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How to host an ugly sweater party

Alison Luther is writer, marketer and owner of Luther Creative which helps companies develop their brand and marketing strategies to strengthen their presence among online consumers.Previously, Alison served as Director of Public Relatio...

Ugly sweater party

The sweaters might be frightful, but this party's just delightful!

Ugly sweater party

'Tis the season for all those fabulous festive things that get you in the holiday spirit, such as trimming the tree, singing yuletide carols and having family gathered 'round. And let's not forget that little celebration that conjures up crusty images of Cousin Eddie from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: an ugly sweater party! It's basically the hottest thing since fruitcake.

The party's fairly straightforward — a celebration where you're surrounded by your dearest friends and family, all donning their best and ugliest holiday apparel. Here's how we'd throw a totally tacky ugly sweater party, complete with a free printable party pack you can use to throw your own ugly sweater party.

The invitations

Ugly sweater party

These free printable invitations for an ugly sweater party set the tone and give all the necessary information to your guests. They also just so happen to coordinate with the rest of our free printable party pack.

The ambience

Ugly sweater party

Get the free printables for this party here >>

For our ugly sweater party, the decor could only be summed up by the phrase "tacky but cute." In addition to the print-and-make DIY banner in the free printable party pack, we created dozens of yarn balls to decorate with. Stack them in an apothecary jar or a large glass bowl, or simply spread them along the table. We did both because just like an ugly Christmas sweater, you can never have too much flair!

How to: Make a decorative yarn ball

We cheated! Because we wanted to get to the partying part as fast as possible, we grabbed foam craft balls in varying sizes and wrapped them in yarn.

(Hint! Look for ones with a rough versus smooth texture, as the yarn will stick better.)

Place the end of the yarn against the ball and begin wrapping. Go slow! It takes four or five times around until the yarn will feel secure on the ball. Wrap, wrap and wrap some more. It's best to do large sections in the same direction, then gradually shift direction and do another large section.

Keep wrapping. No, really — keep going. This is going to take a minute or two!

When your ball is good and wrapped, grab a hot glue gun, put a dab of glue where the end of your yarn will be, stretch the piece of yarn across the glue, wait a few seconds, and then snip off the excess.

Ugly sweater party

A few other yarn-inspired decor ideas to get you thinking!

Ugly sweater partySource 1: I Source 2: Henry's Future I Source 3: HubPages

Don't forget the details

Ugly sweater party

Love the look of our party? The orange felted runners, chevron straws and award frame are all from Hobby Lobby.

Print this party pack: 

Ugly sweater party


Ugly sweater party

Cupcake toppers

Ugly sweater party

Straw flags

Ugly sweater party

Table labels

Ugly sweater party

Party flags

Ugly sweater party

Voting cards

Ugly sweater party

Treat cone

Ugly sweater party

Treat cone 2

Ugly sweater party


SheKnows party planner

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See all of our party ideas >>

Next up: Plan the menu and, of course, the ugly sweaters!

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