gingerbread Box

diy ugly christmas sweater
Photo: Instagram/@reel_chameleon
'Tis the season of
cardboard boxes
. Repurpose some of those piling packages by transforming one into a wearable gingerbread house, the better to transform any outfit into an ugly holiday ensemble.

Up the Ugly

Photo: Evergreen Goodwill
Thrift shops, your local
, and other donation sweaters are stocked with holiday sweaters. Pick your favorite and ramp up the ugly with found materials and old wrapping accessories.

Bows and Baubles

Photo: At Home in Love
All of those bows and present toppers you surreptitiously saved now have an actual purpose. Decorate your favorite cable knit, either giving it an entirely new life with the use of a glue gun, or a temporary dress-up with the help of safety pins.

Tie It Up

Photo: YouTube/Jenelle Nicole
This temporary sweater upgrade requires leftover wrapping ribbon—and some extra human hands. Wrap yourself like a present, all while keeping your sweater of choice intact for future wear.

Clear Bowl Snow Globe

diy ugly christmas sweater
Photo: Buffalo Exchange
Surprise! Your stomach is now a snow globe. Grab a clear plastic bowl from your kitchen and fill it with torn-up wrapping paper, existing ornaments, or found greenery to create a seasonal landscape.