Make a Fabulous Felt Christmas Stocking
Add some colour to your Christmas decor with this pretty felt stocking. The stocking is embellished with rows of gorgeous ribbons, ricrac and embroidery, and is topped off with a bunch of fun, fluffy pompoms! I made my stocking in bright candy colours inspired by vintage glass baubles, but you could make yours in whatever colours you fancy...
- Craft felt, 50 x 60cm (20 x 24 inches).
- Ricrac and other decorative ribbons and trims to decorate the top of the stocking, 40cm (16 inches) each.
- Ribbon for the loop to hang the stocking, 25cm (10 inches).
- Pompom trim, 40cm (16 inches) (optional).
- Buttons (optional).
- Sewing thread to match the felt, and all trims used.
- Stranded embroidery threads (embroidery floss).
- Mini pompoms or felt balls/beads (optional).
- A pompom maker, or scrap cardboard (e.g. from a cereal box) and a compass.
- Sewing scissors.
- Needles (one for sewing thread and larger ones for embroidery thread / floss and yarn) and pins.
- Stocking template provided below.
- Scissors, a pen, a ruler, a sheet of white paper and sticky tape or a glue stick for constructing the paper pattern.
Step 1: Make the Paper Pattern
Click on the template image below to open it in another window or tab and view it full size. Print it at 100% (you may need to set your print margins to zero to fit it on the page).
Then use a ruler to draw a rectangle measuring 18.5 x 27.5 cm (7 ¼ inches x 10 ¾ inches) on another piece of paper. Cut out the rectangle and the printed template. Arrange the two pieces so that one of the short sides of the rectangle lines up with the dotted line on the printed shape, then use a glue stick or some tape to stick them together.
You should now have a full sized paper stocking shape. Measure 12.5 cm (5 inches) down from the top edge of the stocking, and mark this level with an arrow on the “outside” edge of the stocking (this is the left hand side if the foot of the stocking is pointing to the right). Turn the paper over and repeat, so the outside edge is marked with an arrow at the same point on both sides of the paper.
Step 2: Cut out the Stocking Shape
Place the paper pattern on the felt, making sure that you leave enough space for another stocking shape back-to-back with this one (see the photo below). Pin the pattern in place, and cut all the way around it except for the 12.5cm (5 inches) between the top of the stocking and the arrow you’ve marked on the outside edge.
Then unpin the pattern, turn it over and pin it in place so it’s lined up flush with the first shape. Cut around the edge again, leaving the same section uncut. You will now have two back-to-back stocking shapes which are joined together at the top.
Step 3: Add the Pompom Trim
Pin a length of pompom trim along the top edge of the stocking, so the pompoms will dangle nicely below the edge. Use running stitch in thread to match the felt, and start and finish your stitching on the side where all the trim is visible (this will be hidden on the finished stocking).
If you don’t have any pompom trim or prefer not to use it, you can skip this step.
Step 4: Plan the Decorative Design
Turn the stocking over and rotate it 180 degrees, so the pompoms are now at the bottom. Now comes the fun bit: decorating your stocking top!
The top of the stocking is decorated with horizontal rows of ricrac, ribbons, buttons and stitching which go right across the top section so that the rows will wrap around the stocking when it’s finished. Remember that the pompom trim will be at the bottom of this section on the finished stocking, so make sure you sew any patterned trims the right way up. You can use as many or few different colours and embellishments as you like.
Use a ruler to measure 11cm (4 ¼ inches) from the edge along which you’ve sewn the pompoms. This 11cm (4¼ inch) section is the area you need to decorate. Arrange the ricrac, ribbon, buttons, etc in rows to test out the layout you’d like.
Make sure you leave room to add some stitched lines in between the rows of trimmings, and when you plan the arrangement of your buttons, make sure to leave space at the side of each stocking shape so the buttons won’t get in the way when the felt is folded over and the stocking is sewn together.
Then take a digital photo to record your design, or draw a simple diagram for easy reference.
Step 5: Sew the Trims across the Stocking Top
Set all the trimmings aside for a moment except the trim that will be furthest from the pompom-trimmed edge. Pin this piece of trim in place so it’s no more than 11cm (4¼ inches) from the pompom edge, and so a small bit of the trim overlaps the felt at each end, as pictured. Use whip stitch or running stitch in a matching thread to sew it in position, removing the pins as you sew.
Then, one by one, sew all the other trims in position in between this first line of trim and the pompom edge. Use whip stitch or running stitch in matching threads, and make sure the ends that overlap the felt are level so they’ll join up neatly when you sew the stocking seam together later. If you’re sewing on any buttons, sew them on securely with several stitches. For added neatness, sew them so all the button holes form a horizontal line.
