Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Ideas and Information
How to have an Ugly Christmas sweater party.
What food and drinks to serve, games to play,and where to buy an ugly Christmas sweater. If you're looking for invitation ideas, we've got tons of samples to share.
And if you are looking for a party we've got a list of where and when!
Where to Find an Ugly Christmas Sweater
Whether you're having an ugly Christmas sweater party at your house or attending one somewhere else, you're going to need a sweater to wear. There's almost as many types of Christmas sweaters as there are people attending parties, so you're sure to find something you love. My Ugly Christmas Sweater sells zillions of Christmas (and Hanukkah) sweaters, sweatshirts, and dresses that range in price from their super cheap UNDER $20 and UNDER $35 collections, all the way up to over $75 for an over-the-top funny sweater in their HOLY GRAIL OF UGLY collection.
There are three main types of Christmas sweaters: vintage, up-cycled embellished, and brand new. The vintage sweaters are pre-owned and date from as far back as the 40's, but most are from the Christmas sweater heyday of the 80s and 90s. The up-cycled sweaters are a specialty at My Ugly Christmas Sweater, and have been embellished with ridiculous decorations like fluffy reindeer and stuffed candy canes. And lights. And fringe. Seriously - you need one if you think you're entering a contest. And then there's the brand new sweaters. My Ugly Christmas Sweater has some brand new sweaters that are so darn cute they will make you wish the 80s never left. Good news is that Christmas sweaters are back in style again for everyday wear, so it's like it's the 80s all over again. Check out the Patriotic Snowman, Sledding Cat, and Funny Reindeer sweaters at My Ugly Christmas Sweater - they come in men's and women's sizes, so grab one for yourself and your bff. Go all matchy-matchy and maybe you'll win the 'Best Couple' prize!
If you're throwing a party at your house or at a bar or at a function hall, you better have spare sweaters on hand for the lame people who show up pretending they didn't know it was a themed party. You can either just give them a sweater to wear from you spares, or, if it's a charity event, make them RENT the sweater for a small fee that goes to the charity. We have loads of under $20 sweaters, so get some extra.
Avoid a mess of spare sweaters by the door by taking a regular old box and wrapping the box in Christmas paper, leaving the top completely opened. Fill the box with the spare sweaters and set it by the door. Don't let anyone in without a Christmas sweater. It's OK to shame them into wearing one, and your party will be more fun.
My Ugly Christmas Sweater has wholesale prices and works with groups who need a bunch of sweaters for their event. (contact them here.)
How to Have an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
So you are finally going to throw an Ugly Christmas sweater party. Congratulations! It's not so hard to do, but you'll need to do a bit of decorating and planning to make it a party to remember. Tacky decorations rule the night, and the good news is that there are loads of places to buy holiday party supplies or you can channel your inner crafter and make some yourself. There's a zillion fun party ideas for food, drinks, games, and decorations, and all you need to do is tap the right resource and you'll be all set. We've put together the best ugly Christmas sweater party pinterest board, so check it out and follow us to get new ideas for throwing the best party!
Games to Play at an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
So you're having a Christmas sweater party and you've got a handle on food and drinks and what to wear. But what are you going to do at your party to make it memorable? There's good news here! There are some ridiculously funny games you can have your guests play. Always give a prize to the winners of a game - like a sweater can koozie or a little Christmas sweater ornament. You'll find some great examples of prizes below.
Try this reindeer balloon game we found at ThriftyFun.com. It's so ridiculous it's amazing. All you need is two pair of pantyhose, a bag of 24 balloons, and two Rudolph noses. Each team gets a pair of pantyhose and 12 balloons. First team to fill up the pantyhose and put them on Rudolph's head wins. OMG funny.
Here are four other games we love for party entertainment.
First, it doesn't matter that this game isn't exactly related to Christmas sweaters. The fact is that it's the #1 funniest game on the planet and you're guests will be dying laughing while playing it. It's tacky. It's ridiculous. Enough said. Get this game: Pie Face. It's a blast.
Our next favorite is perfect in every way for a holiday party. It's good for a bar party and good for the church hall. You can use it all season long. It's a Reindeer Antler Hoop Toss. Get at least two and you can have contests with heats. Pair people into teams of two and see which team can get all the rings on the antlers first. Hysterical.
