There is so much magic and joy around Christmas, as well as some stress around finances and perfect home presentation for when guests, or the big man himself drop by.
I think it’s really important to find ways to ring the bells of fun and happiness at Christmas without breaking your back or budget, which is why I’m all for second hand and home made Christmas gift sand decorations.
Christmas stockings are great for giving small simple gifts and treats, they look good in any room, can hang from shelves, stairs and mantelpieces no matter how small the space, and even if you don’t stuff them they create an instant sense of magic and expectation in your home.
Thanks to social media a modern Christmas décor really matters. So if you are looking for a way to make your Instagram or Pinterest account sparkle without spending big, this home made felt stocking is a real gem.
This super simple and easy idea is great for every age and skill level. The best part is you can fully customise these to express your personality or decorate for a loved one, even if they are four legged and fury. Make them with your kids or grand kids or invite some friends over for some genuine festive fun. I’ve jumped onto Pinterest to get some ideas going for you, but don’t let those be your limits!
· 1 large piece of felt, enough to make two sides of the stocking
Note that you want extra length of felt on top, about an additional ¼ of the leg section of your stocking, which will be folded over.
· Felt scraps and pieces for making decorations
· Paper to use as a template to draw on
This needs to be large enough to fit your stocking on,with the extra height for the fold – which might mean some sticky tape patch work on some paper sheets if your stocking is large.
· Pencil and eraser for making the template
· Good scissors for cutting material
· Embroidery needle and thread.
· Choose a colour that stands out against your felt stocking
· Dress pins
· Hot glue gun
· Other decorating items you might like, ie pom poms, glitter, bells, name tags
1. Start by drawing out the stocking size and shape you want on paper. You can go with a traditional round boot shape which is best for stuffing with gifts, or a more trendy elf like boot shape that curves in and out, but is hard to get gifts to the toe.
2. Make sure you elongate the top for folding. You might design a stocking that has a slightly larger lip, just be sure to try out your paper design by folding it back before you cut your felt.
3. Fold your felt in half to make two sides of the stocking, be sure your template fits well, pin it in place,making sure the pins go through both pieces of felt (and not your table cloth underneath!)
4. Cut the boot shape out with the scissors.
This look was made using novelty scissors. Christmas is a great time to break these out if you have them laying around in a draw somewhere.
5. Next we create the look of a sock by folding the top over to make a lip. Fold each ¼ of the felt top outwards on both sides. This needs to be pinned down as well so you keep it in place.
6. It’s time to get sewing. Take your needle and thread and work your way around the boot. The thicker and bolder your colour the more decorative it will be. If you plan on stuffing your stocking you will need a sturdy stitch that won’t open or break. Try blanket stitch, saddle stitch or, if you like, machine sew first to secure it with a subtle colour and hand stitch over the top as decoration.
7. Get creative! Cut decorations out of additional felt pieces to create layers, patterns or pictures. You can also include someone’s name on the lip. You can personalise the decorations to match the hobby or personality of the stockings owner. The most important part here is to have fun.
Group notes: This is where having a group of people make them together really pays off as you can throw in all the off cuts from the boot felt into the middle and share them out to make decorations, or trade embellishments, maybe get a friendly bidding war going if someone is especially good at making snowflakes or candy canes.
8. Lay your decorative pieces in place and use the hot glue gun to set them in place permanently. It’s easiest to apply the glue to the decoration back and lay it in place.
Have fun and enjoy the making and hanging of these unique Christmas pieces!