Ugly Sweater Party Ideas

One of the funniest and most enjoyable themes for a holiday celebration is to host an Ugly Sweater party. The premise is simple: gather up those awful woolly sweaters you have hiding in your closet and wear them with pride as you mix and mingle with friends and family at an Ugly Sweaters party. No need to worry—everybody else looks ridiculous too! If you love this theme and want to plan your own silly celebration, get inspired by these Ugly Sweater party ideas.
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Here are a few ugly sweater party ideas to get you started:


Ugly Sweater Party Invitations

Every great party theme begins with the invitation, and we love these festive FREE Ugly Sweater party invitations you can easily personalize and send via text or email. Whether you prefer a moose pattern design that harkens back to something your grandmother once knitted for you, or an invitation starring a sweater with rather horrifying 3D appliques, there’s something for everyone. Simply add your party details, a few sweater-related puns (warmly yours, etc.) and you’re off to the races. Get started here.

Ugly Sweater Place Settings

Whether you plan to have a sit-down dinner or a simple buffet, your table will be the centerpiece of the party. For an Ugly Sweater party, opt for modern colors and some slightly zany accents. Here’s how to achieve this look.

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  1. Begin with a lime green tablecloth with a festive pattern. (Zig zags highly encouraged.)
  2. Add green or white holiday plates, and red striped paper napkins.
  3. For your centerpiece, set out cups filled with candy canes, red votive candles, and a festoon of faux cranberry branches (available at craft stores). Arrange these in a little vignette. Remember, if it doesn’t look quite right, try adding levels!

Ugly Sweater Party Activities

Every holiday party needs some good entertainment to keep everyone engaged in the merriment. Our favorite Ugly Sweater party game is a gingerbread decorating competition. Here’s how it plays out.

Gingerbread Decorating Game

  1. Write down easily recognizable professions (pirate, ballerina, etc.) onto pieces of paper, fold them up, and place in a bowl. Alternatively, you can use the names of your party guests.
  2. Ask each guest to draw a piece of paper from the bowl.
  3. Set out plain, undecorated gingerbread men and a variety of decorating supplies (frosting, sprinkles, candy, etc.)
  4. Each guest then decorates a gingerbread man based on the profession (or person) they’ve drawn from the bowl.
  5. Once everyone has completed their decorating, place all the entries on a table and ask everyone to guess who it is. Vote to decide who decorated the best one!
  6. Present a prize to the winner of the competition. A festive, knitted Christmas hat, perhaps?

Ugly Sweater Photo Booth
When you’ve asked your guests to dress up in their holiday best (or ugliest in this case!), it’s always a good idea to give them plenty of selfie opportunities. Set up an Ugly Sweater photo booth area. Tape two long strips of holiday wrapping paper to a wall as your backdrop, and provide some fun props. A wreath for a photo frame, reindeer antlers, and a Santa beard are all popular options. Make sure there’s some decent lighting in that particular corner, and a little sign that let’s everyone know it’s a photo booth!

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Ugly Sweater Party Drink 

No holiday party is complete without a signature cocktail! Since everyone will be dressed warmly, we love this refreshingly cool pomegranate martini recipe. Set up a little cocktail station with a pitcher, glasses, and the garnish, and allow your guests to serve themselves!
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Grandma’s Pomegranate Martini Recipe
  • 2 cups vodka
  • 1 cup orange liqueur
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds (for garnish)
  • Lime wedges (for garnish)
Directions: In a large pitcher, mix the first four ingredients and then pop into the fridge to chill. When you're ready to serve, pour into chilled martini glasses and garnish with a sprinkling of fresh pomegranate seeds and a wedge of lime. Enjoy!

Ugly Sweater Party Favors

To make your guests feel extra cozy, send them home with a little Ugly Sweater party favor. A knitted mug cozy is adorable, and you can find an abundance of colors and styles on Etsy. If you’re looking for a simpler idea, cute matching holiday mugs are a great take-home gift.

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Ready to get the party started? Send one of our free Ugly Sweater invitations!

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