Decorating Stockings

This is a repost from last year. The original was accidentally printed as a “page” and not a “post.”
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My first Christmas with my husband I decided to decorate a stocking for him. This year I decided it would be great to do one for V as well.

Yes, he’s a Linux guy.

I didn’t take step by step pictures, but I’ll try to explain things as well as I can. They really aren’t that difficult to do.

What you’ll need:

  • A simple design. You must know this before you buy a stocking!
  • A blank stocking, preferably one made out of fairly flat material. I’m not sure how well things will glue to the supper fluffy stuff.
  • Fabric glue
  • Scissors
  • Felt
  • That puffy ink you use for writing on fabric
  • Any other decorations you’d like to add
  • BIG, HEAVY books and some plastic (gallon ziploc bag works well)

What to do:

Try to find a design that is simple and preferably vertical. You’ll be cutting the felt out in very basic shapes (unless you’re super-good with fabric, which I doubt since you’re reading this guide). My Clifford design was a challenge because I really wanted the print where he was lying down, but it wasn’t a good stocking design (not vertical enough). I ended up doing a mix of the two. Once you have a design you can buy your felt and your stocking.

Clifford stocking with designs.

Finding a stocking can actually be really difficult. Most of the blank stockings are really poor quality. They are also usually red in color, which sucks if you’re trying to add anything red to the stocking. You want a color that contrasts somewhat with your design. For the Linux penguin I wanted to have the Santa hat, which meant that I could not have a red stocking.This year I was doing Clifford, which also meant no red. I finally found various colors of decent plain stockings at Walmart. I bought both a brown and a white but ended up going with the white.

Print out your design at a size that will fit on the stocking. It’s best to make several copies as you’ll be cutting them up along with your felt. Make sure save a master copy so you know how to put everything together!

Place your design copies over the felt and cut out the shapes you’ll need. Arrange the felt on your workspace so you can see which pieces go where. Once you are confident about the order in which to glue you can start transferring the felt to the stocking and actually glue it down. I’ve found that too much fabric glue is better than not enough.

After all the felt is glued, place your ziploc bag or plastic flat on top of your stocking. Pile your stack of heavy books on top and let the whole thing sit for at least 12 hours. After 12 hours you can check and re-glue any loose pieces or edges. Flatten and let dry again if needed.

After the felt is done you can start gluing other decorations. For the Linux stocking I found some flat snowflake things to add on. For Clifford I decorated the tree with gems. After gluing all your bumpy stuff on, flatten again with books and let dry.

Now comes the really tricky part- writing with fabric puffy paint. You might want to practice on a paper first. I’m not super happy with how Clifford’s face came out as the paint was too thick in places and made clumps. I found out the way to prevent this is to hold the paint bottle poised over paper, squeeze until the painted started to come out, then swap to the stocking WITHOUT releasing the squeeze (so the paint stays at the tip of the bottle, rather than getting sucked back inside). The reason for this is that the paint tends to be thicker when it first comes out because you’re not sure how much pressure to apply. Be careful not to touch your paint as you work on different areas of the stocking! You don’t want it smearing. After the paint is all applied you can leave it to dry one last time (do NOT pile books on this time as you’ll smoosh the paint).

That’s it! It might sound difficult but as long as you pick a simple design these are really easy to make.

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