My mom, in addition to hand making my baby food and all of our Halloween costumes, has sewn a stocking for nearly every member of the family. (And you wonder where I get my DIY side from?). The first thing we do every Christmas is to dump out our stockings and compare our bounty of soaps, chocolates and tiny toys. Everyone is pretty protective about their individual creations too; my poor felted sock has lasted through several repairs but I won’t give up on it. If you haven’t hung anything by the chimney with care yet, consider whipping up a stocking for your bandmates, housemates, luvers, ankle-bitters, cousins or homeboys. There are roughly seventy million ways to do this, even for those of us who are a bit clunky with a needle and thread.
Most of the ways are going to involve felt – and some sewing, although it can be of the punk-rock dental-floss variety. First you’ll need to trace and cut out your stocking shape, sewing where needed. To decorate consider starting with a basic design like a snowflake or a snowman or some Christmas trees. It’s also pretty easy to find templates for cute stuff like adorable reindeer or Swedish horses. Next, cut out your felt along your templates and glue it onto your stocking. Sew where needed and that’s it. Felt can also be punched and cut into snowflake patterns, or crafted into monogrammed letters and pinecones because felt is super versatile and easy to work with; most projects involve cutting shapes and assembling them using glue and pins.
If you’ve got a steady hand you might want to try some classy embroidery – it’s really just making even stitches along a template – or a reverse applique, which is basically just layering felt and then cutting out letters.
If you’re an upcycler, then grab a sweater or a pair of pants. There are templates for both but basically involve cutting out a stocking shape, sewing in a lining and then folding down and decorating the fold. Heck, if you’ve got a thick enough sweater, you might even be able to skip the lining. Handkerchiefs can also be folded, cut and slightly sewn into a simple, clean white stocking. Same deal with vintage linen items like kitchen towels.
If you want something shinier, then you can sew together several strips of ribbon; there’s a pattern with instructions. If you want something rugged, or you’re Dwight Schrute, then consider using burlap as your source material. Again, simple sewing for that. Same goes for iron-on-vinyl, if you’re Dexter. Either way, visit a dollar store, get some neato candies with foreign languages on the labels, and stuff those suckas.
Images courtesy tealanddime.com, prudentbaby.com, purlbee.com, achievingproverbs31.blogspot.com, marthastewart.com