The third game we love is an Elf Hat Ring Toss. I suggest you get two sets so you have two people to compete against each other. Similar to the reindeer hat ring toss, but put the elf hats on one end of the room and have two different people trying to get their three rings around the hat first.
These games can all be found on Amazon as well as many local party supply stores. If your party has a fun game to play and also a contest for most ugly sweater you'll have your guests entertained!
How to decorate for an ugly Christmas sweater party
When you're planning your party, think tacky. Think cute. You can be as crazy as you want. Make cut-out streamers from construction paper that say "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" and hang them over your windows.
Make paper chain garland from white strips of paper (just like you did as a kid) and tack it all around the ceiling. You can even attach cheap ornaments to that chain garland by just poking a hole in the paper and using a paperclip ornament holder. See how fun this is?!
Decorate your food table with a festive tablecloth and add some eye-catching fun with some Christmas sweater themed toppers for your appetizers and cupcakes. And yes, you can use marshmallows for appetizers. They're perfect!
There are so many ways to add tacky holiday fun to your food and drink table. How to make a tacky tablecloth: Are you even a little crafty? Here's what you need for a snowman tablecloth for a long folding table:
3 yards cheap cotton fabric (red or green)
glue gun and glue (under $10 at craft store)
1 yard stiff white felt (or just white paper)
some google eyes (or you can draw them with a sharpie)
scrap of orange fabric (for noses) (or, use an orange sharpie)
dark buttons (for mouth) (or, you guessed it...use a sharpie)
Take a couple yards of cheap cotton fabric and decorated the edges with snowman cutouts. It can be as easy as cutting out three circles of white paper (or white felt if you are stepping it up a notch) for the snowman and using google eyes, an orange triangle nose, and black button mouth. (Hint: If you are getting felt, buy the kind that has a stiffness to it. It's way easier to cut into shapes.) You can get an under-$10 glue gun at your local craft store to quickly piece these together. Overlap three large, medium, and small white circles to make the snowmen. Glue the snowmen all over the tablecloth edge so they hang over the side. The great thing is that this is a TACKY party, and nothing needs to look perfect, and it's a good thing if it looks home crafted!
Make your drinks festive too! Rather than serve soda in big bottles or bottled beer, your tacky party should have canned drinks. Get some festive striped or polka dot straws too. Let your guests pick their own Christmas sweater can koozie to use (to identify their drink throughout the evening) and then take home as a parting gift! Whether you're serving soda or beer, these work perfectly.
How did ugly Christmas sweater parties get started?
Are you wondering how the whole ugly Christmas sweater party trend began? Christmas sweaters have been around since the way-back days after WWII, when knitters first put moose and snowflakes into their patterned sweaters. The nordic sweaters of the 40's and 50s were awesome to see and functional to wear. They were usually wool and had patterns on the back, front, and arms. The fashion industry put holiday sweaters on the map in the 80s, when colorful sweaters were hot on the runway, and padded shoulders were standard fare. Ah, to be a designer in the 80s! There was not such thing as too many colors or too many patterns on one sweater. There was no shortage of these over the top knits during the 1980, and moms and grandmas all over the USA wore them with pride.
The glam sweaters were out of style for about 20 years when, in 2002, some college kids decided to wear their mom's sweaters to a themed house party in Vancouver, Canada called an 'Ugly Christmas Sweater Party'. Their party was a success, and it became a popular local event. The 'ugly' Christmas sweater party was born, and attendees were told there was a prize for the 'most ugly sweater'! As the parties gained popularity and the prizes became coveted, party attendees were looking for a sweater that was SO ugly that it could be a contender for the 'MOST UGLY' prize.
In 2008, Anne Marie Blackman began embellishing sweaters with over-the-top holiday decorations, and selling them online. Her sweaters were an instant hit and sought after by party attendees who wanted to win a prize for MOST UGLY. With the popularity of her unique designs and also her expansive inventory of vintage sweaters, Anne Marie founded My Ugly Christmas Sweater, transforming the Christmas sweater industry once again. Now there are ugly Christmas sweater themed office parties, house parties, road races, charity events, and you can even make some new friends at a Christmas sweater bar crawl!
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Invitations
Put some humor in your invites! How about a photo of your or your bff dressed up in the ugliest holiday sweater you can find. This will let your guests know what to expect and set the bar high on the ugly-meter. If you're looking for the perfect poem or wording for your invitation, check out our ugly Christmas sweater party pinterest board, dedicated to the perfect invitation.
