DIY Beaded Retro Glam Christmas Stockings

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Our first Christmas as 3, I was soooooo excited about our early Christmas present, Miss Chloe.  While pregnant and supposedly on bed rest, I had the perfect opportunity to make beautiful Christmas stockings.  Then came Cora, with a bang, and I had to scramble to make a matching stocking for her.  Fortunately I had enough extra material, but I have to admit, we didn’t have stockings for Cora’s first Christmas because in the hustle and bustle of everything (all of the usual Holiday stuff + Chloe’s 2nd Birthday Bash + Cora having some issues we needed to deal with) I just couldn’t get it finished.  That’s winning at parenting, folks.  Mother of the year.  This year has been much better for our family and I finally had the opportunity to finish our cool retro-glam stockings.

I was inspired by the hobby store felt stockings that my Grandmother made for us.  They were ridiculous and oh-so-Christmasy.  I get super nostalgic thinking about the hand-beading that no one does any more, so I did an updated take on these.

I wish I could say they are super-simple, but they aren’t quite.  If you leave some steps out, they could be easier, but there are a project so be prepared.

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First, I drew out a basic stocking shape on a grocery store paper bag and cut it out to use as a pattern.  I cut out material for the front and back, making sure that the back was a mirror image of the front.

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Then I used the same pattern to cut out two lining pieces.  Mine are a thick felt since the mink outer material is so flimsy.

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Then I spend hours hand-beading the Christmas ornaments with sequins and beads while catching up with the DVR.  This is just on the front of our stockings and I didn’t do all of the ornaments, only the 4-5 that were not cut off at all and wouldn’t be covered by the fuzzy, folded over part at the top.  You could certainly skip this step if you aren’t quite the shiny-ehtusiast that I am.

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Here’s a close-up of one of the ornaments.  And of the back.  I used clear thread which can be a pain to work with so go slowly.  You will also need a super thin beading needle (the head is super thin so it can fit through the beads.

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Then I cut out two strips for the fuzzy part up top.  One is felt lining and one is fuzzy material. The faux fur is difficult to work with so if you are new to sewing, you might want to select something else.  I made these longer than I knew I would need so allow it to be custom fit to the stocking after it had been sewed.  Part of why I did this was to allow for the embroidered name since I wanted to do the embroidery before sewing it together since my machine is, um, a “budget” machine.

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So I had two strips, for the top part, one lining and one fuzzy front.  I embroidered the names to the right side so that the seam would be to the side where the loop for hanging would be.

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Here’s a close-up of the embroidery.  I downloaded a free trial of software to digitize any design and digitized a JPG file that I created in Photoshop using the font I wanted and with the stars in the place that I wanted.  The stars are part of the font, but I added some.  If you have an embroidery machine, you may find it easier to buy a font for your machine or a digitized design from an Etsy seller.

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That leaves you with two strips for the folded over part at the top (one liner & one front piece – mine is embroidered), two liner pieces (mine are cut from white felt), one front piece (mine is beaded) , and one mirror image back piece (mine is red).

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One last piece needs to be cut, the loop to use to hang the stocking.  You can see one on Chloe’s finished stocking above, it’s the red loop.

Mine is roundly 3″ x 7″.  It doesn’t need to be perfect because it’s super easy to sew – all straight lines.  Add that to your collection of prepared pieces, then line everything up to get it ready for sewing.

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I started with the minky outer pieces.  Minky is difficult to work with, so if you’re a beginner, you may want to pick something simpler like cotton.  Otherwise, start out slowly until you get a feel for it because it can bunch up.

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Maks sure that the “right” (fancy, sewing way of saying “outside”) pieces are facing each other and sew.

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I don’t worry much about the edges since they will be secured later when everything is assembled.

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Next, sew the lining piece in the same way, leaving only the opening at top open.

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Next, I like to trim everything closer to the stitching to remove some bulk on the stockings.

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Then, I folded the loop over onto itself the long war and sewed a straight line.

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This part is tricky, but you need to turn the loop right-side-out.  You can get a tool anywhere notions are sold.  It’s $5 well spent because it comes in handy on a lot of projects, even if you just need to re-string your PJ pants.

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Next, put the right sides of the top piece together and sew across the top bottom.  My photo is incorrect here.  This project can be confusing so have your seam ripper handy.

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Next, wrap the top piece around the stocking and mark the edges.

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Fold this piece so the short sides of the felt are together and the short sides of the fur are together, sew, and trim.

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When you fold the fuzzy part back over the felt, you are here:

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Next, take the felt lining and insert it into the outer material.  The outer material should have the stitching facing inside and the lining should have the stitching facing out.  This way, no seams show and no seams are felt when you reach inside.

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Here’s the trickiest part because it can be confusing as well as a handful.  Turn the fuzzy piece so the right side is inside.

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Shove the top folding piece inside the stocking with any embroidery facing the front of the stocking.

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Next, take the loop and fold it over.

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Add it to the stocking with the loop facing down into the stocking.  It should be between the stocking liner and the older top/fold piece.

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I’m not usually one to pin things unless I absolutely have to, but this is a time to pin.  Our stockings are barely too narrow to fit around the sewing machine so I had the extra tricky part of sewing one side at a time.  If you draw a larger/wider stocking in the first place, you may be able to make this step easier.

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That brings us here.  Everything is sewn together.  You can see that my first stitch wandered and I went back with a second one to secure everything in a straight line.

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Trim to reduce bulk.

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Pull the top piece out.

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And fold over.

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2 years in the making (3 if you consider that I cut a 4th stocking when I cut Chloe’s, “just in case”).  WHEW.  Now where’s that opened bottle of wine that’s calling my name?  It’s time to celebrate being a proper mother who provided a stocking for each of her children.

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Next year I’ll want to do something completely different and will start over, right?

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2 Comments

  1. Betsy

    February 18, 2014 at 7:52 am

    This is so cute! What kind of machine did you use for your embroidery? This is very creative.

    1. aria

      February 18, 2014 at 8:10 am

      I use the entry level BabyLock machine which I paid too much for years ago. Brother makes a nearly identical one for less that is widely available, even at Walmart, for under $300.

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