cheap ugly christmas sweaters

13 Simple & Cheap Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Ideas

In Ugly Sweater Ideas by Caleb

There’s no doubt about it; Christmas is getting uglier and uglier. And not just in terms of the mall brawls and parking space battles, we’re talking about the clothing. It seems every year,  more and more people are trading in their designer duds for garish, tinsel-covered,  embroidered knits, otherwise known as Ugly Christmas sweaters.

So popular have these tacky sweaters become, that people who don them gather together in wild celebration, otherwise known as the Ugly Sweater Party. There, the fashion-impaired celebrate the true joy of Christmas: eating, drinking, and laughing at themselves and one another – because ugly Christmas sweaters are actually kind of beautiful when you think about it. If you want to plan a perfectly Ugly Christmas party this year, here are some ugly sweater party ideas for keeping the L-O-V-E in the X-M-A-S.

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photo booth props

Create the Perfect Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Invitations

When throwing a party, having people there is crucial. The best way to ensure you have people at your party is by sending out invitations. To ensure the people at your party show up dressed in ugly Christmas sweaters, you might want to let them know that this is, indeed, an Ugly Christmas party. Ideally, you want to put something on your invitation that gives them a little head’s up.

When it comes to creating an ugly Christmas sweater invitation, you have one of two options: e-mail or snail mail. If you choose the first, you can find customizable design templates for Ugly Christmas parties online. At, you can find tons of groovy templates that let you play around with text edits,  fonts, backgrounds, and even add photos and media.

But if computer graphics are not your pleasure, and ugly Christmas sweater parties are, you can always find non-virtual, good old paper invites on Amazon. The sweater-shaped Big Dot of Happiness Wild and Ugly Sweater Party invitations are great for party animals. The set includes 12 fill-in invitations on heavy-duty cardstock and 12 white premium, ‘squiggle- flap’ envelopes.

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Four Simple and Cheap Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Decorations

Put simply, if ugly is your goal the 99-Cent Store is your new Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Not that there haven’t been items at high-end home décor shops that we’re not particularly fond of, but generally, cheap and ugly are synonymous with one another. That’s why ugly Christmas parties are so great – the less you spend, the more on-trend you are. On that note, here are four simple, cheap, and ugly Christmas party decorations so you can deck the halls in appropriate ugliness.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Banner

When you throw your party, you want it to say, “Ugly.” As soon as your guests walk into your place,  you want to make it clear that things here are going to be done differently. This is no ordinary Christmas party, this is one ugly motherlover of a party. The way to do that? Tell it like it is. With the Biestle Ugly Sweater Streamer, no one will have any doubt what this party is about. Made of cardstock, this 11”x 6″ streamer features the word “UGLY” in red and green,  bookended by two very atrocious Christmas sweaters. Get it on Amazon.

Fun Express Ugly Sweater Table Décor Kit 23 Piece for Christmas

After you’ve established that it’s your house, and ugly rules, you’ll want to bring some ugly to the table as well. Luckily, you can bring 23 pieces of hideousness to your table with the Fun Express Ugly Table décor. For those who prefer sass over class, this table décor kit features numerous designs of festive sweaters with fun text, including classics like, “Did your grandmother knit that for you?” The cardboard kit includes a 12 ½” centerpiece, two 7” centerpieces, and twenty pieces of 2” confetti. Get it on Amazon for some good dinner conversation.

Big Dot of Happiness Ugly Sweater Christmas Party Photo Booth Props Kit 20 Count

With photo-ops come photo props, and since you can plan on having a lot of the former at your party, it could be a fun-tastic idea to have some of the latter. Even the camera-shy will not be able to resist these weird beards, slick ‘staches, tacky ties, freaky frames, speech bubbles with bubbly messages and more.  The kit comes with 20 photo booth props, 20 dowel sticks, and adhesive glue stickers for easy assembly. Get it on Amazon and get ready to get your ugly on (camera).

Party Supply Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Balloons 9 pieces

Why not decorate with some pop art? Balloons never get old, that is until they lose their helium, and there’s no better way to deck the halls than with Mylar inflatables bearing fond Christmas messages. This set comes with six red and green latex balloons, two Mylar “Merry Christmas” balloons, and the piece de resistance,  XL ugly sweater balloon, to remind everyone of what they’ve really come for. Just fill with helium and have a very airy Christmas. Get this on Amazon.

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ugly christmas sweater

Four Easy and Delicious Ugly Sweater Party Foods

Now that your house looks properly distasteful, you begin to wonder if the food should be equally distasteful. Probably not the best idea, assuming the intention is for your guests to eat it. Preparing a culinary feast for an ugly sweater party is an art. It means striking the perfect balance between the mouth-watering and the stomach-turning, the appetizing and the unaesthetic, the yummy and the yucky. Luckily, we’ve found several dishes that meet the criteria perfectly. Here are four easy and ugly sweater party foods that are so delicious,  beauty will lie in the stomach of the beholder. 

Mini Sausage Wreath

At traditional Christmas parties, wreaths are hung on the door in honor of the celebration. At ugly Christmas parties, wreaths are made of hot dogs and laid on the table for consumption. 

