December 15th is National Ugly Sweater Day. Not prepared? Try one of these last-minute DIY ideas.

By Flavia Nunez
Updated September 26, 2019
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You don’t need amazing tailoring skills—or even a needle and thread to transform a basic cardigan into a piece of art (hint: a little hot glue will go a long way). These unique ideas are easy to pull off, even at the last minute.

The Surprise Stocking Sweater

Turn mini stockings into festive pockets for stashing snacks (or mini wine bottles—we won’t tell).

  1. Use hot glue to attach mini felt stockings to the front of a sweatshirt or sweater.
  2. Glue candy canes (we used plastic, but the real thing works, too) in the spaces around the stockings.
  3. Fill the stockings with favors and voila!, you’re the life of the party.

The Mistletoe Sweater

Not many people hang mistletoe these days—but you can keep the tradition alive.

  1. Use red ribbon (about three inches wide) to make a bow, affixing it to a cardigan with hot glue.
  2. Pull apart an artificial ball of mistletoe (available seasonally at most craft stores, or on and individually glue the leaves to the sweater.
  3. Add white faux-pearls to give this masterpiece a finishing touch.

The Christmas Tree Sweater

Sure, everyone has an ugly Christmas sweater with a tree on it. But it probably doesn’t light up. (Bonus: this one is even machine-washable, thanks to removable lights and tinsel.)

  1. Place self-adhesive Velcro tape on the front of a sweatshirt in a triangular, tree shape.
  2. Twist a strand of battery-powered LED lights and a tinsel garland together, and attach using the other side of the Velcro tape.
  3. Scatter self-adhesive felt stars in a random pattern across the sweatshirt and garland, and light up the night.