How to Make a Christmas Stocking out of a Sock

There are times in life when the Christmas stockings mysteriously fail to surface from the depths of your storage cupboard. The kids are buzzing around in excitement wanting their favorite stockings hung up—right now!—and you're in a panic. Don't worry... you don't need a last-minute rush to the drugstore just to find a bedraggled, picked-over selection of stockings no one wants. Why not make nifty, rustic and personalized Christmas stockings from all those socks that lost their partners during the year instead? Here's what to do.


  1. Image titled Make a Christmas Stocking out of a Sock Step 1
    Find suitable socks. Clearly, the larger the better—so pick Dad's if at all possible, or the ones your teen has stretched beyond all recognition. If all the socks are on the smallish side, make a series of stockings for each child to be hung all in a row, adding to the festive ambiance.
    • Woolen socks or socks made of natural fibers work best. But in a pinch, any sock that is clean and free of holes will do.
    • Do not use ankle socks—not unless Santa's only leaving a gift card and a stick of chewing gum.
    • Plain colors are best. It's hard to make fluorescent pink socks with bright green polka dots seem season-appropriate—for Christmas, anyhow.
  2. Image titled Make a Christmas Stocking out of a Sock Step 2
    Add festive elements. The best you can do for the socks is to brighten them up and make them look like a festive object. This can be as simple or as complicated as you like, but the following steps offer a few easy ideas.
    • Use a darning needle and strong thread to stitch trim or decorations onto the sock. Because it's bigger than a regular sewing needle, the darning needle will make your work easier.
  3. Image titled Make a Christmas Stocking out of a Sock Step 3
    Add a trim to the cuff area of the sock. Use a fabric that complements the style of the sock and adds something festive, such as tartan prints, red and green prints, Christmas prints, etc. Trim can be added in any of the following ways:
    • Simply sew a ribbon around the top of the cuff. Choose a wider ribbon for the best effect.
    • For a cuff, turn down the sock a little way and blanket stitch around it in traditional Christmas colors such as red and green.
    • Add a cuff: Cut out enough fabric to form the typical cuff seen on Christmas stockings. Stitch into place. To help it stand upright and stiff, you could insert thin cardboard and fold the cuff fabric down over this prior to stitching to the sock.
  4. Image titled Make a Christmas Stocking out of a Sock Step 4
    Embroider the sock. This means quick embroidery, not the elaborate, time-consuming sort. Take care to secure the stitches well at both the start and end of the stitching.
    • Sketch out very simple designs, such as the recipient's name or a basic outline of a reindeer head or an angel. You can trace around cookie cutters using a fabric marker if you need a quick design to follow.
    • Then simply stitch around the design you've made using thick embroidery thread, silk ribbon, yarn or pearl cotton. Use thread that contrasts clearly with the sock colors, and—where possible—use green or red. Back stitch is your best option for sewing.
    • Stitching will be made a lot easier if you insert a cardboard liner into the sock to prevent catching stitches onto the other side of the sock.
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    Add designs. If you don't have the time or ability for embroidery, start gluing. Rummage through your craft odds and ends and find whatever will jazz up the stocking. Some possible design methods include:
    • Draw Christmas designs or names using fabric markers.
    • Draw patterns using fabric markers, such as skinny stripes, wide diamonds, small squares, big circles, etc.
    • Glue on all manner of things, including fabric patches, beads, bells, sequins, lace, ribbons, etc. (Of course, you can sew them on instead.)
    • Tie bows using ribbon, then glue them in place.
    • For a pet's stocking, glue on fake mice, biscuit bones, etc.
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    Create a fun character. Use googly stick-on eyes, a pom-pom for a nose, pipe cleaners as antlers, etc. Give it a name to make your child giggle when you hand over the stocking—something like "Ollie", Santa's elf on vacation.
  7. Image titled Make a Christmas Stocking out of a Sock Step 7
    Attach a loop for hanging. This can be stitched, stapled or knotted into place. A neat way to knot it onto the stocking is to cut enough ribbon for the loop, thread both ends of the ribbon through the darning needle so that a loop sits one side and the two ends the other side. Insert this needle into the sock at the middle top and pull the two ends through. Knot them into place and the loop will pull up for hanging, the knot catching on the sock.
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    Stuff it full. Put all kinds of small Christmas toys and candy into your stocking, as is the tradition. An old English custom is to add an orange––citrus is great in the middle of winter (or summer if you live Down Under).
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    Hang your stocking up. Screw a hook into a mantel or other suitable area. If you've opted for lots of small stockings (due to the small sock size available), arrange them so they hang evenly spaced along a ribbon or rope that is then attached to the hanging space by either end. Pull taut!
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  • Use a thimble to push the darning needle through thick fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Large socks—as many as needed
  • Fabric markers
  • Scrap fabric, beads, sequins, lace, ribbon and other trimming as desired
  • Pipe cleaners, googly eyes, tiny pom poms
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle
  • Thimble
  • Matching or contrasting thread, yarn, ribbon, etc. for embroidery
  • Fabric glue

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Categories: Featured Articles | Christmas Decorations | Fabric and Clothing Reuse