Learn how easy it is to make a unique, handmade DIY Christmas Stocking out of your old (maybe ugly?) Sweater
Yeah, I know it’s already the middle of December so I am really really late with this Christmas craft tutorial. Honestly, I’ve been wanting to write a post on how to make a DIY Christmas Stocking from a sweater for a long time so I decided to just go for it. Maybe it will help somebody next Christmas.
By the way, this method for making a Christmas stocking works great with any kind of fabric … not just recycled, old sweaters. You can use the same technique with fabric from an old shirt or blue jeans and fat quarters quilting fabric.
Upcycling, repurposing and thrifting are super important to me as I try to make my life as close to zero waste as possible. This craft is a perfect way to reuse your old sweaters.
Plus, your handmade Christmas Stockings will be completely unique. Nobody else will have that exact same stocking. And if that’s not enough incentive, these stockings are a great handmade gift idea for your loved ones.
As you may know, I’ve made several fun things out of old sweaters in the past. For instance, this post shows you how to make a DIY Wine Bottle Sweater Bag (great for a Christmas party Hostess Gift). And, here is my tutorial on how to make DIY Boot Toppers or Boot Cuffs from a sweater. Fun boot cuffs are a great DIY Gift Idea for girls of any age who love to wear boots.
Supplies for Your DIY Christmas Stockings
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- Old Sweaters
- Fabric Scissors or Rotary Cutter and Cutting Pad
- Needle & Thread or Sewing Machine
- Sewing Pins
- Basic Christmas Stocking (optional) or Stocking Template*
* If you have a basic Christmas stocking that you can use as a template, that’s great. But if you don’t have one, simply make a template by drawing the shape of a stocking on a large piece of paper.
How to make a Christmas Stocking
First, you’ll want to decide if you want to use the same sweater for both the body of the stocking and the cuff. I used two different sweaters; a maroon color for the body and a buff or tan colored sweater for the cuff of my stocking.
To begin making the body part of your stocking, pin together the bottom edges of the sweater to keep them from moving while you cut.
Next, lay your template or basic stocking on top of the sweater you wish to use for the body. You’re going to line up the back line with the sewn edge of the sweater. Place the toe part about 1″ from the bottom to allow for the seam.
Cutting and Sewing the Body of the Stocking
Now, using your fabric scissors or rotary cutter, you will cut about 1″ from the edge of the stocking all around the unsewn part of the sweater and straight across the top where the cuff will begin.
You need to decide where you want the cuff to go. How long do you want your Christmas stocking to be? I made my sweater stocking the same size as the stocking template but you can make yours longer or shorter, it’s up to you.
Turn your stocking base inside-out so that the right sides of the fabric are together.
Next, pin together the cut edges, leaving the top or cuff part open. Using needle and thread or your sewing machine, sew along the pinned edge.
Now, turn your stocking right side out.
Cutting the Cuff for the Stocking
Cut out the cuff part from your chosen sweater fabric. In my case, I used the tan colored sweater.
I didn’t do any fancy measuring for my cuff. I simply made it 2 times as wide as the stocking and 2 times as high as I wanted my final cuff to be. Since I want the cuff to be a little bulkier than the rest of the stocking, I doubled the height so it could be folded over.
In other words, my cuff material measured about 12″ wide by 10″ high (this gives a final cuff of appr. 6″ x 5″ when folded in half horizontally and stitched around the top of the stocking. That’s super confusion, isn’t it?)
Fold your fabric in half lengthwise (horizontally), right sides together. Then, pin and sew the short edges together.
How to Sew a Christmas Stocking with a Cuff
Honestly, I had a little trouble remembering how to sew the cuff onto the stocking. Specifically, which way each piece has to be turned in order for the cuff and the stocking to be right side out when it’s finished. The more I thought about it, the more confused I became! If you’ve ever made a Christmas Stocking, you will understand lol.
So, I did a little search and found a sewing tutorial for a Christmas stocking with a cuff on this Décor Adventures site.
Here’s the trick to sewing the cuff correctly …. the boot part has to be right sides out (wrong sides together) and the cuff part has to be inside out (right sides together). Then, you will place the cuff part inside the stocking, lining up the seams and also lining up the bottom edge of the cuff with the top edge of the boot. Confusing, right??
Sew the Cuff to the Boot of your Stocking
Pin together the outside edges of the boot and cuff fabrics. My cuff is double so I have 3 layers total). Sew all around the edge of the boot. Since the fabric is a cut knit sweater and prone to ravel, you may want to be generous with the seam. I think I made my seam about 3/4 ” wide.
Pull the cuff out of the boot and fold it to the outside. Finally, add a simple hanger and you’re done! This can be a pretty ribbon or a piece of the old sweater.
Now that you know how to make a DIY Christmas stocking from a sweater, you can sew up a bunch of fun and unique stockings for everybody in the family. Believe me, you’ll never look at an old sweater the same way again. And remember, you can also make a DIY Wine Bottle Sleeve and some fun DIY Boot Toppers using the leftover arms of your stocking sweater.
For more ideas and inspiration for making your own stockings, you may enjoy this article on Easy Handmade Christmas Stockings by BHG.
How much fabric do you need to make a Christmas Stocking?
Obviously, how much fabric you use for your DIY stocking depends on how big or small you wish to make it. My sweater stocking is based on an average size Christmas stocking they sell in the stores which took about 1/2 yard of fabric total.
What size is a Christmas Stocking?
Again, this is relative. Christmas stockings come in all sizes! A ‘standard’ size Christmas stocking is appr. 10″ W x 16″ H. However, I’ve seen little 6″ stockings that are great for a small gift or a candy cane. I also have a very large quilted stocking that my Mom made for me as a Christmas wallhanging decoration. It measures almost 3 feet in height.
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