This blog post may contain affiliate links.
Friday, December 8, 2023

Ugly Christmas Sweater Collage Craft for Kids

My kids love nothing more than being given a variety of craft items and being able to free range and create masterpieces, so it's no surprise that collage and process art activities are high on rotation here. This ugly Christmas sweater collage craft we did this week is a perfect way to incorporate collage into Christmas crafts.

I've created a free printable blank ugly Christmas sweater template you can download and use to make this craft with your kids or students too. 

ugly sweater collage activity.



Ugly Christmas sweaters are Christmas themed jumpers that are particularly gaudy with tacky images or over the top embellishments like sequins, glitter, bells or tinsel. Their outrageous designs and excessive, often sparkly embellishments make them perfect for a collage craft activity with Christmas craft items.

Decorating an ugly Christmas sweater with craft items is also a fun process art activity to do as a family over the holidays. Apart from having a defined sweater shape, there are no rules about what children can add, how many items they can add or what design they can make, so this ugly Christmas sweater collage is a great way for children to express their creativity.

They can also develop reasoning skills by experimenting with object placement and determining if they need smaller or larger items to fit in the space they're filling. They can experiment with patterning by repeating the same colour pattern in certain items, and symmetry by making both sides of their sweater a mirror image design. It's also perfectly ok for them to create a completely random abstract design

Creating their design is also a great way for children to work on their fine motor skills like pincer grip and hand strength as they peel off the backing of the stickers, squeeze glue, push pieces down into the glue and place their items in just the right position.
ugly Christmas sweater collage invitation.

Supplies Needed:

Plus craft items:

The craft items above are what we used for our ugly Christmas sweaters, based on what we already had in the craft cupboard at home. You can of course use lots of other craft items to decorate the sweaters such as:

Just raid your craft stash for the most colourful and sparkly items. If you need to restock some craft items, our favourite stores in Australia are dollar stores, Spotlight and Riot. If you're in America, check out my list of craft supplies on Amazon.


1. Print off blank sweater template. You can print off the template onto white paper or cardstock and then cut it out and use the sweater shape to draw an outline onto coloured cardstock you want to use, or you should be able to print the template directly onto coloured cardstock like we did. Cut the templates out into the sweater shape.

Older children will be able to cut out the templates themselves, however if you're completing this craft in a classroom with lots of students you may want to cut out the templates ahead of time.

ugly Christmas sweater template.
ugly Sweater template cut up ready to use in collage.

2. Set up all the craft items in a tray or tub. We like to use plastic dip trays as they allow for separate sections for different types of craft items. It's also a great way to present multiple items for children to share if they're working alongside each other, however you can use any tray or tub you have.

craft items to decorate ugly sweater template.

3. Decorate the sweater with craft items. The kids can get creative and add as many craft items as they like, the more the better as it's an ugly Christmas sweater after all. The great thing about this craft is that even though it uses a template, each child's sweater will be unique.

red ugly Christmas sweater collage.

orange ugly Christmas sweater craft.

My 6yr old did 2 sweaters and experimented with patterning and mirror imaging between both designs. She needed some help peeling the backing off of the Christmas bows and gluing the tiny pom poms in place, but other than that she happily created her designs on her own. 

If you look closely you can also see she experimented with adding some Christmas stamps, however we realised as she was creating that a lot of our stamps had started to dry up, so we'll need to get some new ones.
yellow ugly Christmas sweater collage.

I had a whole red, white and green design planned out for the red template, however I was told I could only do the yellow one so I changed it to a candy theme. You can definitely tell the difference between the designs of a young child and an adult, but it was just as fun for me to get involved and create a design while she was. My 10yr old also decided she wanted to do one later on so I printed out a purple template for her that she completed independently.

purple ugly Christmas sweater craft.

We've displayed our finished ugly Christmas sweaters on a wall that we've selected to be our Christmas craft gallery for the holidays, however you could also upcycle them and turn them into gifts for family and friends by writing a Christmas message on the back of them.


You can download the free printable ugly sweater template by clicking the download template button below. The template is an A4 PDF. Simply print off as many copies of the version you need.

Please note this printable template is for personal or classroom use only and cannot be electronically distributed, reproduced or uploaded and sold on any platform. If you would like to share this printable please link back directly to this post.

free printable blank ugly Christmas sweater template.

download blank Christmas sweater template here.


ugly Christmas sweater collage craft for kids.


Disclosure - This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, which means I may make a small commission at no cost to you, should you make a purchase.

Would you like to comment?