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Monogrammed Leather Christmas Stockings

Using a little elbow grease and a leather punch, you can hammer out any initial. Then back them with extra leather so the monograms really pop. Rust-ribbon trim adds a whimsical finishing touch.

leather stockings on mantle

Photography: Paola + Murray

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2017

Introduction

Start by learning how to sew leather by hand and tips on working with leather. For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of Christmas Stockings.

materials

  • Lambskin leather (Pictured: Lambskin leather #9125-61, from $40 for 5 sq. ft., tandyleather.com.)

  • Removable spray mount

  • Poly cutting board (Pictured: Poly cutting board​, from $10, tandyleather.com.)

  • Rubber cement or leather glue

  • Stitching awl (Pictured: Craftool pro stitch-ing awl, $30, tandyleather.com.)

  • Polyester heavy-duty thread (Pictured: Gutermann Top Stitch Heavy Duty thread, $1.75, createforless.com.)

  • Ribbon (Pictured: Cotton twill tape ribbon, ¾", $1.25 per yd., purlsoho.com.)

  • Fabric scissors

  • Pencil

steps

  1. Print out both templates. Fold your leather piece in half (right sides facing), and lay the stocking pattern on top. Mark the top edge with a pencil, but don't cut anything yet. Determine where your punched monogram will be, and make another slight mark there. Unfold the leather to a single layer again.

    leather stocking how-to
  2. Create a monogram in dots on a piece of paper, in reverse from how you want it to appear (as shown). Cut it out, spray it with removable spray mount, and lightly press it onto the designated spot on the backside of the leather. Place leather on cutting board. Put some thicker leather (or a few scrap layers) between the stocking leather and the board. (Note: The scrap piece doesn't need to be the full size of the letter; just move it along as you punch.)

  3. Place the punch directly on one of the dots of the paper template, and bang down with mallet firmly through the paper and leather. (Note: You may have to hit harder than you might imagine; take care not to tear the leather instead of cutting it.) Continue punching out the dots, moving your scrap piece underneath as you go.

  4. When your punched monogram is finished, lay the larger stocking template back on and trace it with a sharp pencil onto the wrong side of the leather. Cut out with scissors. Repeat the process for the back of the stocking (which doesn't have the punched monogram).

    leather stocking how-to
  5. Using rubber cement or leather glue, adhere the front and back of the stocking (wrong-sides facing), only at the very edge, about 1/2 inch all around. Let dry. Take the leather seam pattern; center it on top of your stocking. (Note: It will be slightly smaller than the stocking, and will be used to create the sewing seam for the stocking.)

  6. Using the spacer wheel, slowly trace along the pattern. (Note: If you need to stop at some point, make sure to start again at the same distance of the small indentations the wheel is making, as these will be your guide for sewing.) Use the stitching awl to poke through all indentations through both layers of the stocking, making sure you're pushing straight down. (The spacer wheel won't press through to the other side, so this extra step will help keep your stitches straight.) With sewing thread and a leather hand-sewing needle, start a running stitch from from one of the top edges.

  7. When you've sewn all around, secure the thread with a dab of glue and cut, leaving ½ inch or so extra (this will be hidden under the ribbon). Cut about 7 inches of ribbon for the loop. Sew it with a few stitches to the top, sides aligned with the stocking side. Cut approximately 17 inches of ribbon for the edge, and glue it to the top edge with glue or cement, overlapping by 1/2 inch on the wrong side of the stocking. Let dry.

    leather stocking how-to

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