Sammy Schultz and Her One-of-a-Kind Ugly Sweater Creations

What is a universal holiday party theme no matter who is doing the partying? Ugly sweaters.   

This leaves many scrambling and struggling to find the perfect ugly sweater, whether for a contest or just to join in on the festivities. One University of Maryland student, however, won’t have any trouble when it comes to finding the perfect one.

Sammy Shultz has made ugly Christmas sweaters for the past three years. She makes the sweaters from  sweatshirts from Walmart, but she isn’t looking to make a profit anytime soon. Her sweaters are instead given as Christmas gifts to her friends, free of charge but full of laughs.

Shultz, a junior history major, started making the sweaters with her cousin Sam one day because they were bored, and felt inspired by designs they had seen on Pinterest.

Her designs usually include a design made of felt and a pun.


Last year, one of the sweaters she created featured a sheep, and the words “Fleece Navidad.” She used alpaca wool to make the sheep, which she said her mother just had sitting around the house for unknown reasons.

Other sweaters have included jingle bells, googly eyes, and even lights that actually lit up via a battery pack. The battery pack was placed in a pocket sewn to the inside of the sweater for convenience.

“I did a Christmas tree with lights,” Shultz said. “I actually had to cut holes in the sweater, and then sew them back up to make the lights stay.”

Unfortunately, none are machine washable, even the ones without lights are often comprised of googly eyes and tacky glue. One sweater is adorned with glitter that would surely come loose in the wash and find its way into every other piece of clothing.

“I still have glitter on my bathroom floor. We didn’t think this through when we were doing this last year.” Shultz said. “We just put a towel down and then went to the bathroom and dumped the glitter in the trash can and it went all over the trash can and onto the floor.”

While the sweaters are fun to wear, they are much less fun to make, according to Shultz. Aside from glitter coating the bathroom floor without any sign of leaving, there’s also the problem of sewing. Shultz said she usually hates each sweater by the time she is done with it, having stabbed herself in the fingers repeatedly with the sewing needle.

She loves the way they turn out though, and works hard to make each one look perfect.

She usually works on them around Thanksgiving break, and makes no more than five each year. Each ugly sweater she constructs takes multiple hours to complete.

This year, however, she didn’t get started on any over break, and likely won’t be making them, as she doesn’t have the time.

 “They seem like a good idea when you start them,” Shultz said. “I start them late. If I started them earlier it probably wouldn’t be bad, but I always do them all in one weekend, so stabbing your fingers a lot all in one weekend kind of takes its toll on you…”