Friday, December 7, 2012

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Recap: All the Details and Decor!

Christmas Sweater parties are the BEST! Not only are they super trendy right now, but they are so perfect for young couples. It's an inexpensive, low-stress, low-expectations type of party. This was our 2nd Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. (See here for last year's recap + tips on hosting one). Both years, we have had the party the first weekend of December. I like to do it early, to kind of get it out of the way before things get too crazy, with all the other holiday plans. Most importantly, it gives us the rest of December to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

Ok, are you ready? This post contains tons of pictures, links to 4 tutorials, an ugly sweater giveaway, and a link party for you to link up all your sweater party ideas! Here we go!

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sweater//UglyChristmasSweaterParty.com
turtleneck//WalMart
jingle bell earrings//WalMart 

Let me start by saying how much I love this "ugly" sweater trend. I think its SO fun! When I went to the thrift store this year, I couldn't find any Christmas sweaters! Maybe they are all getting snatched up for ugly sweater parties? haha. I hope there will never be a shortage of ugly Christmas sweaters, because I am already starting to hoard them a nice little collection. I love that there are companies who have made selling ugly Christmas sweaters into an online business. Have you heard of UglyChristmasSweaterParty.com?  My husband and I both got sweaters from them this year (and if you read til the end of this post I have one to give away)! 


(sorry for the blurry/yellow pictures)


(I'm only posting this picture so I can show off my sweater-inspired slippers that I got from Target years ago, lol)!

Check out this sea of Ugly Sweater Awesomeness in our living room!


Like us, most of our friends are still in the beginning stages of their careers, or still in school, so the theme of a sweater/tacky party just... fits. :) But no matter what phase of life we are in, we picture ourselves hosting an ugly sweater party until we're 99 years old. We just have a lot of fun doing this, and would love to make it an annual tradition!


 These are my cute friends Maren and Angela. Angela brought a Justin Bieber doll for her white elephant gift, that was pretty hilarious! Someone else opened candy covered crickets!!! After coaxing, he decided to eat them, and when he ripped open the bag, they spilled everywhere. Everyone was laughing so hard. I love white elephant gift exchanges!


Our friends Laura and Johnny got so creative with their outfits! Some gift wrap and bows are a great idea if you don't have an ugly sweater, I never would have thought of this!


Let's talk about the photo booth. What do ya think? It was a really fun way to keep our guests entertained. Get the tutorial here: How to Build a Photo Booth


Angela came to my house and helped me build it. She's awesome.


This is our two year old's impression of Kevin from Home Alone.






The photo props are from Paper and Cake. You can purchase the file here for $9.95.


My husband bought some Santa hats, and I found a couple of antler and Christmas tree headbands at Target to use as photo props as well.


This year, we had our guests vote for their two favorite sweaters. Here are our "Ugly and Ugliest" sweater winners (even though they actually won based on awesomeness)!


For their prizes, I found these at the dollar section at Target... a whoopee cushion, a leg lamp stress ball, and a Christmas story sketch pad. Classy. I know. I also threw in a bag of peanut M&Ms.

The 1st place winner also got a custom sweater-wrapped drink. I turned an old sweater (which is 12 years old and worn out) from this....


...into this. Maybe someday we'll send all our guests home with a glass of sparkling grape juice, wrapped in a sweater. :)


These ribbons are from Target, and I really couldn't pass them up. I think its hilarious how Target has totally jumped on the Ugly Sweater trend this year. Seriously, if you're planning an Ugly Sweater Party, go check out Target. You'll see stuff everywhere!


For the food this year, I asked each guest with the last names A-M to bring something savory, and last names N-Z something sweet. I just have to point out the Red Solo Cups... haha. Even though we don't drink, I still think the Toby Keith song about red solo cups is hilarious. I couldn't resist having red solo cups at our party (even though I might have been the only one who noticed, haha).

Not that we needed any cups to drink out of, at all. I put my husband in charge of the drinks, and you can see he definitely did a great job. He says it's not a party without glass bottled soda. :)

He must have drank 10 IBC root beers that night!


Last year I bought a sweater cookie cutter, and stashed it away somewhere in my basement. A few days before our party, I set out to make ugly sweater cookies, and I couldn't find it! I'll just have to try again next year :) Instead, I served these cookies. Recipe here.

I also made some quick pizzas, with this flatbread from Flatout Bread. I have been craving this every day since our party, so delicious! More details coming on this next week!


