How to Throw an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party for Kids

Child eating Christmas dinner.
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Ugly Christmas sweater parties have become a popular trend among college students and adults, but there’s no reason the kids can’t get in on the fun too! Throw an ugly sweater party for kids with these tips and tricks that will help you throw the most terrifically tacky bash in town.

Ugly Sweater Party Invitations

If ever there was an event seemingly made for the cardstock cutout invitation, this is it. Use red and green colored cardstock, cut it into the shapes of sweaters, and then go to town on the embellishments. Before you decorate it, write the party details on one side, then flip it over and get to work on your creation. Glitter pens, crayons, glue sticks, and a variety of holiday-themed doo-dads from the scrapbooking aisle of the craft store are all you need to create a paper version of the ugly Christmas sweater.

Ugly Sweater Decorations

Hosting an ugly sweater party needs some theme-appropriate decorations, like:

  • When you make your cardstock invitations, make some extra cutouts to hang around the party space. One fun idea is to run a “clothesline” (hanging overhead of the party room or dining table) from which to hang your cardstock sweaters.
  • If you have space, you could also take the clothesline idea to the life-sized level and hang real ugly Christmas sweaters from it. This could serve as a fun backdrop for a photo booth.
  • Ugly sweaters also make fabulous covers for the backs of dining chairs.
  • Turn a tablecloth into an ugly sweater by stamping on holiday prints, ironing on Christmas patches, and hanging gaudy ornaments from the hanging ends.
  • Decorate some Barbie doll sweaters to look like ugly Christmas sweaters. Dress up Barbie, action figures, or your Elf on the Shelf. Once they are donning their Christmas worst, place them around the party space as decorations.
  • Make an ugly sweater Christmas tree. Set up a mini tree and place a sweater over it. You can also place a wool cap on the top. Pin old, tacky ornaments, tinsel, and lights to the fabrics. (You could have the kids do this as a party activity).

Ugly Sweater Themed Food

At this party, even the food is ugly. Suggestions for your ugly Christmas sweater party menu include:

Ugly Sweater Party Games and Activities

Keep your guests entertained with these fun activities:

  • One must-have for an ugly Christmas sweater party is a photo booth. After all, what is the point in wearing your ugliest sweater if you don’t capture it in image form to remember forever? Use the ugly sweater clothesline as a photo-op backdrop or suspend a large, empty picture frame to hang at just the right height for kids to pose from the waist up, showing off their ugly sweaters. You can even decorate the picture frame to look like the cover of a holiday greeting card.
  • Have an ugly sweater contest. Let the kids strut their stuff and show off their ugly sweaters to a panel of judges (other party guests). Let everyone vote for their favorites in a selection of categories (ugliest, tackiest, brightest, funniest, etc.). Award trinket prizes to the winners.
  • Make an ugly sweater. Divide kids into groups and give each group a plain sweater and a stockpile of tacky embellishments. Set a timer and tell them to create the ugliest sweater they can before time runs out.
  • Pin the ornament on the sweater. Hang an ugly Christmas sweater on the wall. Choose a spot where the ornament should be hung. Blindfold kids and see who can hang it in the right place.
  • Musical chairs using the ugly sweater decorated chairs.

Party Favors

Perhaps the obvious parting gift for an ugly Christmas sweater party would be an actual ugly Christmas sweater. Because kids will already be wearing their own, you could give them another ugly accessory to match. Ideas include ugly Christmas socks, ties, headbands, scarves, hats, or mittens.