Beautifully Simple Ugly Sweater Party Ideas

Over the last few years, Ugly Sweater parties have become increasingly popular, and with good reason! People of all generations love to don their holiday knitted-wear, and there’s no better way to get everyone feeling merry and bright. Ugly Sweaters make for a great, casual Christmas party theme that’s appropriate for friends, family, kids, and even the office holiday party.

Here are some beautifully easy ways to turn the Ugly Sweater concept into a complete Christmas party theme that will entertain your guests for an entire evening.


Ugly Sweater Party Ideas: invitations, place settings, games, favors, and more!

Ugly Sweater 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 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.

Free Ugly Sweater party invitations

Free Ugly Sweater invitations

Free Christmas invitations


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 Christmas party, opt for modern colors and some slightly zany accents. Here’s how to achieve this look.


Ugly Sweater Party table setting

  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!


Gingerbread Decorating Game: Every Christmas 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.


Ugly Sweater Party Game: Gingerbread Decorating Contest

  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 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 homemade on Etsy. If you’re looking for a simpler idea, cute matching Christmas mugs are a great take-home gift.

Ugly Sweater party favor idea!


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!

Ugly Sweater Photo Booth idea

Ugly Sweater Party Drink: No Christmas 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! 


Christmas Cocktail: Pomegranate Martini Recipe

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!

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

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