DIY: Inexpensive Homemade Stockings + TGBTL v.2

Today I am kind of hitting two birds with one stone (lucky you!) and sharing both a super fun and easy holiday DIY project AND answering The Girl Between the Lines' second weekly prompt because the two of them kind of go hand-in-hand. Last week, I participated in week one of The Girl Between the Lines (hosted by A Beautiful Exchange and The Albrechts Blog) where I unapologetically shared three things I loved about myself along with a picture. It was an interesting exercise, even for someone who has a healthy relationship with herself, and found it really fascinating to go through all of the other linked blogs and see what they had to say! It has been fun getting to know new blogs along the way, so I encourage you to join in, even if you didn't make it last week.

This week's prompt: Share Your Favorite Things about the Holiday Season

Unknowingly, I kind of answered this prompt in part on Tuesday when I shared my favorite Christmas ornaments, as decorating the tree is one of my most beloved Christmas traditions. I also added on to this answer yesterday when I wore my most cozy sweater and sported my favorite plaid infinity scarf--snuggling up in the comfort of my clothes and my home is the best.

Naturally, I love the thrill of buying gifts for my family and friends and I enjoy decorating and basking in the beauty of my Christmas tree. But most of all, I love making memories with my family. There's something about the holiday season that brings such excitement and joy in being together. Every year, traditions serve as the glue that keeps us going year after year when life changes so dramatically. 

One of my other favorite things about the holiday season is crafting. I didn't really get into this until the last year or two. Last year, I was so lonely during the holiday before I got to go home that I crafted up a storm! I made an Alternative Ugly Christmas Sweater (debuting again soon!), sewed a reversible table runner, gifted a book page picture frame, and made tiny gifts for my students. I also turned my classroom into a winter wonderland in honor of Sandy Hook elementary.

This year it seems I am going equally crazy. I sewed four plaid infinity scarves with plans to make more (tutorial coming), learned how to knit with a loom, and most recently: decorated dollar stockings with Ashlie for our apartment!

Christmas is rapidly approaching and if you find yourself without a stocking or far away from home (where your real stocking lives!), here's an inexpensive way to transform a cheap stocking into something personalized and festive.

DIY Inexpensive Holiday Stockings

Ashlie and I purchased our stockings for a dollar at Target, but you could probably find similar ones at the dollar store or Walmart. We already had some plaid fabric lying around, along with embellishments like buttons, paint, and ribbon. You'll need to pick up some iron-on bonding paper, like Heat n' Bond. Make sure it's the kind that's permanent, where you iron on one side, peel off the backing, and iron the fabric onto another fabric. 

DIY Inexpensive Holiday Stockings Materials

The basis of this DIY is mostly to show you how to create the monogrammed letter for your stocking using an iron-on adhesive. This is the same method you could use to adhere your reindeer on YOUR Alternative Ugly Christmas Sweater, to create sorority and fraternity letters (as Laura from Forever Above Me shares), or for any fabric project. How you embellish your stocking is completely up to you!

In addition to a stocking, fabric, iron-on bonding paper, a stencil, and embellishments, you'll also need scissors/an exact-o knife, an iron, and a needle and thread for buttons.

DIY Inexpensive Holiday Stockings How-To

  1. Cut out a square big enough for your monogrammed letter out of your iron-on adhesive paper.
  2. Iron the shiny textured side on to the back side of your fabric.
  3. Use a stencil to trace the backwards view of your letter on to the paper. Here's how Ashlie and I made our stencil:

    Open up a program like PicMonkey (you could use Word, too) and click Design. Make your canvas 600 x 600 pixels or so. Choose the text feature from the left sidebar, select a font, and type in your letter. Expand the letter so it mostly fills your canvas. Then click the reverse button (looks like an arrow pointing left and right) to reverse the image. When you go to click save, copy and paste the image into word so you can print it easily without saving. When you print the image, hold it up to your stocking to see if it is your desire side. If not, it is easy to manipulate in Word without having to recreate the image.

  4. Carefully cut out your traced letter using scissors or an exact-o knife.
  5. Place the letter where you want it on your stocking. Decide now where its exact spot should be. I placed my M at the heel of the stocking, while Ashlie put hers at the toe. (I wish I had done that now, looking back.)
  6. Peel off the paper backing and place the letter carefully back on that spot.
  7. Gently press the iron down on top of the letter for a few seconds at a time, pressing down on each section, instead of moving the iron back and forth. Don't hold for too long because the stocking itself is not meant to be heated and could melt if you're not careful. After the edges were adhered, I placed a thin rag over top of it as a press cloth and carefully ironed over top of it.
  8. Embellish the stocking as you wish! We used buttons and leftover fabric.

Note: If you plan on removing the ric rac as we did, just note that many stockings are held together by this particular stitch (meaning the white and red/green sections were sewn together with the ric rac stitch), so you may need to restitch or glue these together. We just used tacky glue and called it a day. :)

Here's how ours turned out:

DIY Inexpensive Stocking 1 After

DIY Inexpensive Holiday Stocking 2 After

We may add a plaid bow to the top loop down the road to add a little something extra. Speaking of plaid, do you recognize it?

It's nice having a stocking-away-from-home that didn't break the bank, is personalized, and matches our holiday style.

What are your favorite things about the holiday season? What are you crafting up this Christmas?