How to Make an Ugly Christmas Sweater Bra


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Years ago I was invited to an event that was raising money and collecting bras for girls who might not otherwise have them, and the hook of the event was that people were supposed to come wearing decorated bras.

It was almost Thanksgiving so my immediate thought was to make an ugly Christmas sweater bra.

wearing ugly christmas sweater bra

And while I didn’t win the contest, the bra is pretty darn epic, and would be a great alternative to a Christmas sweater for your holiday parties.

Side note: if you’re not into wearing a bra on the outside of your clothes, you could totally make an ugly Christmas sweater hat instead.

Because I’m a knitter I knit the sweater part of my ugly Christmas sweater bra, but you could also purchase a sweater or some holiday-themed fabric to cover the cups.

Supplies for an Ugly Christmas Sweater Bra

  • an old bra (I used a nursing bra I was sure to not need again)
  • Christmas sweater, or yarn and knitting needles to knit your bra cups
  • tinsel, jingle bells, pom-poms, bows and holiday do-dads of your choice (mine all came from the dollar store)
  • red felt
  • glue gun and lots of glue sticks

Knitting an Ugly Christmas Sweater Bra

knit cup for sweater bra

If you want to knit the sweater part of your bra, it’s really pretty quick and easy to do. I used a reindeer pattern from 55 Christmas Balls to Knit by Arne & Carlos.

Alternatively any Christmas ball knitting pattern worked in worsted weight yarn should work.

You want your pattern to be a little away from the edges, or otherwise use an allover pattern that you can lose part of if you wrap it to the back of the bra to secure it.

I did a bit of shaping as I went to give the knit piece the general shape of a bra cup, but you don’t have to be precise, as long as it is at least slightly larger than the cup you are trying to cover.

More Christmas Crafts: Grinch Spoon Craft | Christmas Storytelling Tin

Making a Sweater Bra with a Purchased Sweater

If you’re not a knitter you can buy a sweater or some holiday fabric and do this even more quickly. Just cut out pieces the shape of the bra cup and slightly larger than the cup you are covering so you can fold the edges to the back and glue them down to secure.

You could also cover the cups with felt or solid-colored fabric and decorate them as the rest of the bra, or just use tinsel everywhere. Add a bow on top and you’re done!

And remember you can embellish the fabric with more stitching if you like. I added the silver stars to evoke snowflakes before I attached the knitting to the bra.

decorations ugly sweater bra

Decorating a Christmas Sweater Bra

Start by securing the sweater parts onto the bra cups. I used some hot glue on the front of the cups as well as folding the edges to the back and gluing there. I’m not sure it’s possible to use too much glue on a project like this.

Next I added the tinsel to the straps and around the cups.

ugly christmas sweater bra decoration

I hung jingle bells from the reindeer’s antlers and glued pompoms to the edges and on the face as eyes.

There’s a strand of jingle bells along the bottom of the bra, and bows at the shoulders.

I also covered the strap in the back with red felt and added a bow back there, too.

This was not a particularly fast project — it probably took a couple of hours to put it all together, not counting an evening of knitting. But it was a lot of fun and made for a memorable holiday ensemble.

If I ever get invited to an ugly sweater party, I know what I’m wearing.

ugly christmas sweater bra
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