Create this dish by wrapping strips of crescent dough around mini sausages and baking for 11-15 minutes. Brush melted butter on top of the dough and sprinkle rosemary on top. Use red pepper for the bow and combine cranberry sauce with barbecue sauce for a dip. For full directions, see

Shrimp Cocktail Tree

Oh, Christmas Tree, oh Christmas Tree, how are thy shrimp so succulent. Bring to us all joy and glee by trading in thy candy canes for some prime tasty shrimp, thy ornamental balls for grape tomatoes, thy boxes of presents for cubes of cheese, and thy verdant leaves for heads of green leaf lettuce. Construct this using a Styrofoam cone, toothpicks, floral pins, and plastic wrap adding the leaves as you go up and sticking your appetizers where they look most a “peeling.” Get the full recipe on

Ugly Sweater Pizza

 It might be a stretch to say that this creation will make you lose your appetite for pizza, but this homemade pizza is downright homely. Just roll out the pizza dough, cut it in a sweater shape,  and pile on the cheese as if it were tacky tinsel on a sad Christmas tree.  Add your favorite colorful toppings (bell peppers are highly suggested) for something extra cheesy.  Check out the recipe here if you’d like more detailed tips!

Buddy the Elf’s Breakfast Dessert Pasta

Consider using your noodle a bit differently by recreating Buddy’s signature breakfast dish in “The Elf.” On top of spaghetti (really), this dish is soaked in three flavors of syrup – maple, caramel, and chocolate, with a generous sprinkling of M & M’s.  Add pop tarts for toast and you have Spaghetti Elf-Fredo.

To add heaps of fun to this heaping monstrosity, have your guests eat it in Ferrell-like fashion, sans utensils. 

Four Crazy Fun Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Games

Now that you know how the word gets out about these heathen rituals, and have some idea about the hideous décor and repellent food, you may want to know what goes on at these parties. Quite simply, the attendees engage in juvenile activities, often revolving around adult beverages.  As you might imagine, this is where things get really ugly. Here are some of the crazy fun and ugly games that happen when you throw a party for a bunch of people who do not care what they wear.

Ugliest Christmas Party Sweater Contest

So, which sweater did it better? That’s what the Ugliest Christmas Party Sweater contest seeks to determine. The way the contest works is simple. Basically, everyone who comes to the party wears an ugly Christmas sweater. The objective is for each attendee to try and one-up one another by wearing the more atrocious Christmas sweater at the party. He or she who wears the most godawful knit, as voted on by their peers, wins the prize.

To make your contest into more of a “thing,” pick up the Juvale Ugly Sweater Contest Ballot Box with Voting Cards on Amazon. As for the Fun Express 12-piece Ugly Sweater Costume Trophy for Christmas with stickers: buy it, it’s a riot. Only 12.99 and well worth the price, on Amazon.

Ugly Sweaters That Bring the Game

While some sweaters play the game, other ugly sweaters bring the game. Just when you thought was no way anyone could come up with a way to make ugly sweaters any more unattractive, the geniuses at Tipsy Elves found a way to incorporate the ugly sweater itself into a drinking game. The result: The Tipsy Elves Ugly Sweater Drinking Game. The purpose: To get everyone at the party completely inebriated.

The object of the game is to hit the target, conveniently located on the front of the sweater, with one of the six Velcro balls, conveniently included in the package. The basic rule is “you miss you drink,” with more detailed rules printed (conveniently) printed on the back of the sweater (so you can prove to everyone that you were indeed right).  Bring the game with this sweater, and you’ll be an absolute shoo-in for the Ugly Christmas Sweater contest, provided you’ll be able to ‘stand up’ to the competition. 

Karaoke Ugly

Perhaps the only thing uglier than an ugly Christmas sweater is an ugly Christmas sweater wearer trying to sing “White Christmas” in the style of Bing Crosby and failing spectacularly.  With Zoom Christmas Hits Karaoke, your guests can take a stab at demolishing such old favorites as ” Frosty the Snowman” (in the style of the Ronettes), “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” (in the style of the Jackson 5), “All I Want for Christmas is You” (in the style of Mariah Carey),  and so many more (70 in total).  The lyrics will print out on your TV screen when played on a CD graphic machine or a PC with compatible software. Get it on Amazon.

Tossin’ Your Cookies

The name is admittedly uglier than the game itself, but none could be more appropriate. In this minute- to- win – it game, the player grabs a cookie and places it on his forehead. When the clock starts, the player attempts to toss the cookie from his forehead so that it lands in his mouth. If the cookie falls, the player may reset an intact cookie on his forehead for another attempt. The first one who to catch the cookie in his mouth three times in the 60 second time limit is the top cookie.

Ready, Set, Go Ugly

Now that you’ve got ugly invitations, ugly decorations, ugly food creations, and ugly occupations, you’re in for one ugly celebration. So, get snugly and ugly this year with a few friends and have the time of your lives. May your sweaters be ugly and may your smiles be beautiful. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.