Handmade Christmas Stockings
Knitting a pair of socks for a friend, a new baby, or Santa is quite simple. If you can knit in the round, you already know everything you need to know to get started. Embellish hand-knit stockings with snowflakes, a tree, or a reindeer motif.
Cozy mitten stockings are just as handy for holding goodies as socks are. Tie a knit pair to a child's bedpost for Santa to fill with small presents; the contents will keep early risers occupied until the rest of the family finally awakens.
This homespun stocking is a wonderful way to mark a child's first Christmas -- as well as his second, third, and fourth. Every year, add a new felt shape representing some favorite memory or object that your little one loves. Only the stocking requires sewing; the designs are glued on, for easy updating.
Line the mantel -- or a child's bed -- with colorful handmade stockings that invite stuffing. These felt socks, cut with scallop scissors, are embellished with rickrack zigzags or blooms. You can scatter the blossoms or cluster them in a cuff.
Christmas Tree Stocking
Brimming with gifts on Christmas morning, beautifully decorated handmade stockings are a delight to wake up to. Add whimsical embellishments like felt Christmas trees to a simple stocking to personalize it.
These stockings are just large enough to hold a small gift or sweet for each of the 24 days of Advent. If your tree is too small to hold 24 stockings, hang the rest from a ribbon swag.
Jingle Bell Stockings
The pierced detailing on these felt stockings -- reminiscent of openwork on creamware china -- is made using decorative hole punches. Practice the patterns on a piece of scrap felt first, since placing holes in correct order is tricky.
Invite little ones to count down to Christmas with this charming treat-a-day calendar. This hanging Advent calendar assembled from baby socks is full of great things, and it's the perfect way to mark the season for a baby or an older child. A collection of stray socks or a mix of new ones in festive colors looks adorable dangling from a ribbon along a mantle or railing.
Santa's sleigh needs to make only one stop to fill a stocking with great loot, and it's not the elves' workshop or even the toy store. A whole sock's worth of goodies awaits in an unexpected place; the crafts store, hardware store, costume shop, or party-supply shop. Ordinary objects -- pom-poms, electrical tape, plastic baubles -- find glorious uses in kids' hands. Best of all, they're inexpensive, so it doesn't cost hardly anything to stuff a stocking all the way to the brim.
Spell it out for Santa: All the treats in these stockings are meant for one lucky kid, as the name -- sewn across wool socks -- makes clear. Use an embroidery stitch for the letters. Sew store-bought pom-poms to the cuffs, or make your own. To join socks, cut heavy yarn somewhat longer than desired garland length; with a yarn needle, sew through cuff of first sock, position sock, and knot to hold in place. Repeat with remaining socks.
Sweaters with unusual pockets, collars, or buttons make excellent stockings, and making a stocking from a patterned sweater creates the illusion that you knit it yourself.
Greenery Garland Stocking
Fresh garlands tied with ribbons enliven plain stockings. When cast in sunny shades, the stockings create vibrant accents for a Christmas-morning gift exchange. The stockings featured here are trimmed with Port Orford cedar, a delicate-looking evergreen that is versatile and hardy, and eucalyptus, which dries nicely and smells lovely.