Or, send evites and be sure to point your guests in the right direction so they can find a great sweater. Give them a link to an online store. Cut and paste this right into your evite:
Definitely give prizes for 'Most Ugly Sweater', 'Best Couple Matching', 'Best Homemade Sweater'....you get the idea! The more prizes the better! What to give? How about a Christmas Trophy?! You can tack on prizes like gift certificates or cash....but how about something tacky to match the theme? Like, a cheese wheel, jello mold, or a fruit cake? A copy of Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater fits the bill too.
Decorate little red or green gift bags with sweater cut-outs and fill the bags with festive candy for the winners. Not crafty? No problem. You can buy the whole ugly Christmas sweater prize pack already put together for you, complete for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners! First gets a sash, second gets a light up badge, and 3rd gets an ornament. Sweater themed gift bags for each winner or use for other prizes like 'Most Original' or 'Most Offensive'.
Are you going to have a bunch of categories for your prizes? Like, are you giving a prize for Best Sweater, Best Couple, Best Male/Female? Once you see what people are wearing you can even come up with categories on the fly. Like if someone comes in a super crafty Christmas sweater that they made themselves, create a Best Homemade Sweater category. You can give all the category winners a little prize like a gift bag, or ornament, or certificate. And you might want to give each one an Ugliest Sweater Award sash that they can wear around all night long. You can find them on Amazon, or probably at your local party store too.
These little Christmas sweater ornaments make super cute prize gifts that everyone will want. You can alternatively give them as hostess gifts, where everyone gets one in a little gift bag you give them as they are leaving.
What to wear to a themed Christmas party
Make it epic! Wear the best Ugly Christmas Sweater at the party! The best tacky sweaters from yesteryear are here on www.MyUglyChristmasSweater.com . Do you need a mens sweater? Lots of men want the tackiest vintage sweater they can find, and that means buying a vintage 80s womens Christmas sweater, but if your man wants an actual mens sweater, then you'll find the best of the worst here, in our mens Christmas sweater collection.
Do you need a big gal or guys sized sweater? They used to be hard to find, but no more. If you need 3XL, 4XL or 5XL then Festified has you covered. Check these out, but don't delay. Plus sized sweaters go quick! And what about the rest of your outfit, including accessories? Seriously, don't stop at the sweater. Get some red shoes or sneakers at a minimum. Pair your bulky 80s sweater with a slim red pencil skirt or if the sweater is long, wear some candy cane tights. Guys can wear some red shorts with some festive socks. Nothing is too tacky!
What food to serve at an Ugly Christmas sweater party
When it comes to what food to serve at your ugly Christmas sweater party, you can have some serious fun with the menu. One of the most popular ideas party food is a Christmas tree shaped pizza, but there are so many more ways to fill your guests bellies with tacky treats. Most ugly Christmas sweater parties serve appetizers and deserts, but if you're also serving a main meal the key is to keep it tacky. Think 1965 TV dinner food - how about some meatloaf, mashed potatoes and pipin' hot peas, served in a tin faux tv-dinner tray? Appetizers and deserts with holiday themes are super fun and easy to do. Check out our ugly Christmas sweater party food pinterest board for tons of funny ideas for what to serve.
Of course you need themed treats for your party. What's easier than an Ugly Christmas sweater cake? Don't even think about having to make the cake shape yourself. Now there's actually an ugly Christmas sweater cake pan that does the work for you! Just mix, pour, cook and decorate.
What drinks to serve at an ugly Christmas sweater party
If you're throwing an ugly Christmas sweater party then it's time to have some fun when planning drinks for your guests. There are alcohol packed and non-alcoholic versions of lots of punches and fruity drinks. This is a great time to be creative, and you can serve holiday red and green jello shots, peppermint white Russians, or snowman hot chocolate. We've amassed an amazing selection of ugly Christmas sweater drinks on our pinterest board - check it out!
Are you looking for a party? Got a party you want us to list?
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Many of our one-of-a-kind sweaters are upcycled in the USA. We spend our summers sewing, gluing, and stitching so that when you slip on your Christmas sweater, you can beam with pride that you've purchased a genuinely ugly article...of clothing.