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DIY Ugly Santa Hat With Lights

DIY Ugly Christmas Hat Tutorial

December 21, 2018 Sarah Coggins
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Move over ugly Christmas sweaters. There’s a fun new addition – the ugly Christmas hat.

DIY Ugly Christmas Hat tutorial

After our son received an invitation to an ugly Christmas attire party, I placed an online order for a sweater he liked. Well, I goofed. I intended to order a bigger size (XL) so he could wear it a couple of years. Instead I ordered an extra small.

Not the same.

This mistake was realized when it arrived 2 days before the party. By then I couldn’t order a replacement as we were out of time and the store was out of stock.

We quickly switched to DIY mode. Instead of making a sweater, we opted for a fun shirt paired with a festive hat that would be used for years to come. Best of all, it was very easy to make and inexpensive. Here’s how we created it for less than $5:


  • Santa hat (Dollar Tree)
  • Battery operated lights (Target) + batteries
  • Stapler

Ugly Christmas Hat Supplies


Step 1 Open the light package and stretch out the strand enough to separate all the lights. It doesn’t have to be fully straight or even pretty since the goal is an “ugly” or “tacky” look.

Ugly Santa Hat: Adding Lights

Step 2 Tuck battery pack into band of your Santa hat. Decide on placement of first light and use stapler to secure part of the wiring.

Step 3 Continuing working around the hat band with the lights and stapler.

TIP Since our strand was made of wires, I carefully bent it and tucked in excess all the way around to get the placement how I liked. Then I came back and secured it at each light with a staple.

DIY Ugly Santa Hat With Lights

That’s it! Super simple. Now flip on your lights, try on the hat, and show off your festive look!

Where will you wear your ugly Christmas hat?

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Hi! I'm a DIY and craft obsessed mom to 2. I have my hands covered in sawdust or paint any given day. My husband and kids join me in many of our projects. When we aren't creating at home, we're creating memories in our many adventures. Join along! Read More


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