DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater Gift Wrap

No artistic skills whatsoever? No problem! In fact, for this DIY, the less you have, the better. We're not even kidding. That's because, when it comes to recreating the terrifically tacky look of an ugly Christmas sweater on a gift bag (or box), absolutely anything goes. To make it even easier, we're including a free printable PDF template that'll have you churning out gift bags like a champ. So, grab some glue and fasten your seatbelt because things are about to get ugly!

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Things You'll Need

  • 9.75 tall x 7.75 inch wide gift bag(s). We used these.

  • 8.5 x 11 inch colored paper -- two for each bag

  • Lots of holiday flair of your choice! We used foam stickers, chenille craft stems (a.k.a. pipe cleaners) and pom poms, but the sky's the limit. Other ideas: felt cut-outs, candy canes, holiday flora, glitter, old Christmas cards, etc.

  • Appropriate glue/adhesive for your chosen decor (see Tip in step 4)

Step 1: Print Template

Download the template and print both pages onto 2 sheets of 8.5 x 11 inch colored paper. We used cardstock, but if your printer can't handle cardstock, a thinner craft paper will do.

Image Credit: Maya MArin

Tip

This template was designed for a gift bags that are 9.75 inches tall x 7.75 inches wide and of any depth. If you'd like to use larger or smaller gift bags, you'll have to adjust the print size (and paper size) accordingly. If resized, this template should work for standard plain gift bags (available at most drug/dollar stores) that are taller than they are wide. This sweater template will also work for rectangular gift boxes with removable lids. Simply follow the same instructions below, but adhere the sweater to the box lid only.

Step 2: Cut Out Pieces

Cut out all three pieces: 1) sweater body 2) left sleeve 3) right sleeve according to the guidelines on the template.Your pieces should look like the ones shown below.

Sweater front
Image Credit: Maya Marin

Note that there are tabs on the sleeve cutouts where they will connect to the sweater body.

Sweater arms with tabs
Image Credit: Maya Marin

Step 3: Glue Pieces Together

Apply glue to one of the sleeve tabs (make sure not to apply glue beyond the fold guideline printed on the template).

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Then lay the sweater body on top of the tab to adhere it, aligning it with the fold line, as shown below.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Repeat for the other sleeve. Your sweater is ready for flair!

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Step 4: Apply Holiday Flair

Now the fun part. There's really no wrong way to do this, so go to town! Here's what we did:

Image Credit: Maya Marin

First, we took some sparkly chenille stems, bent them into zig-zags and hot glued them on in rows.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Tip

A word about adhesive—be it glue, paste, or tape. What you use depends on what works best with your flair. If using bulky decor, we recommend hot glue. If using paper or glitter, craft glue or paste will suffice. If using only lightweight paper cutouts, two-sided tape may also be a good option.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Then, we added rows of stickers and pom poms...

Image Credit: Maya Marin
Image Credit: Maya Marin
Image Credit: Maya Marin

...until our sweater was all flair-ed out!

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Step 5: Glue Sweater onto Bag

Apply glue to the front of a flattened gift bag, then lay the sweater on top to adhere it. The sleeves, at this point, should not yet be connected to the bag.

Image Credit: Maya Marin
Image Credit: Maya Marin

Now, turn it to the side, and open up the gift bag.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Fold the sweater sleeves over the sides of the bag.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Then glue the sleeves down onto the sides.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Once the sleeves are glued, you're done!

Image Credit: Maya Marin

We recommend using them as party favor and/or prize bags for your next ugly Christmas sweater party. Happy tacky holidays!

Image Credit: Maya Marin