Step 6: Add Decorative Lines of Stitching
Now you need to add some rows of embroidery thread between the trims and buttons. For each row, cut a length of stranded embroidery thread (floss) and split it in two so you’re sewing with only half the number of strands. Sew your lines with running stitch, making your stitches as even as possible and taking care not to pull them too tight and pucker the felt.
Step 7: Add A Ribbon Loop
Fold the felt together to create the stocking shape, with the trims and stitching on the outside.
Then cut a 25cm (10 inch) length of ribbon, and fold it into a loop. If there’s a patterned or “right” side to the ribbon, make sure this is on the inside of the loop.
Insert the cut ends of the loop into the top of the slit on the outside edge of the stocking, at an angle as shown. Pin the ribbon in place here so that about 2.5cm (1 inch) of the loop is sandwiched between the two layers of felt.
Step 8: Sew the Main Body of the Stocking Together
Pin the stocking together all around the edge. You’re going to be sewing around the edge of the stocking, from where you’ve inserted the ribbon loop all the way round to the same point on the other side - 12.5 cm (5 inches) from the pompom-trimmed top edge. Mark this point with a pin to make sure you don’t sew past it!
Then sew around the edge of the stocking, with running stitch in matching thread. Sew as close to the edge of the felt as you can and use small stitches, removing the pins as you sew. When you've sewn round to the marker pin, sew back again filling in the gaps between your previous stitches to create a continuous line of stitching. Remove the marker pin.
Step 9: Sew the Top of the Stocking Together
Turn the stocking inside out and use your fingers to poke and press out all the seams until the stocking is the right shape.
Pin along the un-sewn side edge of the stocking (where the ribbon ends are sticking out) and sew it together. Use sewing thread to match the felt, sew small running stitches close to the edge, removing the pins as you sew. As in the previous step, sew along the seam in one direction and then sew back again filling in the gaps with stitches to create a continuous line.
Then trim all the ribbon ends to be approx 1cm (1/2 inch) and fold over the top of the stocking, pressing out the seam as necessary. Make sure the top is even, and then twist the ribbon loop inside out so the “right” side is showing.
Step 10: Make some Yarn Pompoms
If you don’t have a store-bought pompom maker, use a compass to draw a doughnut-shaped ring on a piece of scrap card (e.g. from a cereal box). The outer circle should be approx 5.5cm (2½ inches) and the inner circle approx 2cm (¾ inch) but you can vary this depending on what size of pompom you want to make. Cut out the first ring and use it as a template to draw and cut out a second matching one.
To make the pompoms, put the two circles together and wrap a double thickness of yarn round and round the ring until it’s well covered. The more yarn you add, the more “full” your pompom will be.
Snip the yarn from all around the edge of the ring then tie a double thickness of yarn between the two rings, pulling it tightly and knotting it to secure all the cut pieces of yarn inside. Then remove the rings (cutting your card circles if necessary) and trim any loose ends to create a neat pompom.
Repeat this process to make as many pompoms as you need. Or, if you prefer, you can use fluffy store-bought pompoms instead of making them from yarn.
Step 11: Thread the Pompoms
Cut a length of yarn, and knot it at one end then trim any excess yarn below the knot. Use a large sharp needle to thread a selection of yarn pompoms, mini store-bought pompoms and felt beads/balls onto the yarn. Leave a small gap between each pompom so they will dangle nicely. Repeat this, so you end up with two strings of pompoms.
You can make a string of pompoms in different colours and sizes as pictured, or just use a couple of large pompoms. You could use chunky beads instead of felt beads/balls if you don’t have any, or add jingle bells or small sparkly baubles to the bottom of the string for an added festive touch.
Step 12: Attach the Pompoms to the Stocking
Thread the large needle with the yarn from one of the pompom strings, and sew it into the felt next to the inside seam of the stocking – just below where the ribbon loop sticks out. Sew a long stitch in and out, taking care to sew through one layer of felt only. Then repeat with the second pompom string.
The long stitch will hold the yarn in place so you can now hang the stocking and adjust how you want the pompoms to hang (i.e. how long you want each piece of yarn to dangle down from the top of stocking). When you've got both strings arranged as you’d like them, knot the two yarn ends together twice to secure them and then trim them to a couple of cm(approx 1 inch).
And you're finished!
Important: the use of buttons, pompoms and felt beads on this stocking means it’s unsuitable for young children and should be hung well out of their reach.