An Ugly Christmas Sweater Party is a Real Thing

11-19-14n 054 Ugly Sweater @*The embellishments of my ugly Christmas sweater are part of a paid campaign with I Love To Create and Blueprint Social.

The Ugly Christmas Sweater party, reality or myth?

Just this last weekend, I was talking to another soccer mom after the last game of the regular season and she mentioned throwing a Christmas party for the soccer team.  I immediately piped up with,  “It should be an Ugly Christmas Sweater party!”  She didn’t say anything for a moment, but stared back at me with a look of pure puzzlement.

Sadly, she had never heard of attending a party where the main focus was to celebrate gloriously hideous holiday sweaters.

11-19-14n 017 Ugly Sweater @ CharmingZebra.comSo how did this wonderfully tacky tradition originate, you ask?  How did it become “a thing?”

Well, back in the day (late 80’s, early 90’s to be exact), the prevailing fashion was completely over-the-top, colorful, graphic or cutesy sweaters.  School teachers were the champions of holiday embellished vests and Christmas was a time for the sweater-loving-set to go into overdrive.

But as the fashion cycles tend to go, what was once cool and completely on trend, has morphed into somewhat of a “can you believe they actually wore that”?

And now it’s a popular party theme.

Last year, I discovered this red and black jewel of a sweater at the thrift store.  Absolutely perfect!  Complete with late 80’s shoulder pads and randomly bedazzled jewels.

The perfect party sweater.


11-19-14n 075 Ugly Sweater @ CharmingZebra.comAnd here is a snazzy picture of me in all my high school glory.  Permed hair with feathered bangs.  Long live the 80’s!  I’m sporting one of my favorite sweaters of all  time.  (The white swirl was fuzzy Angora, by the way.)

But wait, it gets even better.  This lovely image is actually on a pillow.  Yes, a decorative pillow.  My grandma made it as a baby gift when my youngest son was born.  Instead of using a current photo, she chose to highlight me from my Breakfast Club days.  One of a kind for sure.

I no longer own the sweater (obviously), but I can’t help but wonder if someone, somewhere is giving it new life on the ugly Christmas sweater party scene.

11-19-14n 016 Ugly Sweater @ CharmingZebra.comI wore the bejeweled red sweater with black crosses to a holiday party last year, but decided to bring a little more of a Christmas vibe for this year’s festivities.  I Love To Create sent me a box of Tulip sparkle products to embellish my sweater with more holiday cheer.


11-19-14n 023 Ugly Sweater @ CharmingZebra.comI chose to liven up the back of the sweater and cut out a tree using the iron-on sparkle sheets.  I drew half a tree on thin cardboard for a template.  I then just ironed the tree directly on the sweater.

11-19-14n 026 Ugly Sweater @ CharmingZebra.comI glued on a couple of felt reindeer from the craft store to continue with the cutesy vibe.

11-19-14n 042 Ugly Sweater @ CharmingZebra.comNext I drew presents under the tree with glitter paint.

11-19-14n 035 Ugly Sweater @ CharmingZebra.comAnd embellished the reindeer’s nose with soft metallic paint.

11-19-14n 028 Ugly Sweater @ CharmingZebra.comThere was also loose fabric glitter that came in beautiful colors.  I used the silver sparkle to decorate the tree, but am already planning on using some of the other colors for another project.

11-19-14n 039 Ugly Sweater @ CharmingZebra.comThe Tulip products all worked well.  I wasn’t sure how they would attach to a knit sweater, but they all performed like a charm.  The only things I actually had trouble with were not from Tulip.  The felt reindeer had a bit of an issue attaching to the sweater.  I’ll probably have to go back and sew them on.

The iron-on sheets from Tulip were probably my favorite since they were so easy to use and were done in just a few minutes.  The glitter paint was also one I’m definitely going to use again.

11-19-14n 073 Ugly Sweater @ CharmingZebra.comSo here is the Christmas part of my ugly sweater.  It’s almost finished.  And what do I have left?  Adding fringe along the length of each sleeve and maybe a few jingle bells around the collar.

Party-ready for sure.

And what about you?  Have you embraced the Ugly Christmas Sweater trend?  Or are you just shaking your head in wonder?


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  1. girl, you were rocking the perm….just like you will with that sweater.
    laura@top this top that recently posted..Thanksgiving Table IdeasMy Profile

  2. Oh man love your sweater and love your school photo! 🙂
    katie recently posted..DIY Baby’s First Ugly Christmas SweaterMy Profile

  3. Love your high school photo! The sweater is so fun too.
    Julia@Cuckoo4Design recently posted..I am moving!My Profile