DIY Ugly Sweater Medals for Your Christmas Party Contests

Spread the word!

"DIY Ugly Sweater Medals" Tutorial at


A few weeks ago my grandma sent out a mass text: “Ugly Sweater Contest for family Christmas. There will be prizes.” Those prizes turned out to be silly putty and a whoopee cushion. I know this, because I showed up in an ugly sweater of a reindeer wearing an ugly sweater of a snowman wearing an ugly sweater of Santa wearing an ugly sweater.

There had to have been 4 pounds of glitter on that thing. It was a monstrosity and I won hands down.

But before I knew I was the only one who was going to make my sweater ugly (There were lots of store-bought “ugly” sweaters. Not nearly enough pom poms and jingle bells.) I set out to make a set of first place and second place ribbons for the winners.

Here’s how it went down and everything you need to make your own ugly sweater medals.

Legally, I have to tell you that this post may contain affiliate links and that you can read the whole boring disclosure policy here. All this means is that if you click and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Now let’s get back to the crafty goodness you came here for.

Supplies for the Ugly Sweater Medals

  • Felt Squares – red and green
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter and mat (optional)
  • Ribbon – I used a 5/8″ red sating ribbon
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue (or another adhesive but this is my favorite for felt.
  • Christmas pom poms
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks (optional)
  • Glitter glue or puffy paint – red, green, silver, and gold
  • Ugly Sweater Template – Click the button below to download the project files for free!

How to make the Ugly Sweater Medals

This time of year, I’m pretty much a Who-Down-In-Whoville, so the unofficial first step of this project is putting on some Christmas music.

Something real tacky. It’s what this project deserves.

Step 1: Cutting the Felt

But the real first thing you’ll need to do is to cut out the felt sweaters. Each sweater has a front and a back, so you’ll be cutting out four sweaters total.

Grab the sweater template download below and print out one copy on printer paper or cardstock. I was making multiple sets of medals here, so I made my template out of cardstock that way it would hold up better. If you’re just doing one set, plain printer paper will work just fine.

Then cut out the template with scissors.

Trace the outline twice on each color of felt. Make sure the bottom edge of the sweater is lined up with the flat edge of your felt. It just makes the cutting easier.

Then either cut out each sweater with scissors, or lay it on a cutting mat and slowly but firmly trace the outline with your rotary cutter.

red and green sweater cut outs for christmas contest prizes - tacky sweater project

Step 2: Attach the Ribbon

Next you’ll cut two 30″ lengths of your ribbon.

Cross one end over the other so that there are no twists in the ribbon, and the satin side is facing up on both ends. Use a couple dabs of tacky glue to glue both ends of the ribbon in place.

attach the ribbon to the diy ugly sweater medals

Then glue the matching sweater over top to make a sort of felt-ribbon-felt sandwich.

Glue the second side of the ugly sweater medals with tacky glue

Repeat for the second sweater.

Now it’s time to decorate!

Step 3: Puffy Paint

I started with the puffy paint so I didn’t have to try and write over top of the pom poms.

Use the opposite color (green on red, red on green) to give your sweaters a tacky looking collar and cuffs.

make ugly decorations on sweater ribbons. Decorate the sleeves and collar with glitter puffy paint

Tip for using puffy paint: keep the cap in your other hand, that way when you get an air bubble, you can squeeze into the cap and not have to worry about splattering your project when the paint makes it to the tip.

Now use the gold to make a big “1st” in the middle of the red sweater. And the silver to make a big “2nd” in the middle of the green sweater.

puffy paint on diy tacky sweaters

According to the bottle, the puffy paint I used takes about 4 hours to dry. I would definitely recommend waiting until it’s dry before adding the rest of the decorations.

(However, I like to live on the edge, so I just went for it. I only smudged the cuffs a little bit. You can probably see that in the finished pictures. Oops…)

Step 4: Pom Poms

how to attach pom poms to felt ugly sweaters

The last step is gluing on your Christmas pom poms. Use the tacky glue to dab a little on a pom pom, then press it in a row on the bottom of the sweater.

Finished ugly sweater ribbons with puffy paint and pompoms

And that’s it!

Too cute for an Ugly Sweater?

If you’re feeling like this sweater is way too cute to represent the winner of an ugly sweater contest, you’re not alone.

You can absolutely make it more tacky with other Christmas-y add ons. I considered adding yarn, glittery christmas light charms, rhinestones, or even writing “1st ugliest”.

But in the end, I like how cute they turned out, so I just added the year in the same color paint as the collar and cuffs.

Ready to make your own? Download the template and get started!

Stay crafty,

Download the Free Ugly Sweater Medal Template Here

Pin this project for later:

"DIY Ugly Sweater Medals" red and green Christmas craft supplies used to make first and second place ribbons.

2 thoughts on “DIY Ugly Sweater Medals for Your Christmas Party Contests”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *