Christmas stockings are a unique tradition that most families enjoy. Some open stockings on Christmas eve, a preview of the day to come. For others - Santa is the one who delivers treats to the stockings. For me - Santa always brought the stockings to our bedside so we had something to open and look at right away in the early hours of the 25th.
When I married my husband - he didn't really have a stocking so our first Christmas together, I bought basic stockings and customized them (my husband even had to pick out which embellishments would be on his). After I had my first child, I knew I wanted to create a stocking for him also.
I wanted a stocking that not only functioned well enough to hold treasures but could also be a keepsake that my son would "treasure." Knowing I wanted more children, I actually bought more than one basic stocking so I could make sure that they would match. They stayed in storage until my daughter was born and then I made her a stocking too. If you are looking to create a special Christmas Stocking for your baby's first Christmas - here's my how-to:
What You'll Need:
- Name Letters (iron or sew on)
- Trim (or narrower ribbon)
- Lighter or Matches
1. Buy a Basic Stocking - I love to sew but there are only so many hours in the day so I decided to buy a basic stocking. You can make one if you want. Make sure the stocking will function properly. It should have a loop (for hanging) and usually has a fold-over top. I chose one with no appliques or embellishments except for the four white poms on the cuff. Everything else was added by me.
Where to get it: Stockings are sold everywhere these days from Walmart to Target - from Macy's to Pottery Barn.
Tip: Don't pick a stocking that is too skinny and won't hold any goodies.
2. Ribbon for the Cuff/Name - The ribbon will act as the base for your "Name" letters. I chose a silver organza that actually had some wire on the edges. You can really choose any kind of ribbon that is cloth based (not paper). Cut a length of ribbon that will wrap around the stocking cuff + 2-3 inches extra so you can fold it over. Use a lighter or matches to burn the cut edge of the ribbon to keep it from un-raveling. Do not sew the ribbon onto the stocking until AFTER you attach the letters.
Where to get it: Craft stores like Michaels or JoAnn's tend to have a large selection
Tip: I would recommend not choosing ribbon with glitter because over the years, the glitter will fall off.
3. Attach the Letters - Depending on your choice of ribbon and letters - you can either iron on the letters directly to the ribbon for your little one's name or you can sew them on. You do not need to be an expert sewer to do this - just sew around the edge so the letter is firmly attached to the ribbon. Once the letters are attached - sew the ribbon to the stocking. When you get to the back "seam" - fold one end to overlap.
Where to get it: Craft stores like Michaels or JoAnn's have letters although I liked the options at Michael's better.
Tip: Iron on letters have glue. If you choose to sew on these kinds of letters, your needle might get a little sticky. It can be done though.
4. Jingle Bells - Our family stockings always had bells so it seemed only natural for me to include them. I like the sounds that the larger bells made so I added three of them between the poms that were already on the stockings.
Where to get it: Craft stores and stores like Target and Walmart usually carry packages of bells of varying sizes.
Tip: Remember not to sew through both sides of the stocking when adding the embellishments. This will make it difficult to use the stocking to hold goodies.
5. Trim it Up - Sometimes the craft stores will sell packages of different Christmas trims (in my case, it was a package of metallic green ribbons and looped designs). You can also use narrow ribbon to add more decoration. I sewed trim on the "heel" of the stocking and around the cuff at the top.
Where to get it: Craft stores like Michaels or JoAnn's have trim and/or narrow ribbon options.
6. Buttons Galore - Until I had children, I had no idea that buttons were made in so many shapes and sizes. And this time of year - there are so many adorable Christmas, Snow, Nativity and more themed buttons available. I mixed buttons from several packages and added them to the cuff and toe of the stocking.
Where to get it: JoAnn's has the best selection of these (especially in-store versus online).
I made each stocking in an evening while watching TV so this is really one of those projects that gives you high reward for the amount of time invested. And when you're done - you'll have a beautiful keepsake stocking that you child will cherish all their life.
Merry Christmas Momma!