We got really lucky with beautiful weather that night, so last minute my husband got a fire going, and strung some colored lights to add to the mood of our ugly sweater party. (You really can't have a sweater party without rainbow colored lights, right)? He was so awesome... he even put up signs all over the house saying "shoes," "coats," etc to direct people where to go. He also played the perfect Christmas album for a sweater party, "She and Him," (starring the adorkable Zooey Deschanel). He had a lot of great ideas, and he made hosting the party a lot of fun!


I had way too much fun getting the decorations made and set up. Here are a ton of pictures:

Ugly Sweater banner from: Paper and Cake
Polka dot fabric from: The Fabric Fairy
Ugly Sweater Print: Julie Ann Art
Cable Knit Sweater Tree + Sweater Friends: Target




This is my Ugly Sweater Inspired Mantle.


I LOVE this little leg lamp nightlight. I found it on ebay last year.

I love my yarn wrapped deer, and knit inspired print. And notice that vase, its sweater inspired too! I was a sucker for anything having to do with knit, yarn or wool. Darn that Target, they had SO much cute stuff!!! (I had a good "blogging month," so we used some of the money I earned to spend on the Target decorations).

I had a stroke of genius (in my humble opinion), to include a snowflake garland made out of hot glue. I am so glad it turned out well! Get the tutorial here: DIY Snowflakes made out of HOT GLUE!

Amidst my crazy party planning and decorating, I tried to include my kids as much as possible. They had a ball making this pom pom tree with me. Get the tutorial here: Kid Craft: Pom Pom Tree

Although I do love to make stuff, I have my limits. I did not make this ornament tree. (I figure that once I buy all the ornaments and supplies, and do all the work, I would have regretted not just purchasing it for $17! I've always love these ornament wreaths, and I was so excited to find it in my favorite traditional Christmas colors! And that knit inspired soap dish? LOVE it. Both are from... you guessed it, Target).

Do not, I repeat, do NOT host an ugly sweater party without mistletoe!!!



Yeah, I bet you can't believe I made these ugly sweater blocks. Hahaha. I had this idea pop into my head, and since I haven't put much effort into learning how to use my Silhouette Cameo that I got for Christmas last year, I thought I better finally buckle down and learn how. I LOVED making these so much, and I love how ridiculously awesome they turned out. :)
Ugly Sweater Vinyl Wood Blocks



Whew, I hope you enjoyed reading all about our party! I am already scheming new ideas for next year, and I can't wait! If you like any of my ideas, decorations, anything at all, I would LOVE it if you'd take a minute to...
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I have an Ugly Christmas Sweater Pinterest Board,
come check it out!

Thank you so much for stopping by my...

And now for a giveaway! This is the sweater that one lucky person will win, compliments of UglyChristmasSweaterParty.com. It is a size large. To enter, just wait for the form below to show up, and there are 3 easy things you can do. Ends Friday December 15. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

8 comments:

Crystal said...

Rachel, can I request an invite to next years party? Ha! I loved EVERYTHING about your ugly sweater party. Serious awesomeness going on in this recap. Now I need to convince my husband we need to host an ugly sweater party. Thanks for all the fabulous ideas! :)

Elizabeth said...

Your party looks like it was a lot of fun! I just went to a Ugly Christmas Sweater party last night with some friends. I had a plain sweater and I gave it a makeover by sewing a felt Christmas tree on it and decorating it with tinsel and ribbon and other things. It won me first place!

Elisa said...

yOu know, I never did amend my RSVP... I feel so bad we didn't end up being able to go after all. It was a tough decision, but since Eric had the night shift the entire next week, we wanted to spend that weekend together as a fam. Looking at all your pics and preparations, though, I'm hoping we are still on your invite list for next year! :)

Tonia L said...

That looks like a blast! I've never been to an ugly sweater party but friends keep threatening to have one! :)

Angela said...

So funny, I want to have an ugly sweater party now... I am hooked, I even entered the giveaway, why, oh, why? Haha, the sweater is calling my name, lol

Chelsea @ Making Home Base said...

What an incredible party! You nailed it! I especially love your photo booth and ugly sweater blocks. What a fun party idea!

Mel said...

What a fabulous party, you didn't miss out on a single detail. Surely a new yearly tradition.

Christine said...

HAHAHA This entire post is soooo FUN!!!!!!

Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality!