Cardboard Ugly Christmas Sweater Craft

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By In The Playroom

Looking for fun ugly Christmas sweater craft ideas? Why not make your own life-size Christmas sweater out of cardboard.

This is a really fun activity that kids of all ages are going to love this holiday season!

Christmas sweaters are a timeless Christmas tradition, whether you go for ugly or cute – Everyone can design and make your own ugly Christmas sweater, and we even included a free printable sweater template incase you would like to make one on a smaller scale.

Why not make your own Christmas sweater design and then hold some ugly Christmas sweater contests with family and friends, or host an ugly Christmas sweater party?

I’ll let you into a little secret too, even though they are known as ugly Christmas sweaters, I think Christmas jumpers are actually adorable!

How to Make a Lifesize Cardboard Ugly Christmas Sweater Craft

This easy Christmas craft is so much fun for the whole family. Younger children and older kids will both enjoying putting together their own Christmas sweater designs.

Cardboard Christmas Sweater Craft

Cardboard Christmas Sweater Craft

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Make your favorite new ugly sweater ready for Christmas with this easy and fun cardboard craft. Kids can unleash so much creativity putting together their own designs for the festive season.


  • Cardboard
  • Paint
  • Markers
  • Pom Poms
  • Glitter
  • Felt
  • Any craft supplies or materials you have to hand!


  • Scissors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Glue (your choice of glue, Elmer's glue or a hot glue gun will both work depending on what you are attaching)


  1. Have your child lie down on a large piece of cardboard in order to measure the correct size for your Christmas sweater craft, draw around your child's upper half to mark the size with a pencil and then fill in any gaps in the outline, or make any adjustments needed.
  2. Cut the lifesize sweater template from the cardboard
  3. First, paint the cardboard sweater with your chosen background color and leave to dry
  4. Next, you're ready to decorate by adding your choice of pom poms, sequins, glitter, bold colors, and so on.
  5. You can create a snowman design as shown, or a pattern with candy canes. The options are endless!

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Ugly Christmas Sweater Ideas

Use all your creativity to create your diy ugly Christmas sweaters.

You could add candy canes, jingle bells, snowflakes, christmas trees, snowmen (or even the abominable snowman), patterns, Santa Claus, Penguins, Rudolph the reindeer with his red nose (a red Christmas ornament is great for this!), a Christmas turkey, a sleigh and gifts, elves or lots more!

You can add a 3D textured effect by adding a tinsel garland, or even a string of lights.

Pick up supplies cheaply at the dollar tree, pound shops, or raid your craft cupboards at home to use up what you already have, without additional cost.

There are so many different ways to add your own personality to this Christmas craft idea.

You probably want to have paint available in all of the typical Christmas colors like red, green, and gold but there is no reason kids can’t use different colors for their cute ugly sweaters and include their own personal favorites – like Pink!

Let their creativity shine! That’s why we have not provided complete instructions for a design, this is more fun if kids use their own creativity and ideas – that’s the best part.

Don’t forget to have the kids write their names on the back of the sweater, that way if you keep them to get back out next year you can recognise who’s is whose.

Download PDF template

Download the free sweater template in PDF format below.

Terms of use: for personal use or classroom use

Print out a blank outline of an ugly Christmas sweater onto a piece of paper, and decorate. This is a great classroom activity or a fun creative idea for Christmas parties.

You could gather everyone’s completed sweater designs, cut them out and make a big display on a large piece of construction paper.

This would even make a great background for a virtual Yuletime bash, if you’re having Christmas video calls with family who are overseas to boost their holiday cheer.

We have three different versions of the blank Christmas sweater template to try out

  • Traditional Christmas Sweater or Christmas Jumper
  • Winter Turtle Neck Sweater
  • Hoodie

These also work great as Christmas sweater coloring pages.

Design Your Own Christmas Sweater Templates

Make a Wearable Christmas Sweater

You can take this idea, and create your own designs on a real sweater, if you are working with older kids.

The cardboard version is easier and less frustrating for little ones, but older kids can take a trip to the thrift store for a plain sweater and use fabric paint and a hot glue gun to really customise their own sweater.

Make a tacky Christmas sweater for the ugly Christmas sweater party, for an ugly sweater costume or for their own festive fashion statement and a bit of fun!

Buy Christmas Sweaters

Running out of time to make your own? Take a look at these Christmas sweaters available to buy via Amazon and Etsy (affiliate links)

Buy on Etsy
Buy on Etsy

More Fun Christmas Ideas for Kids

Get into the Christmas spirit with these simple Christmas crafts, recipes, fun and games.


Please go ahead and share this blog post with friends and family or on social media, why not pin to your Pinterest board?

Christmas sweater craft with free printable Christmas jumper template
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Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.

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