5 Perfectly Ugly Sweater Holiday Party Ideas

5 Awesome Ugly Sweater Holiday Party Ideas

It’s that time of year again and an ugly sweater holiday party is the perfect excuse to parade around in your gaudiest getup, sip spiked punch, and play games like a boss. So take a second and have a peek at some of our best ideas for your upcoming event – and you don’t have to wait for December 18th to get started.    

1. Sweaters

5 Awesome Ugly Sweater Holiday Party Ideas
Ugly Sweater from Tipsy Elves

Whether they thrift it, buy it new, or make their own, make sure your guests know that an ugly sweater is mandatory for entry into your party. The best way to do this is with some kitschy invitations that will set the precedent for your shindig. To help you get started, check out this website that’s so generously offering four free customizable ugly sweater holiday party invitations.

When it comes to what to wear, the possibilities are endless. Scour thrift stores for some cheesy vintage goodness, buy a used one-of-a-kind pullover from The Ugly Christmas, order a new wool-free sweater from Tipsy Elves, or choose option number four, and my personal favorite, DIY your sweater!

Fill your uglification arsenal with fabric scraps, battery operated string lights, pom poms, ties, scarves, garland, and pretty much anything else you can glue or sew to a sweater. Pay homage to your favorite holiday, movie, pet, or even your significant other. There are some seriously tacky ideas found here that should have you inspired and on your way to a mangled masterpiece in no time.

2. Décor

5 Awesome Ugly Sweater Holiday Party Ideas
Ugly Sweater Ornaments from Luv By Mimi

Reuse and recycle what you already own, and bargain hunt at your local thrift store for inexpensive decorations that are delightfully dreadful. Think grandma’s attic on this one and fill your party pad with copious amounts of garish garland, tinsel, lights, tablecloths, colorful Christmas trees, wild wreaths and more.

Make a banner for your party and string it up on the mantel, create some welcome signs, decorate a few gaudy stockings, wrap some dummy gifts in ugly paper, and pick up some cute ugly sweater ornaments from Made With Luv By Mimi, or make your own using this tutorial from Aunt Peaches – check out her easy peasy pom pom branches, too.

3. Drinks

5 Awesome Ugly Sweater Holiday Party Ideas
Cranberry Holiday Cocktails

Refreshments are important at every party and now you have a chance to mix in some creativity alongside your liquor. For those who prefer a stiff drink, opt for festive beverages like eggnog pudding shots, candy cane shooters, or sparkling cranberry punch. And for a non-alcoholic treat, a hot chocolate bar would be so much fun for all your guests. Serve these in festive containers, like mason jars and funky mugs with plenty of tasty candies and treats for garnishing.

4. Food

5 Awesome Ugly Sweater Holiday Party Ideas
Ugly Sweater Cookies from Yummy Delicious

Full guests are happy guests, so give your friends something to much on during your party. Skip the meat this year and nosh on appetizers, like this simple vegan pear and pomegranate salsa, red and green mini caprese appetizers, or even a wreath-shaped cheese and cracker platter with a few strategically placed olives.

Have a potluck-style menu for the main course, or opt for casseroles dishes. Something as simple as pizza is great, too. For dessert, sweater themed cakes and cookies would be so much fun. Pick up the supplies you need here and here, or order premade cookies from Yummy Delicious Cookies to take the stress out of the prep work.

5. Activities

5 Awesome Ugly Sweater Holiday Party Ideas
Photo Props from Manic Moose

After eating and drinking you don’t want your guests sitting around snickering at everyone’s awful sweaters. No, you need activities – and lots of them. Keep your friends entertained with these ideas that will fit right into your festivities.

Who wouldn’t want a reminder of such a fun evening with friends? While I’m sure you could name a few people, like Aunt Edna or Great Uncle Rick, chances are a photo booth complete with props would be a huge hit. Make your own or purchase them premade from The Manic Moose. Use empty picture frames, a chalk board for customized messages, and even some wacky hats, wigs, or scarves as additional props for good measure.

An ugly sweater contest is a must! Assign everyone a number upon arrival and have a box with slips of paper available for voting. Winner takes home the coveted title of Ugliest Sweater and something terrible, like a fruitcake, chia pet, a pair of Handerpants, or a blinged out second hand soccer trophy you picked up from the thrift store. And don’t rule out the more traditional party games like charades, Pictionary, pin the carrot on the snowman, one minute to win it, and a gift exchange white elephant style – these almost always guarantee a good belly laugh or two.

Now that you’ve gotten some pointers for your ugly sweater holiday party, it’s time to have some fun decking the halls, your walls, the neighbor’s dog, your cat, and anything else that stays still long enough to be ornamented. What did you think about our ideas? Do you have a sweater party planned this year? Let us know on the EcoSalon Facebook page!

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Image of Red Sweater and Cocktails via Shutterstock

Jamie Duncan

After starting out in public relations, Jamie finished college with a BFA in interior design. This combination of writing and design knowledge, coupled with her fashion and lifestyle expertise, has paved the way for an exciting freelance career. Her work has been published in magazines and online, plus she’s managed PR campaigns, and is no stranger to copywriting. Jamie’s a vegetarian and cruelty-free product fanatic. Connect with her on Twitter and check out her website to learn more.